Positive customer reviews are vital to the success of your business’s performance. They help to build trust in your products and services and encourage others to use them. Here are some of the ways in which you can encourage more positive feedback online:
- Create multiple opportunities to leave a review
- Offer incentives (don’t do this for Google reviews as it is against Google guidelines)
- Ensure all content is optimised
- Always respond
- Have previous positive reviews on show
According to research undertaken by US marketing specialists Merkle, 84% of millennial women alone cite positive customer reviews as a strong influence on their purchasing decisions.
This goes to show the sheer power of online reviews and their impact on a company’s success. They are also a great way to showcase a high standard of customer service.
If – like many other business owners – you are keen to encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews for your company, there are a number of approaches you can use. In this article, we’ll explain a few of these and reveal how they can help you
1. Create multiple opportunities to leave a review
Don’t just ask for reviews via your own website. Seize the opportunity to have online reviews for your business displayed on a wide variety of popular platforms, including Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Amazon, Trustpilot and any other relevant review sites.
Facebook also has a heavily-used review feature that you should definitely consider.
If you harness all of these platforms, you’ll create a greater number of opportunities for write-ups to appear in the search engine results, guiding potential customers to your company’s profile and building a sense of trust.
Furthermore, the more reviews of your products or services a user sees, the more likely it is that they will be influenced to leave their own. If you’re present on their favourite platform, they’ll review you there.
If pages or profiles already exist for your business on Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook or anywhere else, be sure to claim them so that you can monitor them more closely.
2. Offer incentives
A customer is more likely to write a review if there’s something in it for them. Many companies use incentives such as a competition, prize draw or giveaway to tempt users into giving them a write-up.
Discount codes and gift cards can also be offered in return for reviews.
Not only is this a great way to make reviewing you worth their time, but customers will feel more compelled to write positive feedback if they’re getting something in return.
3. Ensure all content is optimised
It’s a great idea to ensure all visitors to your site can easily leave reviews – whether they choose to do so directly or on a third-party platform.
In order to make this as straightforward as possible, you can:
- Make your site accessible via all devices, so customers can easily read up on you or leave reviews on their mobile or tablet while out and about
- Include a widget to collate positive reviews from all platforms across the internet
- Prominently display badges that link to the review sites on which you feature
Additionally, you should keep requests for reviews (for example, in automated emails confirming a booking or purchase) as polite, simple and straightforward as possible, and always include direct links to relevant review platforms.
4. Always respond
One surefire way of improving your reputation in terms of customer service is to make sure your business always responds to reviews.
Not only must you get back to customers leaving bad reviews in a polite, timely and effective manner, but you should also take time to offer thanks for the good ones.
This will show all reviewers that you care what they think and that you are grateful for their feedback. If you take this approach, you’re likely to build considerable customer loyalty and more great reviews may follow.
Remember, when responding to a negative review, it’s best to do so as soon as possible – ideally within two days. Acknowledge the problem and apologise for the reviewer’s experience.
Look at CCTV, receipts and all other records of the incidents leading to the write-up, make sure you understand what happened and why and then consider what you can do to compensate the reviewer.
Once you feel that the issue has been handled as effectively as possible, you could ask the customer to take down the review or to revise it.
Often, the way that a company handles problems is just as impressive to customers as its outright successes.
5. Have previous positive reviews on show
As mentioned under point 3, you should make the most of your positive reviews by using a widget or badge to show them on your website. Your Facebook, Trustpilot, Tripadvisor and Google reviews – along with many more – can easily be displayed on your homepage.
If you have a Google My Business account, you can choose to include your Google reviews on your profile and show them – along with star ratings – in the rich snippets below the name of your business in the results.
You should also consider selecting stand-out feedback and sharing it on social media, thanking the writer.
Not only does this come across as polite and friendly – and may attract other users to write reviews – but it also ensures that your existing feedback is spread even further across the web.
To conclude, the best ways to prompt great feedback from customers include having a presence on multiple review platforms, offering incentives, optimising your site, responding to existing reviews and displaying your feedback widely.
In order to take the first steps towards promoting positive customer reviews, you should sign up for Google My Business and start claiming all of the profiles that already exist for your company on review platforms. You can then start to collect feedback on each!