For a small to medium size business it is utterly impossible to avoid online reviews nowadays. Shoppers trust and rely on feedback found across Product review sites, Product pages, in-App reviews, Angie’s List, Glassdoor, Trip advisor, Google Maps, Facebook reviews and across prominent global marketplace sites such as Amazon, Ebay and Esty.com.
We live in a culture that practically revolves around the online reviews ecosystem. In other words, your ability to consistently generate positive reviews and recent reviews can make or break your business. Having places where you can be reviewed and deploying a solid review collection strategy across the top 700+ online reviews sites should be top priority as a SMBs.
Increasing the visibility of your business and maintaining your reputation isn’t simple, but getting customer reviews can certainly help in that regard. While it’s not possible to control what people post online regarding your business, taking concrete steps to boost the number of positive reviews your business gets can be beneficial.
Make it Super Easy
People will only be too happy to contribute when you make the work easy. Ensure that your process of reviewing isn’t bogging down people with unnecessary steps and details. Avoid making them have to click through a number of pages or even log in.
No matter how super you might think your business is, what really matters is how your customers view you. After all, they are the ones using your products or services, and what counts are their opinions. And the best way of knowing and getting more reviews is by asking them personally and directly.
Use Automated Services
While it’s possible to manually engage your customers, the fact is that you still have a running concern to run and limited time available. Thankfully, today, technology has increasingly made it easy to automate lots of business processes and collecting online reviews is among them. Therefore, leverage on such automated technologies.
Consider Email Marketing
By creating a targeted email marketing campaign directed at your recent customers, it is possible to get more reviews about your business. One study shows that feedback that is collected immediately following an event is 40% more accurate compared to feedback collected a day later.
Use 3rd-Party Review Platforms
Review sites such as TrustPilot provide review management platforms used by businesses in collecting customer feedback. These are particularly useful when you want feedback about your products or services.
Spread Across Multiple Review Sites
Although you may simply want more Google reviews, your business stands to benefit from having a profile on other leading review sites such as Yelp or any other niche-specific sites based on your area of business. This not only gives you more exposure but it boosts your opportunities of building your reputation.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is an extremely good and easy place to ask customers to leave an online review. One survey had 90% of respondents indicating that online reviews influenced their buying decisions. You can help by sharing a link through which your social audience can leave reviews and ensure that you respond.
Use Customer Support Forums
If your business runs a customer support forum, consider it as a place where you can ask customers to leave some reviews. Because customers with questions congregate there, it has wide coverage and thus a potential ground to get more reviews.
Customers and visitors are more likely to leave a review when there are incentives. So, consider giving customers that final push into writing a review by offering them some form of reward. Test out several reward systems to gauge customer responses.
Walk the Walk
A simple “thank you for your feedback” will not do your business any good. In the long run, the best way of receiving great reviews is to embrace all the suggestions and criticisms, and taking action. When reviewers see real evidence that your business really cares, the more they will be willing to share.
While reviews are great for your business, remember that the real power lies in the reviewer. If your business is to benefit from reviews, you have to go the extra mile and put in some work. As you work on your strategies to reach the reviewer, remember that 88% of buyers trust reviews just as they do with personal recommendations.