Whether your business is new to collecting online reviews, or has been doing it for a while and you’re in need of some fresh ideas, we hope this blog helps you plan and/or revitalise your campaign!
Set clear goals. If you have a very clear goal (what you’re wanting your online review campaign to achieve) you are far, far more likely to invest the time into ensuring it achieves that goal. For many of our clients it’s about attracting new customers whilst for others it’s about retaining existing clients. For some businesses, it’s about attracting the right staff to come and work for them (if their customers are raving about them, they must be a good place to work, right?). So, step one is all about setting your online review campaign goals.
What do you want to know from your customers? Once you know what you want to achieve from your campaign, you’ll be able to work out what you want to know from your customers when you ask them to leave you a review. This step is all about gathering the right content from your existing customers, and thereby making your online review campaign as effective as possible.
How do you get your customers to leave you a review? If your customer is genuinely happy with their purchase or experience of working with/buying from you, then our experience says they’ll be more than happy to share their thoughts with others by writing you an online review. Asking them for a review at the point of completing their purchase is by far the best time to ask for feedback, rather than following up with them days, or even weeks or months later, when the experience may have dulled. However, if for whatever reason you can’t ask them at the point of purchase, do still ask and ensure that you make it easy and convenient for them to respond positively. For example you could;
- Ask them to scan a QR code that takes them directly to where you want them to leave their online review
- Invite them to take part in a survey. Instead of asking for an online review, you could ask customers to take part in a quick and easy-to-complete survey. The feedback they give will be useful and could be used in a review too!
- Promote them when they’ve left an online review for you. If you have an email newsletter, blog or social media channels you could feature one of your online reviews thereby promoting them (note: this is a particularly useful strategy if you’re running a B2B online review campaign!)
- Promote your online review campaign via an eye-catching call to action or a pop-up on your website – anything that grabs attention and puts your online review campaign front and centre so your customers leave those all-important reviews
- Personally ask them. Whether it’s at the point of purchase or days/weeks later a personal request, either by phone or email, works incredibly well. If you ask via email, please, please, please send out requests individually and don’t BCC (blind carbon copy) lots of customers into one email. Remember, the key to this is the personal touch so pick up the ‘phone or drop each customer a personal email. Let them know what it’ll mean a lot to you and your business and share the link to where they need to leave the review. For more information on asking for online reviews, you can read our blogs, ‘When’s the Best Time for a Review?’ and ‘Which Tone is best to Use When Asking Customers to Leave a Review for You?’
- Remember to make it as easy as possible for your customers, whether that’s by providing links or QR codes or even inviting them to send you a video online review – rather than a typed review. Some people really don’t feel comfortable writing but are happy to talk to a camera on their mobile and post a video review for you; and the rise in importance of video online just cannot be underestimated. You can read more about video online reviews here ‘The Making of our First Video Review: Bradleys Estate Agent
Assign one person to running your online review campaign. In our experience, clear roles and responsibilities lead to one thing – action! With one person responsible for asking and responding (of equal importance that last bit!) to your online reviews, you’ll find that action is taken and sustained which, in turn, means that your online review campaign will quickly gain traction and you’ll begin to see positive results unfold. You can help your designated campaign manager by setting a goal for the number of customers to approach per week with regard to leaving you an online review. Of equal importance is to recognise the good work they’re doing and show them the difference it’s making to your business. Keep them engaged and they’ll keep your customers engaged with your business. A HUGE win-win for everyone involved!