Customer reviews are a crucial part of being able to grow and expand a business as well as establish a name for yourself. 54% of consumers claim that they read at least four reviews before deciding to purchase a product. Nearly half of internet users post reviews at least once a month, and most people who do post expect the business to respond to negative reviews within a week. These statistics show how critical reviews are and how they can positively and negatively affect the success of a business.
Reviews are important because not only are they referenced, but they provide a better understanding of your customers, give credibility to your business, allow a voice for your customers, have the potential to strengthen your rankings, and are, essentially, a source of free marketing. All of these contribute to the make or break of a business, which is why a plentiful number of reviews can only help your future.
1. Provide Something Positive to Receive Positive Comments
First and foremost, the work must be there. Customers will gravitate to a good product and good work. Reviews are meant to improve whatever you’re selling, so take the criticism and do exactly that. It goes without saying that customers will flock to spaces where others have already presented their stamp of approval. Although it may seem like common sense, you can generate more reviews by simply having a great product to share.
Another strategy is dropping hints to people who are interested that they’re welcome to leave a review. Upon advertising your product, slipping in a comment about ways in which people are most likely to hear about your business or just how many referrals you receive can only help your chances of generating even more reviews. Advertising your social media pages and how open you are to feedback can remind customers that they have the option to leave feedback if they desire. This subtle nudge has the potential of creating a ripple effect amongst customers.
People like to talk about things they like, so the best way to make this happen is to create a product or improve your service so that more people want to talk about it!
2. Help Yourself
Review sites like Yelp and Foursquare can be your best friends if you take the right steps. Because these are so popularly used, your business will inevitably end up on their websites. In order to control the narrative, it’s recommended that you be responsible for setting up an account for your product. You already know the most about what you’re selling, so including honest, informative details on what you supply and its benefits can save you from the disaster of misinformation on your behalf.
Inaccuracies surrounding your product may lead to ignorant reviews that you may have difficulty refuting due to the nature of review sites. By setting up accounts on review sites, you’re helping your future self in creating the environment that customers will see upon trying to learn more about your product or service. You can even introduce a product review template to fully utilize your power to lead your customers down the right path, making them more likely to leave comments.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up On Customer Reviews
It can be intimidating to ask for someone’s raw, honest opinion of the thing you’re passionate about, but it’s necessary if you’re wanting to build up your business. After working with someone, it’s important to hear his or her feedback to not only learn about what you can improve, but that customer’s opinions are probably shared amongst the masses. Once there is a consensus on something, feedback will most likely all look the same, so it’s better to know the response to your product sooner rather than later.
Asking someone to write a review, though, can be a risky endeavor. You must be precise in who you ask because an unfortunate experience working with someone can easily translate to a bad review. In the beginning, the best strategy would be asking ideal customers, who you know will write a positive comment, to post their honest opinions of your product. As more and more people are exposed to what you’re selling, you may reach the point where you’d want to know the opinions of not-ideal customers, because feedback is feedback and it’s better to know all the critiques to better yourself and your business.
4. Figure Out the Best Time to Ask
To generate the most honest and positive comments, there’s a certain timeframe you should follow. Everybody lives a convoluted life with their days naturally being filled with interaction with different businesses and services. If a customer uses your product in the morning, he or she may very well forget about the details of the experience by the time evening rolls around. Because of this, you should know exactly how to ask for a review.
Depending on what you are selling, customers may be more inclined to leave a review the second after they purchase your product. On the other side of things, your product may require long-term usage or a significant length of time to pass before customers can provide their most pertinent opinions. Your job is to find the sweet spot that works best for you. Asking a customer to leave a review of the job provided by your insurance company right after he or she purchased your insurance is unproductive. Asking at the right time is just as important as the review itself.
5. Ask Away
You may be unsure about requesting reviews from a customer. It’s a thin line you’ll have to walk because you never know exactly how someone will react to a request like that. The customer may respond with unwarranted anger or simply lie to avoid a conversation. No matter how you do it, the most important thing is that you ask or else a review will most likely not be written.
This can be done through email, with a phone call, or even face-to-face. Whatever makes the most sense for your business and your customers is how you should approach asking for reviews. Most people find that asking when they know their customer has arrived at home generates a significant number of reviews for them. The process involves finesse and understanding the dynamics of what you supply. Otherwise, you may be left with frustrated customers, a lack of feedback, and a dismal future.
6. Specifics Never Hurt
At the end of the day, people spend their money on products or services to fulfill their wants and needs. It has less to do with the business and more to do with what they’re searching for in that present moment in time. Understanding this fact can help you in generating reviews. Simply asking a customer to write about your product or service can seem unappealing to someone who came for his or her own selfish reason. It may be an inconvenience to the customer. This is why it is important to be specific in what you’re asking for, allowing the customer to understand just how easy doing what you are asking would be.
Instead of asking for them to leave a review, you can ask them to search your business name next time they’re on Facebook and leave a recount of their experience, assuring them that it’ll take no more than two minutes. Another strategy you can use is sending them a review page directly after collecting their information. People are more likely to be incentivized to leave a response if they only have to click on a link to get there.
7. How to Ask for a Review? Make Them Feel Heard!
Whether customers have claimed that your business changed their life for better or worse, it is your job to make them feel heard and that their review translated. Responding too late or ignoring the few comments you have will not lead to more reviews because customers will feel neglected. If someone leaves a review, it’s a direct path to who exactly they want to hear it. If customers are not heard, then there is essentially no point in leaving testimonials or reviews. This has the potential to implode a business.
Addressing negative reviews as soon as possible creates an impression of attentiveness and care. Nothing shows that you are more grateful for your customers than listening to their complaints and attempting to fix the problem as a result. Although it has the potential to bring more traffic to the negative comment, appearing to hold yourself accountable shows your customers what kind of standard you hold for your business. People are more likely to trust and believe you as a result.
8. Show Appreciation
When a customer leaves a glowing review, praising your business and everything to do with it, it’s imperative that you shine a light on it. Thanking your customers for appreciating your product or service is the equivalent of leaving them with a smile before their departure. It makes them remember your business as a positive, beneficial experience where they felt personally connected to the business itself. Thanking someone for their business strengthens relationships and reinforces the positive characteristics attached to it. It’s a win-win!
Some people even take it as far as personally contacting those who leave glowing reviews. Building and nurturing relationships with customers results in creating a clientele that will not hesitate to praise you and your business. This is a great aspect of referral culture; one raving review can bring about thousands if it’s the right person, and it’s important to treat every customer as if he or she is the right person. Your business is more likely to grow on the review-front, which leads to more customers and even more fantastic feedback.
9. Review Yourself
Although reviews are oftentimes seen as genuine and organic, it is the business owner’s job to be as methodical as possible when it comes to this side of the business. Although it is easier said than done, you should be able to take every review into account and organize how to generate more. Referring to a mapped-out plan to grow customer reviews, responding effectively and with intention, and staying on top of your product or service is necessary to generate more traction with your customers. Some rely on Excel sheets to do all of this and more.
By creating an effective routine, you will be able to reach an optimal rhythm that works for your business. You can’t rely on every customer leaving a review, so running the numbers of the likelihood and trends of who will can exponentially benefit your customer review pages. Instead of chasing after each customer and hoping for a response, you can apply what you have learned from other businesses and from your own history to adequately strategize your growth.
10. Be Persistent
There will be ups and downs in the process of growing your business, but it’s important to remain consistent in your business model. You will most likely be told no on more occasions than one. It may take time to reach the point in your business that you are content in, and the reviews you receive may not be what you’re hoping for. These setbacks are typical, but persistence is key to accomplishing your end goal.
Having a long-term strategy when it comes to keeping your customers happy all while drawing new ones in helps in the rise of your business. Without a solid plan, it is easy to overlook certain trends that may be affecting your rate of success. Networking is crucial to this; it allows your customers to recognize you as a familiar, trustworthy face, which can only help you in the long run. Building and maintaining customer relationships allows for easier growth and understanding of who exactly you’re selling to.
No matter how many nos you receive, there will always be a yes that has the potential to skyrocket your future. Being persistent means staying consistent and dedicated to the small steps needed to find progress and achievement at the end of the road.