8 Tips to Help Your Business Get More (Good) Reviews
These days there are a lot of factors that go into a customer’s decision to purchase from you or not. Overwhelmingly though, research shows that recommendations from friends and family are typically the top factor. And in the absence of personal recommendations, customers turn to the internet to do research and read (unbiased) reviews from other customers.
When this happens, the internet - and your past and present customers - do the selling for you, and this can have a massive impact on whether a potential customer becomes and actual customer or not. Reviews make your business more trustworthy - it’s called social proof - because of course a business owner will say great things about their business and product, so what customers really want to see is what OTHER people have to say about you.
So - how can you get more (good) reviews for your small business? Here are our top eight tips to help you develop a strategy around this.
#1. Create Different Review Spaces
Your main review sites are typically Google My Business and Facebook, but make sure you also look at any other relevant spaces where your customers might be doing their research. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce retailer, maybe Amazon or Ebay. If your in the travel industry, maybe TripAdvisor. Look at the generic channels, as well as niche, industry-specific sites and set up a space there that allows your customers to leave you a review. This will also mean that potential new customers can learn more about you no matter where they’re conducting their online research.
#2. Make It Easy
To leave you a review that is. Optimise your website so that it is easy for customers to leave their feedback. Add your social and review site links into your email signature, add badges to your website to send customers to the direct review links, and incorporate review requests into your customer journey - whether that is a direct email post-service, or an automated email after an online sale. The easier it is for a customer to leave you a review, the more likely they are to do it.
No seriously… want to leave us a review? Click on the images above for our Google or Facebook pages and leave us some feedback!
#3. Just Ask
It really can be as simple as just asking your customers - whether that is in person after they purchase from you, or as part of an automated email sequence. You could go the more indirect route and leave gentle reminders in front of customers - maybe signage in your shop window, or table signs in your restaurant. You can add a message to the bottom of your receipts, or add a request to your business cards. Or you could be more direct and phone customers (especially if you provide a one-on-one service), or add a review request to your sale emails.
#4. Think About Timing
Whenever you do the asking, make sure the timing is right. If you sell a product that will only be used a few months down the line, asking for a review immediately after sale won’t get you anything favourable. On the other hand, if you ask too late after delivering your product or service, the customer may have forgotten all about it and be less likely to review it for you.
So - let’s be upfront, it is NEVER a good idea to pay for reviews, or get involved in a “review chain” whereby you review a business in exchange for their review (especially when you may not have bought their product or used their service, aka false reviews). That is NOT what we are saying.
But what we are saying is that your customer’s time is valuable, so they make be more likely to leave you a review if it is incentivised. For example - if you’re an eco-friendly business, you may promise to plant a tree for every review you receive. Or you could say all reviews left during the month go into to draw to win a gift card or voucher. Be creative and think about what appeals to your customers!
#6. Respond to EVERY Review
And yes, we mean the negative reviews too!
When you open your business up to reviews, it does unfortunately come with the risk that some of these may not be so hot. But, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Honestly - not everyone is going to love you and your business, you may even make a mistake from time to time that your customers then tell you about, and you may also be unfortunate enough to get trolled by a competitor.
BUT how you respond to these negative reviews says more about you and your business, than any positive review could. If you remain professional, polite and helpful; and come to a resolution with the customer, you a) could turn a negative experience into a positive one, and b) show potential new customers that you’re human, that you value feedback and that you listen. ALL positive things in our books!
So respond to positive reviews with a thank you, and respond to negative reviews with the goal of being helpful, and you’ll be a winner all-round.
#7. Share Positive Reviews
To keep momentum going, highlight and share your positive reviews through your social channels - create quotes for Instagram, and reshare positive Facebook reviews. Social proof is a wonderful marketing tactic, and positive reviews can inspire other customers to take the time and leave you a glowing review too!
#8. Go Above and Beyond
All of the above tactics can help you get more positive reviews for your small business, but at the end of the day, if you’re giving poor service or delivering poor products, you’ll get poor (or no) reviews. So the best way for you to get good reviews is to go above and beyond for your customers. People are more likely to leave a review for a business that stood out to them in terms of customer service, over one that delivered a merely “okay” experience. So think about your customer and how you can do more for them. Maybe its a personalised thank you note with their order, or a loyalty discount. Maybe its a card on their birthday, or a thank you for a referral. Customers remember kindness, and they’re likely to repay it with kindness of their own, in the form of a glowing online review.
In the digital world of business we now exist in, online reviews are going to happen whether you want them to or not. And customers take them seriously when making a purchase decision. If you don’t have a strategy in place to obtain reviews from your customers, then you have no control over the online reputation of your business. So make sure you step up, review your customer journey and see how and where you can incorporate any (or all) of the above steps) to make sure you’re driving as many positive reviews for your business as possible.
And if need help with this - give us a shout! We can help you create a strategy for your business, and even help you implement it. Just get in touch today for a free Discovery Call so we can see how we can help you!