Do you need more online reviews from your existing customers? These six techniques will secure authentic customer testimonials so that you can inspire trust and drive more sales.
Customer reviews are one of the most important trust signals a business can harness for growth online. Proving to your potential customers that your small business is trustworthy should be your number one priority—66% of consumers say that lots of reviews make them trust a brand more!
Buying decisions are made based on the quality and quantity of your customer reviews. Collecting real feedback from consumers not only encourages sales, but it also improves SEO, which attracts more traffic to your website. Consistent, relevant comments are the key to unlocking sales success on the internet.
Here are six great ways to get your customers to create honest reviews about your company. You’re taking the good, the bad, and everything in between!
#1: Ask for an In-Person, Email, or Messenger Review
Three types of online reviews work exceptionally well. Some 90% of customers say that reviews influence their buying decisions, so you’ll want to collect as many as possible. A good starting point is to have multiple collection methods.
- In-person reviews: Once you’ve finished your business with a customer, ask them for a review. Keep it conversational and have a text or email link ready to send.
- Email reviews: Ask your various existing customers for reviews and create email follow-up review requests after a customer has purchased a product or service.
- Messenger reviews: Put your chatbot to work and include a request for a quick comment or rating from the person engaging with your company.
For maximum impact, make sure that you ask your customers immediately after receiving their product delivery or three to five days after they’ve bought something from you.
#2: Create a Product Review System
Consistency is something you’ll want to work on when securing online customer reviews. Evidence suggests that 85% of customers think reviews older than three months are not relevant. Because of this, you need to integrate a product review system into your website to collect ongoing reviews.
- Use a WordPress plugin like “Ultimate Reviews” to allow customers to submit reviews on product and service pages.
- Integrate Google My Business Reviews or a Yelp Review Widget—the reviews your customers have left for your company on these platforms will display on your website.
- Add star ratings on product pages that instantly update when a user rates your merchandise.
Having a way to review a product or service on your website gets you one step closer to having recent reviews available for potential customers. These business reviews will improve your company’s reputation over time, especially when you exceed 200 reviews per product!
#3: Be Available to Review Online
Most people aren’t going to try too hard to leave you online reviews—the more opportunities you give them, the better. Make sure you’re listed on important business listing sites and have your information on review sites.
- List your small business on Yelp. Reviewers love to find the companies they’ve engaged with and leave reviews about them on this platform. Plus, 45% of customers check Yelp reviews before visiting a business.
- Google My Business is another big review site. When people search for your local contact information, reviews could persuade them to choose you over your competitors.
Facebook and Amazon are two great platforms for review collection. Shoppers love to scan these pages to check if your company is credible and has satisfied the needs of your customer base.
You can lift reviews off these pages to use on your website and in marketing materials for an added boost in social proof.
#4: Respond to Positive and Negative Reviews
The only thing more powerful than a positive review is a negative one. But even more powerful than that is when you turn a negative review into a positive one! Think of negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your products and customer service.
Local business reviews—where the customer returns to say how well the company corrected the mistake or issue—are pure gold. Everyone makes mistakes, but only exceptional companies use these mistakes as a marketing opportunity. Nip complaints in the bud as they happen.
Since negative reviews can immediately be improved by merely responding, you should go the extra mile to make that customer fall in love with your brand.
In a recent report, 82% of shoppers said they wouldn’t shop at a retailer with a star rating of less than three. So the magic amount of stars is three to five. Embrace negative reviews, but don’t let them pile up, or customers will decide to shop somewhere else.
#5: Offer Customers Review Incentives
Good reviews spread well, but bad reviews spread like wildfire! It pays to incentivize customers to leave reviews to create a consistent stream and make sure that any negative feedback gets surrounded by at least ten times the number of positives.
It’s common practice to offer discounts, bonuses, or gifts to people who decide to leave customer reviews. There are creative ways to make this more appealing, like entry into a competition or contributing to a specific cause. For best results, build this into your email marketing plan.
There are many benefits of online reviews, so incentives are popular. Just remember that you’re not legally allowed to offer incentives for third-party site reviews like on Yelp or Google. If you get caught doing that, the search engine or platform might ban your business.
#6: Share Reviews Across Your Social Media
Reviews are an amazing way to improve your online reputation, especially if you share them across your social media presence. That way, your reviews will inspire discussion around your customer experience and how they perceive your products and services.
Many consumer reviews are reworked and used in social ad campaigns. These inspire click-throughs to the product that was reviewed or the website where it originated. Positive reviews shared on social media create significant brand trust, engagement, and reach.
Spend time integrating these reviews into powerful pieces of social content—videos, ads, banners—wherever social proof will amplify your credibility. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can provide you with a wide range of niche-specific engagement and useful feedback.
The importance of online reviews can’t be emphasized enough. When customers see other people appreciating the way that you do business, it makes them want to be a part of that experience. This has a psychological impact that makes people more comfortable with your new company.
Sources state that 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust a digital review as much as a personal recommendation from someone they know. Imagine the power of hundreds of personal recommendations on your website!
Implement these six ways to get daily online reviews, and you’ll experience a growth in sales and customers—more than you ever thought possible.