Customer reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools available to businesses today. Potential customers are more likely to trust feedback from another customer than they are to believe marketing copy from a business itself. It’s vital, then, that businesses prioritize gathering as many reviews as possible. We’ll share 7 ways to encourage customers to write reviews for your business.
Ask for Feedback
The easiest way to get reviews is to ask for them! After a customer makes a purchase, follow up with a personalized email asking them to leave a review on your website or social media pages.
Reaching out to customers can be done through several efficient ways. One such method is sending emails. Crafting a personalized, friendly email that communicates how much you value the customer’s opinion can encourage them to leave a review. Emails also allow for direct and immediate communication, ensuring that the request for a review reaches the customer promptly.
Another equally effective approach is through social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have a broader reach and enable interaction with a larger customer base. Posting a request for reviews on your business’s social media page, or sending direct messages to customers, can be a great way to gather feedback.
In addition to these, phone calls or SMS (direct text/send messaging service) can also be used. While these methods might be more personal and direct, you should consider the customer’s comfort and privacy, ensuring that they have given consent for such communication.
Asking for reviews can be done through in-person requests. This method can be highly effective, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses where the staff has direct contact with customers.
Remember, the goal is to make the process of leaving a review as easy as possible for the customer. By using a variety of outreach methods, you can cater to different customer preferences and ensure a higher response rate.
Make it Easy
Provide your customers with direct links to review pages on your website or third-party review sites such as Yelp or Google My Business. Make it simple and straightforward for your customers to leave their thoughts. By doing so, you streamline the process for your customers to share their experiences.
For instance, in a post-purchase follow-up email, you could say, “We hope you’re enjoying your recent purchase! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to leave a review on our website [insert direct link here] or on Yelp [insert direct link here]. Your feedback helps us continue to provide top-quality service. Thank you for choosing us!”
Similarly, you could include direct links in your social media posts, newsletters, or even in your email signature. The easier it is for customers to find and navigate to your review pages, the more likely they are to leave a review.
- Automate the process: Use tools such as Reputation Fuel to automate emails or SMS to ask and remind customers to leave a review after their purchase or service experience. This eliminates the chance of forgetting and makes it a quick, effortless task for your customers.
- Place review prompts strategically: If you have an online store, consider placing a review prompt on the ‘Thank You’ page after a purchase. If your business is service-oriented, a prompt can be attached to an appointment confirmation message or send them one after a visit
- Make it mobile-friendly: Many customers use their mobile devices for online activities. Ensure your review process is mobile-friendly to increase the likelihood of receiving feedback.
- Show appreciation for reviews: ALWAYS reply to reviews, even the bad ones. Acknowledge and thank customers for their time in leaving a review. This will make them feel valued and more likely to engage in the future. This also shows potential customers that you care about every custom and take pride in your business.
Why Are Reviews So Important?
Reviews significantly influence purchasing decisions, serving as a form of digital word-of-mouth that can either build or tarnish a business’s reputation. They provide potential customers with a snapshot of others’ experiences, offering essential insights into the product or service’s quality, functionality, and value.
The power of reviews cannot be underestimated – they can sway undecided customers, instill trust in a brand, and significantly impact sales. Therefore, businesses that actively encourage and value customer feedback not only boost their credibility but also contribute to a more transparent and customer-centric marketplace.
But why is it crucial for businesses to educate their customers on the importance of leaving reviews? Firstly, by educating consumers about the significance of reviews, businesses are essentially empowering them to make informed purchasing decisions.
With an understanding of how valuable their feedback can be, customers are more likely to take the time to leave a review after trying out a product or service. This not only helps the business by providing valuable feedback but also assists other shoppers in making better decisions.
Sending Survey Request at the Right Time
When sending out a survey for a review of your business or product purchase, make sure that you send out the request at the right time. Promptly or Timely? Depending on why you’re sending them a survey has much to do with the “when should I send out the request” aspect.
For instance, did they just have dinner at your venue? Or did they purchase a vitamin or skin care product? Sending a request right after dinner or a haircut is appropriate, or the next day is good timing as they are still remembering the experience.
If they are buying a health product or an item that has to be assembled like a book shelf, then sending a request within a week allows the consumer to has adequate time to see how the product is working out for them.
Another example would be for a service type of business. A great time to send a review request could be when they renew their yearly service, or if you’ve completed a recent project, then including a survey along with the final email invoice would be good timing.
If managing the process for sending and receiving reviews sounds overwhelming, then hire a survey company to manage the process for you. This way you’ll know that you’re constantly reaching out and getting reviews and you’ll have more time for sending thank you emails or sharing on social media some of your reviews.
Respond to Reviews
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, promotes engagement and demonstrates that you care about your customers’ experiences and opinions. It also encourages others to leave reviews knowing that their feedback will be acknowledged and acted on.
Addressing negative reviews presents an opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into a contented one. By engaging with these customers, businesses can demonstrate that they genuinely care about their customers’ experiences and are willing to make amends when things go wrong. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, enhanced loyalty, and, in some cases, the potential conversion of a negative review into a positive one. Additionally, it provides businesses with the chance to take constructive criticism on board and make necessary improvements, which ultimately contributes to their growth and success.
On the other hand, responding to positive reviews can also bring significant benefits. It allows businesses to thank customers for their support and praise, which strengthens the relationship between the business and its customers. This expression of gratitude can also encourage customers to continue supporting the business and become repeat customers. Moreover, responding to positive reviews publicly showcases a business’s commitment to providing excellent customer service,
Ignoring customer reviews, be they positive or negative, can have several undesirable consequences. When businesses choose not to respond to negative reviews, it can lead to a perception of poor customer service, causing existing and potential customers to question the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. This can ultimately lead to a loss in business and tarnish the company’s reputation. Similarly, neglecting positive reviews can also have negative effects.
By not acknowledging and appreciating customers’ positive feedback, businesses could inadvertently give the impression that they take their customers for granted. This can result in decreased customer loyalty and potential missed opportunities for fostering repeat business. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to respond to all reviews promptly and professionally.
Here are a few examples of effective responses to customer reviews:
Positive Review Response:
Dear [Customer’s Name],
Thank you for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review! We are thrilled to hear that you had a great experience with our [product/service]. Your support and feedback are greatly appreciated. We look forward to serving you again soon.
Best Regards, [Your Name]
Negative Review Response:
Hello [Customer’s Name],
Thank you for sharing your feedback. We’re really sorry to hear about your experience. This is not the level of service we strive to provide. We would like to understand more about the situation and see how we can make things right. Your experience is truly important to us. Please get in touch with us at our customer service line/email at your earliest convenience. We value your business and are committed to ensuring your satisfaction.
Best, [Your Name]
Remember, while these responses are a good starting point, it’s always best to personalize your replies to each unique review. Tailoring your response shows that your business genuinely cares about each customer’s individual experience.
Personalized responses to customer reviews have a multitude of benefits, and they contribute significantly towards building a positive brand image. Such tailored responses demonstrate that a company values its customers as individuals and not just as sales numbers. This helps foster a sense of trust and loyalty amongst customers, enhancing their overall experience and encouraging repeat business.
Additionally, personalized responses can turn potentially negative situations around. For example, a unique and thoughtful response to a negative review can make the customer feel heard and valued, increasing the chances of resolving their issues and potentially converting a negative experience into a positive one.
On a broader scale, these personalized interactions can also shape public perception of a company, demonstrating to potential customers that the business cares about its clientele and their satisfaction.
Showcase Positive Reviews
Use positive reviews in your marketing materials, on your website, and on your social media pages. Make sure your customers know that their feedback will be shared publicly and used to help others who are considering doing business with you.
There are several platforms businesses can utilize to display their positive customer reviews. Websites are a primary location; these reviews can be featured prominently on the homepage or a dedicated testimonial page. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, offer another avenue for showcasing these reviews, either as regular posts or highlighted stories.
In physical business locations, positive reviews can be displayed on screens in waiting areas or framed on walls to catch the eye of visitors. Postcard mailers or print ads can also feature customer testimonials, adding a personal touch to traditional advertising methods. Lastly, email marketing campaigns can include customer reviews to reinforce the value of the product or service to subscribers.
Innovative approaches can further elevate the effectiveness of showcasing customer reviews in marketing efforts. Interactive review displays on websites or social media platforms add a dynamic element that captures audience attention. Customer testimonial videos offer an engaging medium to share positive experiences. They can be shared on YouTube, embedded on your website, or featured in a social media post.
Infographics that visually represent customer satisfaction scores or positive feedback can be a powerful, digestible way to showcase reviews. Review-based contests can also be a fun way to encourage more reviews; customers can be asked to share their experiences for a chance to win a prize.
Incorporating review highlights or customer stories into branded merchandise can be a novel way of showcasing positive endorsements, turning simple items like tote bags or coffee mugs into walking advertisements for your brand.
Capitalizing on positive customer reviews in marketing strategies can offer a multitude of benefits to a business. Firstly, they help build credibility as they serve as a form of social proof, reinforcing the quality and reliability of your products or services. Secondly, they boost customer trust, as consumers are more likely to believe the words of their peers over a company’s own claims.
Thirdly, they enhance SEO rankings as they provide fresh, unique user-generated content, aiding in improving a business’s visibility online. Lastly, customer reviews can influence purchasing decisions – a product or service with rave reviews can sway potential customers who were on the fence about making a purchase.
Offer Free Publicity
Highlight businesses that use your product or service by giving them free publicity while also showcasing your product or service. Differentiate your business by highlighting your customer’s business.
For instance, let’s say you’re a graphic designer or website builder and a trendy restaurant uses your company for their website design or their printed menus. Highlight them on social media by showing what makes their business so unique and what they offer to their customers, and how using “your” services has been a part of their success, it becomes a win, win situation.
There are several innovative ways to showcase businesses that utilize your service or products.
One approach is to conduct case studies, where you document the process and results of your service or product in their business operations. This not only provides a tangible proof of effectiveness, but also sheds light on your customer’s business.
Another strategy involves social media features or shout-outs. With the customer’s permission, post about their success story on your platforms, tagging their business accounts for increased visibility. This can lead to mutually beneficial social media engagement, fostering a sense of community around your brand.
Webinars or podcasts can also be effective platforms for showcasing businesses that use your service. Invite business owners as guests to share their experiences and insights, thereby strengthening your relationships and providing valuable content for your audience.
Also, consider creating a dedicated section on your website for customer testimonials or success stories. This not only adds credibility to your offerings, but also gives your customers a platform to share their achievements.
Customer reviews can draw powerful attention to your business, encourage engagement with your customers, and ultimately generate more business. Encouraging happy customers to write reviews by asking for reviews, automation and follow-ups are just a few ways to help increase the frequency of your customer reviews.
The team at Prescriptive Marketing can help you grow your business with our expertise in digital marketing! Contact us today for more information.