7 Tips To Get More Customer Reviews

A the internet becomes more and more of a daily thing, a customers first impression of a business will not be face to face but it will be online.  That’s why it is important to make a good first impression not only with a nice website, but with a lot of reviews.  The reviews will give the potential customer an idea of what to expect from a visit to your business.  In order to help our small business friends out, we have come up with 7 things that will help you get more online reviews.

1.  Ask for it in person

This may seem like a no brainer, but unfortunately most businesses, shy away from asking customers for reviews.  The best thing to do is ask the customer on their way out if they don’t mind leaving a review for you on Facebook, Google, or Yelp.  You would be surprised how many people will do it, but they are seldom asked.

2. Have Onsite Opportunities to Leave a Review.

When asking for a review you want to make it as easy as possible.  One thing we do for our clients is to create review cards that our clients’ customers can scan with their cell phone and it brings them directly to the review link the website.  This way the customer don’t have to type in a url.  They just take a picture of the sign and they are right there ready to leave a review. See the example below.

3. Create an email campaign.

One way to encourage more online reviews for your small business is to create an email campaign. If you already have an active email list, you’re off to a great start. Your email subscribers are your biggest fans, so chances are, if you send them an email asking them to leave your business an online review, they’ll do it.

If you haven’t built an email list yet, get started by signing up with an email marketing software and adding a popup on your website to encourage people to join your list. Plus, if visitors can place an order from your website, you should already have their email addresses to add to your email list.

To get the most responses, send a triggered email campaign. This means your online review email will send automatically any time a customer places an order, like what happens in the example below from Everyday Art.

Sending an email right after consumers’ purchases, while the positive experience is still fresh in their mind, will get you the most online reviews.

4. Reply to every online review.

When asking people to review you online, you open yourself up to bad reviews, too — and that’s okay. Just remember to respond to every review, in a calm, helpful fashion and seek to turn any poor review into a positive experience. What’s important is that you shouldn’t respond just to negative reviews; you should respond to positive reviews, as well. Replying to your reviews will show other future customers that you’re active in your online communications.  

In fact, according to a study in the Harvard Business Review, replying to customer reviews results in better ratings overall. Through their studies, the researchers found that users exposed to management responses — for example,users who read your response to a negative comment from another user — left ratings 0.1 “stars” higher than those who had not.

This finding applied in the same way to responses to positive reviews. Additionally, customers who read management responses were also less likely to leave a trivial or unsubstantiated negative review.

5. Share glowing reviews.

Another way to get more online reviews is to share the glowing reviews you’ve already received. When others see that people are leaving you great reviews, they’ll be more inclined to do so themselves. In fact, according to Psychology Today, people look at what others are doing to learn what’s correct. That’s social proof in action.

Not only does this tactic work to generate more online reviews for your business, it also helps to advertise your business and get more customers through your doors.

6. Go above and beyond in customer service.

You can use all the tips and tricks in the world, but if your business is giving poor customer service, you’ll never get online reviews — or else you’ll get a ton of scathing ones. The easiest way to get more online reviews for your small business is to go above and beyond for your customers. Most people don’t leave a review for a pleasant but mundane experience, but people will be more likely to leave a great review for your business if you’ve provided them with an amazing experience.

So, try to make your customers’ day by saying “please” and “thank you,” sending a personalized thank you note in their online order, giving a small discount to apologize for a customer service issue and so on. Customers will remember your kindness and return the favor by leaving you a five-star review.

7. Create incentives.

Your time is valuable, and so is your customers’, so make sure you’re giving customers a reason to leave a review.

Offer incentives to make your customers want to write a review — such as discount or coupon codes, entrance into a contest for an even bigger prize, or gift cards for coffee, online shopping, or cold hard cash.

With these tips for getting more online reviews, your small business will stand out from the crowd online. Patrons will be lining up at your business because they’ve heard nothing but good things about you. Customers will be happy. And you’ll have just one more task for immediate future: thanking your customers for their kind words and the extra sales their favorable reviews will prompt,

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