Did you know that 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? Bottom line: positive reviews are a huge success factor for your business. Many of us spin around in circles trying to dream up how to attain that sought-after five-star review, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. It just takes a little gumption and persistence.
Identify the platform(s).
Think about where you want to be reviewed: Yelp, Google Business, Facebook… You may even want to consider Amazon or the Better Business Bureau depending on your line of work. To get started, you need to make sure to claim your listing; otherwise, there won’t be a good place to build up those reviews (and business)! When customers have a variety of places to leave reviews, your odds of getting more feedback go up. It’s also a good idea to save all the links in a handy spot where you can easily access to share.
Make it easy.
There are a few ways you can make it super easy for people to leave a review. Including links on your website is a no-brainer. If you’re sending an email, provide clickable links (more on that later, though). You also don’t want to overwhelm your client. Try staggering your methods of communication by using text messages and email reminders. Try having an evergreen presence by displaying a sign at the check-out counter of your store, putting prompts on appointment cards and sprinkling in social media posts that gently remind people to leave reviews. You can tailor your strategy to whatever best fits your business!
Refine your email strategy.
While you shouldn’t incentivize positive reviews (you may get fined), you should definitely be following up with customers after engagement. (By the way, you can absolutely still incentivize reviews–just be careful about your wording!) Neil Patel recommends soliciting a review three to five days after engaging with a customer. HubSpot calls out BioClarity for doing an excellent job in a follow-up email. The key is to begin with an open-ended question. In this example, BioClarity started their email by asking, “How is your skin liking our nourishing Essentials Routine?” Then they followed up with a call for a review, highlighting how valuable the process and the customer is: “Let us know how we’re doing! Your feedback is super important to us.” They ended with a call-to-action graphic that featured five stars and simply read, “Write a review!” If your company deals with e-receipts, you should always include links for reviews on those emails. You should also consider including links in your email signature for super-easy access.
Always respond to reviews.
Even if they’re negative, you should always respond to reviews. Harvard Business Review found that businesses responding to negative reviews online actually resulted in better ratings overall. Neil Patel shares this great acronym for dealing with negative reviews:
Don’t be afraid to boast.
It’s okay to toot your own horn! When people leave positive reviews, share them! Whether it’s a graphic shared on your social or simply a retweet, share the love. After all, in 2018, BrightLocal found that consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
Just ask already.
BrightLocal reported last year that of the 74% of customers who were asked to provide feedback, 68% were willing to do it. Asking IRL would be especially effective, along with a follow-up email that provides links to make it even easier to leave a review. If you’ve been tagged in a post on social media or if you receive referral business, take those opportunities. Always be on the lookout! Depending on your business, you could also leave your clients a positive review. When they thank you, politely ask them to consider asking for one in return.
By the way, if you’ve ever worked with us at TRIO, we’d love for you to leave US a review! (See what we did there?) We’re on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn and we’d love to hear your feedback! If you’d like to work with us, give us a call at (843) 216-0442 or send our COO an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.