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How To Encourage Customers To Write Reviews

Online reviews can make or break your business. Companies are relying on social media and online review outlets to inform the public on their services, connect with current and prospective consumers and spread the good word about their business.

Unfortunately,  people tend to post reviews if they’ve had a really bad experience or a really good one. The consumers who have had an okay experience don’t usually take the time to leave a review. This audience is the largest and needs some extra encouragement to leave an organic and positive review. So how do we tap into this group? Here are our recommendations:

Referral program

Offer a discount or monetary reward based on referrals. Word-of-mouth is an incredibly powerful method of communication. With a referral program, people tend to speak more favorably about your company in order to get that referral – and the reward that’s attached to it.

Client and prospect newsletter

It’s important to keep your audience up-to-date with new innovations being made, new products or services being offered, and promotions and specials. Newsletters let consumers know you care about your relationship with them and want to keep them in the loop. It is best practice to send these out, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis. Sending out too many emails will categorize you as spammy and will wind up costing you business.

Allow  customers to leave reviews on every outlet

Generally, the most popular sites for reviews are Facebook, Google and Yelp. Depending on the nature of your business, other review sites may be more relevant. Create a CTA to request reviews with a link to each outlet noted on the footer of any digital correspondence you have with you customers, such as emails or online receipts, so your customers can easily take the next step.

Be responsive to every review

It’s important to keep up with reviews and respond in a timely manner. Make sure to thank customers for taking the time to leave a review. And never ignore the negative. Failure to respond to negative reviews only makes your company appear dismissive. Not sure how to respond to a negative review? Here’s a simple guide:

Read. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the customer’s problem. You’ll only make matters worse by missing the point your customer is trying to make.  

Resolve. Find a solution for their problem, and if you don’t have one, let them know you’re working hard to solve it.

Record. Jot down these details to help improve your business practices and prevent this type of problem in the future.

Create a FAQ page

Many times, bad reviews are the result of the customer not having the right information. Creating a FAQ page customers can easily access on your website will help prevent common minor issues people may encounter with your product and or service. If there is a solution already presented at their fingertips, they won’t need to leave a review about what happened. Also, if they have any doubts about your products or services, your FAQ page will answer those questions.

Invest in a reputation management software

Reputation management software takes control and monitors your online reputation. For example, if a negative comment is posted, you’ll quickly receive an alert, so you can go nip it in the bud, helping you to be responsive in a timely manner. It’s hard to keep up with every review posted, but reputation management software will help address them quickly and effectively. Podium is a great software that we recommend for you to use in order to manage reviews.

Ask!

This doesn’t mean just ask your customers for a review. You want to ask them at the right moment. If you ask at the wrong time, you may come off as pushy and get a negative review instead. After a customer enjoys a positive experience, you can have them fill out a survey/review form immediately. Leaving a positive post on social media is another good opportunity to ask. And if your service is subscription-based, you can insert a form to leave a review in your renewal letters. This also works for people who decide to re-purchase your products. When prompting your customer to leave a good review, make sure the language is casual, relaxed, and friendly.

Numbers are important

The ultimate goal is to get as many reviews as possible. For instance, if you have ten reviews with eight of them being good and two of them being not-so-good, you’re still in a good position.

Share your positive reviews online

Good reviews make for great shareable content. Share your  positive testimonials people post on social media. Share positive reviews with your target audience, so your target audience doesn’t have to go looking for them.

Live up to what you want your brand to be viewed as

Ultimately, the greatest advertising is a great product. If your company is constantly providing exceptional products and services, there really shouldn’t be a reason for anyone to leave a bad review. Make sure customer service is always available for consumers, ready to help and constantly remind them that you care about their experience.

Quick recap: Gaining positive online customer reviews are not only dependent on your services being good but the way you communicate and connect with your consumers to leave a good review in the first place. If there are any questions or professional assistance needed in forming a social remediation strategy, feel free to contact us!