8 Things You Can Do Now To Generate Customer Reviews

Businessman hand giving five star rating, Feedback concept, VECTOR, EPS10

Did you know that online reviews can be one of your best sales tools? Let that soak in for a minute. In fact, a business having five reviews results in purchase likelihood increasing by a factor of almost four times (Spiegel Research Center). And 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review (G2 Crowd).

But why are online reviews so important?

Consumers trust reviews; it’s as simple as that. It makes sense that a shopper would consider peer reviews more trustworthy than what businesses write about themselves.

It’s part of the phenomenon called Social Proof: people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. In other words, consumers look to other users for ‘proof’; not the company selling the product.

According to SEO guru Neil Patel, “The best way to generate social proof is by getting your customers to review your products”

And yet, most businesses have a really hard time getting their satisfied customers to post reviews. So what can you do? Here are 8 things that you can start doing right now to increase your Social Proof through online user reviews:

1: Ask  It’s amazing how many businesses don’t even ask their customers to leave a review… and then complain about how hard it is to get reviews.

Most people aren’t going to review your product without motivation UNLESS they’ve had a bad experience.  You need to ask your happy customers to review your products or services.

  • Email customers while the purchase is fresh on their mind.
  • Ask customers to write a review after you have resolved an issue for them
  • Call your best clients or repeat customers.

2: Give them options.  Don’t limit your customers to reviews on your website. Figure out which platforms your customers use already and encourage them to leave a review there.   The process will be more familiar to them and will increase the chance they make the effort.

Also consider what review sites are popular with your industry (Angie’sList, Yelp, Travel Adviser, WebMD, etc) and make it easy for customers to leave reviews there.

3: Reward customers for their review.  Your customers time is valuable, so show your appreciation by offering a small incentive to encourage them to write a review. Remember you aren’t buying positive reviews; you are thanking your customers for their time in writing an honest review. Zappos thanks their customers with loyalty program point for those who write a review.

You could:

  • Offer a discount
  • Send a free gift
  • Offer a bonus or upgrade on a future purchase
  • Give a gift card for a coffee

4: Help them write it (kind of).  Happy customers may hesitate because they don’t know what to say. Make it easier by giving them ideas about what to say.

For example, you may say “Thank you for writing a review about your experience with our services. Feel free to share details about why you selected our service, which service options you purchased, and if you would recommend our services to your friends.”

Bonus tip: Use a negative review to create a customer service refresher for your employees so you are always improving your service.

5: Connect with those who leave negative reviews.  Let’s face it. Everyone misses the mark occasionally. And we all know that unhappy customers are most likely to leave review! Those negative reviews are not going to go away, so swallow your pride and respond them directly to find out how you could have done better and what you can do to make it right.

This may come as a surprise, but negative reviews can actually benefit you when they are handled with grace.  Did you know that * 7 out of 10 consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to a review (Bazaarvoicevia Marketing Charts)

6: Say Thank You.  Thank customers who review your products. (You can never thank your customers enough!)

  • Send a personal and heartfelt email when someone leaves a review on your site (no canned responses please!)
  • Respond directly to reviews on social media and review sites. Address the reviewer personally, not with a generic “We appreciate your review.”

7: Make sure your service is review worthy.  Along the same lines, your customer service is the most important factor in your ability to increase positive reviews. No marketing company can do this for you.

  • Write your own reviews of your products or services. (Be honest and brutal . . . your customers will be!).
  • Ask your employees what negative comments they are hearing.
  • Ask your frequent buyers what you do best and what you can do better.List Content goes here

Act on this information to insure your customers will want to write a positive review for you.

8: Make it easy.  The easier it is for customers to leave a review, the more likely you are to actually get reviews

  • Include a link in your order follow-up emails
  • Add a URL or QR code to the packing slip you include in shipments.
  • Add a link in your email signature – “Have feedback? Review us on Facebook”.List Content goes here

Act on this information to insure your customers will want to write a positive review for you.

Customers are reading reviews. Make sure they find you there!

You can easily implement any number of these 8 tips and see some quick results. But don’t forget that the number one thing you can do is make your customers happy!

If you liked this, you should check out our Facebook group where we share ideas for SMB marketing and answer your questions. http://www.facebook.com/group/excellingonline/

P.S. If you love the idea but just don’t have the time . . . we can help with our affordable, no risk review package that automates the process so that you can focus on your business. Click Here to learn more.