Getting customers to your website is one thing; getting them to make the purchase is another. One of the best tools in your marketing toolbox for closing the sale is online customer reviews. Potential customers want to know about others’ experiences with your product or service. Are the products as advertised? Was the order sent on time? Is the company easy to deal with? Do they help if there is a problem? You can advertise that you have fast shipping, but a genuine online customer review that raves about how quickly their order arrived carries much more authority. That is why customer reviews are so important for building trust in your brand and making customers feel comfortable making that purchase decision.
How to get online reviews
There are many ways to get customer reviews, so find what fits with your business. If you are a service based business, make it a point to ask for a review as soon as your project is finished. That way the project will still be fresh in the customer’s mind. Asking a specific question can sometimes make it easier for the customer to answer. For example, you could ask if the customer found it easy to work with your company, or if the service you provided has saved them time / brought in more business / reduced their workload. If you are a retailer, you can set up automated emails after a customer makes a purchase asking for a review. You can make it easier by having a review process that allows them to give a star rating for things like price, quality, selection and service. Not all customers are comfortable adding a written review, so an option to just give a star rating can be helpful.
If you find this process daunting, you can always ask us about our reputation management services or our do-it-yourself review management platform that makes getting – and managing – reviews an automatic part of your process.
Where to get online reviews
Choosing the right platform for your reviews is also important. Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business and your website are all places where you’ll want to have reviews. However, when asking for reviews, just ask the customer to leave a review in one place, rather than asking them to leave it in multiple places. Then you can add it to your website, for example. Having reviews posted in ‘public’ forums like Yelp will help with your SEO and Google Services (are you using Google My Business?).
What about bad reviews
Afraid of getting bad reviews? Don’t be! Bad reviews actually give you an opportunity to show that you’re responsive to customer concerns. Read every review that comes in. If the customer is happy, thank them for their review. If a customer is less than satisfied, you should still thank them — and respond to that review right away. Acknowledge their concerns respectfully and ask how you can make it right. Responding shows that you’re listening to your customers and if you can successfully resolve the issue you just made a customer for life. Potential customers will also be impressed that you were able to engage and go the extra mile to make the customer happy, which is another way to build trust in your business. See this article for more tips on how to handle negative online reviews.
Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?
With numbers like this, it’s easy to see why reviews are a key element to building a successful business. An added bonus is that when people love the service or product you provided to them, they are going to tell more people and they are going to share it with their family and friends, so you need to jump on this. Reviews do impact the way people purchase, so we strongly encourage you to start reaching out to your clients and get them writing!!