Every successful marketer who’s ever lived knows that word-of-mouth advertising trumps all when it comes to generating new business. When your prospective customers or clients hear the opinions of others that have already done business with you, it creates a perception and influences decision making in a way regular advertising never could.
In today’s digital world, customer reviews are the new word of mouth. People look for them, they learn from them, people base their buying decisions on them. Positive reviews about a company’s products or services can spread quickly. They can lead to explosive sales, while negative reviews can stifle sales and cause a business to take a step back.
There are specific tactics that you can use to ensure customers are satisfied and willing to leave a positive review for others to see.
Why People Look at Online Reviews
Typically, there are four reasons that a person would look for an online review:
- To get social proof from customers that have used the product or service.
- To learn more about the product or service they are buying.
- To reduce the possibility of making a bad purchase.
- To get a better sense of the product.
Naturally, the goal for any business is to get positive reviews and use them to boost sales and grow their brand online. Here are a few tactics you can use to get great customer reviews:
1. Ask for Reviews Across a Range of Platforms
The first step in getting great online reviews is to make it as easy as possible for people to leave them. The more effort it takes, the less likely someone is to dedicate the time to leave the review you want.
Some of the most effective Review Platforms are:
- Google – using the Google My Business feature
- LinkedIn Recommendations
- Facebook Business Page
- Yelp – claim or add your business to start getting reviews
- Yellowpages – akin to Yelp, this is the digital counterpart of the iconic listings book
- Better Business Bureau – claim your business if it’s located in the US, Canada or Mexico
There are also many different niche review sites depending on the industry you are in. This can be effective for eliciting great customer reviews.
2. Make the Most of Your Website
Your own website is a great tool for getting great customer reviews. Your web pages and blog posts should be optimized to allow visitors to leave their comments quickly and easily. You should also provide a clear path to all of your social media channels. Lastly, be sure your website is optimized for mobile.
3. Work on Your Timing
Asking for reviews at the right time will help you get more out of the process and improve your customer service at the same time. Whether it’s on your own website or in an email, timing is always important. The last thing you want is to bother someone at the wrong moment and end up with a negative review that others will see.
Some great times to ask for a review include after a client has positively interacted with your brand. After they re-order a product, if they tag your company or product on social media, if they spend a certain amount of time browsing your website or if they refer new customers to you. The idea is to approach them when they are feeling satisfied or fulfilled so that they will pass that feeling along in the review.
There truly is no perfect formula for getting great customer reviews. However, if you follow the tactics listed above, you’ll be more successfu. If you want to prioritize reviews, make sure you task certain team members with the job and allow them to devote enough time to make it feasible. Once the strategy is in place, execute it and keep moving forward.