For most small and medium-sized businesses, local reviews are going to be important for attracting new customers. Previously we’ve covered what to do when your business gets a negative review, but in this blog we will talk about how you can increase the number of customer reviews your company has online.
We know that customers regularly check reviews on local businesses and that they trust those reviews and make decisions based on them. If your company only has a handful of reviews, those customers may look for another business with more because it’s better vetted. If you have negative reviews, one of the simplest ways to remedy a low overall rating is to add more positive ratings to the total. It’s in any company’s best interest to actively court reviews from customers then.
How To Get More Customer Reviews
It may sound simple, but the most direct way to get more reviews is to ask for them. People are surprisingly willing to leave their opinion as a customer, good or bad. In one survey 77% of people said they would be willing to leave a review if asked. They are, of course, more likely to leave a bad review on their own because some people view reviews as a way to get better customer service, and others like to get back at a company if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly. That doesn’t mean they won’t recount their good experiences, though.
If your company makes asking for a review a part of the total customer service process, it’s likely you will get more – and better – reviews from your customer base. This is true especially when the customer has had a good experience or had a problem resolved successfully. Asking for a review can be done in person, over the telephone, or on social media. There are software tools that make following up with customers simple and automated either as a part of the checkout process or as a follow up to a purchase. Some customers may need an extra reminder to please leave a review when they have the time.
Make it clear where your customers can leave reviews, whether that’s on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, or another website. It’s fairly simple to add a dedicated reviews page to your company website that will make leaving a review easier than having to explain how to log into a Google account, find your company’s profile, and then type in the review. You can link to this on your social media profiles too as a further invitation. Make a point of displaying the reviews you do get on your website and in your social media.
You can showcase those good reviews in other ways too. Put them up in your business office and on your invoices and receipts. If you have a company newsletter that goes out to customers, make sure to include recent reviews there. Not everyone knows what a great review looks like. Make sure to give them examples of what you would like to see.
Offer Incentives for Customer Reviews
Some companies will give their customers something if they leave a good review. We do not advise companies to pay for reviews. That’s not a good or successful business practice. Offering to enter them in a raffle or giving a coupon or other small gift is acceptable, though. Everyone likes to get a discount. Putting in a small amount of work for one is something many people are willing to do.
People like reading good reviews. It makes them feel more confident about doing business with your company when your review profiles are glowing and full. While you can’t compel your customers to say good things about your company online, you can ask them, you can encourage them, you can highlight the good reviews you have gotten, and you can make it easier to solicit good reviews on your website. If you would like help automating review generation on your website, please give us a call. We would love to help you gather and showcase great reviews from your customers.