The internet is a powerful thing, especially when it comes to reviews. People can essentially write anything they want and BOOM – it’s out there for everyone to see. Forever. That’s fantastic news if the review is a glowing endorsement. Negative comments, not so much. And since you can’t possibly keep all your customers happy all of the time, the occasional bad experience will inevitably crop up.
Can’t you just ignore them? Not really. Especially since 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Furthermore, according to a survey by Zendesk, 90% of participants stated that positive online reviews had a direct impact on their buying decisions. 86% said their decisions were influenced by negative reviews.
So, yeah….it’s kind of a big deal.
The good news is, the more positive comments you can get, the less impact those few negative ones will have on your business. That being said, let’s take a look at 10 things you can do to encourage more glowing reviews.
Hack 1: Set up your profiles. There are literally dozens of review sites online. Be proactive about the review process by claiming and setting up your business profile on as many of these sites as you can.
Hack 2: Ask. You may be saying, “Duh,” but as simple as this seems, many business owners overlook it. If you have a customer that’s satisfied with his or her experience, ask them to do you a solid and share some kind words online.
Hack 3: Act quickly. If someone is going to take the time to write a positive review about your business, chances are it’s going to happen right after they’ve had their experience. If you’re going to ask for reviews, the time to do so is right away.
Hack 4: Make it easy. Don’t make your customers have to jump through hoops to let others know about their good experience. Trust me, they won’t. The ones who will, however, are those who have a problem to share. So, make leaving reviews as simple as possible by including links on your site, in your emails, etc.
Hack 5: Follow up. If a happy client said they’d gladly leave you a positive review but never did, don’t be afraid to follow up. Again, include links to the review sites you’d like them to use, like Yelp or your Google page. Just don’t be pushy about it; otherwise you may tip them in the opposite direction.
Hack 6: Showcase them. Who doesn’t love to see their name in lights? Ok, so maybe by “lights” I mean the flickering screen of a laptop, but showcasing some of your best reviews right on your website can make people take notice and want to share their own experiences.
Hack 7: Offer incentives. I’m not saying you should bribe your customers by giving them something in exchange for writing a review. That’s a definite no-no. I’m talking about maybe sending a free sample or trial version of a new product you’re offering and asking the recipient to write what they like about it.
Hack 8: Be active. Respond to everyone who takes the time to review your product or service, even if it’s just to say thanks. In many cases, when a person sees that the business is actively engaging with their audience, they’re more likely to participate.
Hack 9: Tap into other resources. Did you recently receive a lovely “thank you” email from one of your best customers? Why not ask permission to use that review online? You can do this with offline reviews as well.
Hack 10: Be awesome, all the time. It sort of goes without saying, but the best way to solicit positive online reviews is to make exceptional customer experience a part of your everyday routine. Go above and beyond and make sure the product or service you offer is exceptional. The glowing reviews will naturally follow.
Online reviews are a great tool for marketing your brand and they can even provide positive lead generation. Put these hacks to work for you and start leveraging the power of customer satisfaction to drive the ongoing success of your business.