Consumers view online reviews like personal recommendations. In fact, 88% of customers trust what they are reading when deciding whether or not to patronize your business. 90% of consumers say they read online reviews before even visiting a business and purchasing a product or service. More reviews mean greater social proof, that is, if everyone is raving about this company, they must be good.
And that’s not to say all your reviews need to be good. How you respond to negative reviews will show consumers how they will be treated if a problem arises.
Eight Ways to Get More Online Reviews
1) Ask your customer in person. You’re not necessarily asking them to do it on the spot. Verbally encourage them to review your business, express your appreciation, and make sure they have the necessary instructions on how to do so.
2) A few ideas on how to ask for an online review using printed materials: You can include the information on your customer receipt. Or hand them a small card with instructions on where to write the online review. You could create a tabletop placard or flyers that you sit on your counter, or a window cling near customer check-out. Using multiple strategies will increase the odds that your customer goes home and writes that online review for you.
3) Create an email campaign that the customer receives immediately after they make a purchase. Nothing fancy, just a simple email asking your customer to take a short survey. If you’re going to use this strategy, then you need a system for collecting your customers’ email addresses.
Respond to and Share Your Reviews
4) Respond to every online review you receive, good or bad. Research indicates that on sites that answer all online reviews, customers rate the business 0.1 stars higher than those who don’t. Don’t be afraid of bad reviews. Use them as opportunities to show your customers that you care that their experience has been less than satisfactory, and if something needs fixing on your end, this is your chance to let everyone know what you are going to do to make things better.
5) Share your best reviews on social media. This increases your social proof. When consumers read positive reviews about your company, they are more likely to leave positive reviews as well.
6) Ask your customers who follow you on social media to give you a review. Odds are that if they are following you, they like you and will give you a positive review.
7) There’s some debate about this, but you can offer to give your customer something in return for the review. Portillo’s gives a free large fry, and Culvers gives you a free scoop of ice cream. Just be sure you’re asking for honest feedback, not fishing for a positive review.
8) This may be the most important point of all: Deliver excellent customer service so consumers feel compelled to share their experience with your business.
Keep it simple and make it easy for customers to give you a review.