Customer reviews is a great way to lend credibility to your site and your brand. This marketing technique works so well because potential customers don’t trust what brands say about themselves, but rather look for other people’s opinions when it comes to making a purchasing decision. When a customer doesn’t have word-of-mouth available, they start looking up on Google for opinions on the product or service they are interested in.
What if clients/customers don’t leave reviews on their own initiative? Well, businesses have multiple tactics to choose from to encourage customers to express their opinion:
Setting up profiles on customer review sites
First of all, your customers need a place where they can leave reviews, such as Yelp, Google Local, or Yahoo Local. Make it easy for them to leave a review by setting up direct links for your profile on Yelp or a similar directory in emails, company profiles, newsletters, and websites.
Ask your customers
You should always ask your customers about their opinion. Almost any person who is a client of your business has an opinion, but just a few people decide to express it. Make it about them – saying that you care about their feedback and want to learn if there is anything your business can improve on.
Ask them again
Remind your customers of the importance of reviews – tell them in person for a second time or when they access your website, or send them a friendly reminder in an email. Sometimes you need to insist to determine people to take action.
Offer an incentive
If the previous steps didn’t work, consider offering something in exchange for leaving a review, such as 5% discount on their next order, or a small gift.
Ask friends and employees to review your business
The beginning is the most difficult part, and you can break the ice by having some reviews written by employees and friends. Ask them to write a few lines and not necessarily give you a 5-star review. No one will trust a profile with 5-star reviews only but no actual comments from customers. Be honest and ask people to write only true things about your products and services.
Be worthy of those positive customer reviews
The most effective way of getting positive customer reviews is to deserve them. You need to provide quality products and services and excellent customer service to your clients. Otherwise, you can’t expect people to spend those five minutes of their time writing a few words about your business.
Contact top reviewers
Some major websites list their top reviewers publicly and you can browse these lists to find relevant reviewers and ask them to cover your product. This method allows you to get quality customer reviews that really have an impact on your brand’s success.
Take it seriously
Allowing customers to leave reviews online is a tricky thing. Not having any reviews looks suspicious, and having negative reviews turns customers away. Before implementing this online marketing strategy, make sure people really have nice things to say about your business and that there are no major issues with the products or services you provide. Otherwise, you will be opening a true Pandora’s Box.
The key to success for customer reviews is to focus on those people who want to review your product and/or just need a small incentive. It’s not simple, but with a little bit of commitment and perseverance, you’ll get those reviews rolling in which will in the end greatly benefit your business.