Though the marketing industry has changed dramatically over the course of history, one thing has remained constant: a satisfied customer is the best advertisement.
Whether you’re making an Amazon purchase, trying to find a restaurant for dinner, or searching for a hotel to stay at during your vacation, you’re almost certainly going to consult a business’s reviews before making a decision. Simply put, good reviews are worth their weight in gold.
Most business owners have experienced the challenge of getting their customers to share their feedback online. These 7 solutions can help you generate more reviews:
1. Offer an Incentive
Even the most satisfied customers might need a little push to take the time to review your business after their experience. By offering a discount or reward on a future purchase when a review is posted, not only will you give them something for their time, but you’ll also be encouraging them to become repeat customers. Talk about a win-win!
If you have customers’ email information or phone numbers, a follow-up email or text message with an offer attached in exchange for a review is a great way to facilitate the process. Keep in mind that you can’t only reward those who give four or five-star reviews, but even negative feedback is valuable in the sense that it can help you improve in areas you might have been overlooking.
2. Take an Active Role in Google My Business
Local businesses rely on Google My Business to show them in a good light. If you haven’t been showing much attention to your GMB listing, take the time to learn about all the capabilities it has for promoting your business. If a customer is going to leave a review, this is likely going to be the place they’ll post it.
Take the time to respond to all reviews whether they’re positive or not. If a customer had a bad experience, you’ll have the opportunity to respond and offer to make it right.
One under-utilized function of Google My Business is the link that sends customers straight to the review section. Include it on your website, send it out in an email, or even put a QR code in your physical store that links directly to this feature. Getting more reviews is all about reducing friction, and this is one of the best ways to make the path a little bit easier for your clientele.
3. Post About It On Social Media
Generally speaking, the individuals who follow your brand on social media are also going to be the most likely to leave a review. When you ask for reviews on your social channels (don’t forget to include the Google My Business link!), you’re reaching an audience who is already online, which means you’re halfway there without doing anything extra.
Don’t go overboard with it, but there’s nothing wrong with regularly (think once or twice per month) seeking the feedback of those who have purchased a product from your business or utilized your services. It seems all too obvious, but sometimes the best way to get someone to act is simply to ask.
As a side note, a good review makes for awesome marketing material. If someone has left a glowing recommendation of your company, turn it into a social media post or advertisement to maximize its potential!
4. Implement a Review Generation System
Online reviews are, for better or worse, a big business. Because nearly all companies struggle with getting customers to post about their experience for others to see, a new industry of “review generation” software packages has come about in recent years.
These systems allow you to ask for, and respond to, customer feedback in a streamlined fashion. It’s important to do background research on these programs before signing up, but there is no shortage of options available at varying prices.
5. Ask In Person
It’s much easier to ignore an email or text message request for a review than it is to say “no” in person. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but asking your customers face-to-face if they can share their feedback is likely to yield serious results. Most customers are going to be willing to help you out if they’ve had a good experience.
You don’t need to pressure anyone or make them feel uncomfortable. Just a quick, “We would really appreciate it if you left us a review on Google,” should be sufficient.
6. Lower the Bar
Some people just aren’t the type to share their experience online. With that being said, nearly everyone is willing to check a box anonymously.
Instead of asking for a written review, provide your customers with a 1-5 rating system to help simplify the feedback process. It might not be as beneficial as a description detailing how great your business is, but a star-review is better than nothing at all. It’s been proven that the more ratings a business has on Google, the higher it scores in “reliability” in the minds of potential customers.
7. Strategic Timing
The best time to ask for a review might not be immediately after a customer makes a purchase. For example, if you buy a new couch, you might not be able to speak to its durability and overall quality within a few days of having it in your living room. On the other hand, if you’re running a restaurant, you probably don’t want to wait a week after a customer dines before asking for their feedback.
If you thoughtfully time your review request, you’ll have a much better chance of accomplishing your goal. Ask yourself, “If I were a customer at my business when would be the best time to be asked for my feedback?”
There’s no single “best” way to generate more online reviews. Rather the answer lies in finding the right combination of strategies that works with your unique audience. If something isn’t working, make adjustments until you find something that resonates with your customer base.
For more information on how to get reviews for your business or putting together a successful digital marketing strategy, get in touch with us today.