When people think of online customer reviews, most will think first of examples where the online community has given a brand a royal serving; complaining, criticising, and taking to the internet to do their worst in an attempt to damage and diminish their reputation. Yep, online customer reviews are powerful. They have the power to utterly rip a brand to pieces, but they also have the ability to build a brand’s reputation and propel them into a positive light, which significantly boosts traffic and sales.
Encouraging customers to leave online reviews is a critical way to help your brand drive sales, increase visibility, look trustworthy and gather unique insights into what your customers want and need.
Recently I wrote about the importance of online reviews for a business, however, I want to expand on that and offer practical advice on how to implement strategies to generate more online reviews.
5 simple ways that your business can get more online customer reviews
Online reviews can be found on search engines, on social media, in apps, and on dedicated review sites. While more than 50 per cent of consumers consult review sites before making a purchase, only 10 per cent write them regularly. Therefore, businesses can’t rely solely on quality products and services to generate positive reviews; they need a strategy.
1. Ask for customer feedback through email
Email campaigns are inexpensive and easy to automate, making them a great option to prompt action from your audience. Whatever your business, whether you have customers that make purchases online, use your service via an app or even if the engagement is face to face, you can set up follow-up email campaigns to ask them to review you immediately after they have had an interaction with your brand.
2. Reach out to your social media community
If you have established an online community of people who have actively chosen to follow your brand, this is an excellent place to look for positive reviews. Run a campaign or create a simple post asking them to review your brand if they like what you do.
3. Optimise your website for reviews
If you have an e-commerce site, you can add in a review request post-purchase. Alternatively, you can add review requests at the end of blogs that encourage readers to give you feedback to help make your product or service the best it can be for your target market.
4. Establish in-store reminders
This includes signage in-store or training your customer-facing team members to ask customers to review you online. The best time to catch someone is when they are currently engaged and making a purchase, especially if it comes from a friendly team member with whom they’ve just had a pleasant interaction.
5. Create incentives for customers to leave reviews
Nothing motivates like an incentive. Offer a reward for your review campaign, you can even test the responses based on what reward was offered so you can learn which carrot gets the best results. This can be as simple as a discount code off the customers next purchase, or branded merchandise.
As you can see, encouraging online customer reviews does not need to be difficult. With a little creativity and focus, you can easily introduce marketing efforts to include review requests. Once implemented, all that’s left is setting up a strategy to nurture all the new leads that are bound to start rolling in.
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