We all know how important reviews are and that they can make or break our businesses. But many entrepreneurs assume the if-we-build-a-great-product-we-will-get-great-reviews attitude.
This approach ends up harming their business, despite producing a great product. A business is a multiplicative system, which means you have to get every single factor right, in order for the business to succeed and getting one simple thing such as reviews wrong is enough to put your business to rest.
88% of Consumers Say They Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations.
Given the gravity and the significance of reviews, here are some ways to your customers to review your product/service:
1. Ask and don’t wait
Well, reviews will not automatically fall into your lap. Sometimes a happy customer, more often than not need a slight nudge from you to provide a review.
Also, when asking a customer for a review, be smart about it and ask at the right time. For instance, right after you resolve a problem for your customer can be the best time.
Reviews are your gift of providing instant gratification to customers. Having said that, it is only a temporary phenomenon, asking customers for reviews once the gratification has fizzled out is a futile exercise.
The secret to getting amazing business reviews from customers is the timing. Once you have resolved a customer issue – the amount of time it takes you to be responsive in asking the customer for reviews is where you are going to make it or break it.
In order to get the best reviews, your response time has to be beyond incredible.
That is where your customer support software comes into play. With deep insights, you can know exactly how responsive is your support team. Analyze your response time across various multiple metrics and keep improving. It’s only through constant monitoring you will be able to get rave reviews.
Here are some other ways you can encourage reviews from your customers:
- Send automated emails from time to time especially when they have availed your service in the recent past.
- Include a clear review/testimonial page to make it easy for your customers to post a review.
- Also, Facebook and Twitter are good platforms to secure reviews.
- If you are a brick and mortar company, having feedback/reviews readily available can certainly help.
2. Make it easy for your customers
This is quite an obvious thing to do, yet most companies don’t follow it. You need to take the necessary steps to reduce the friction and minimize the effort needed to give you a review. For this to happen you would require a robust customer feedback system, where you are able to collect reviews and use the insights – seamlessly.
Here are some ideas:
- Have a link on your homepage Click here to provide a review.
- Send emails for getting reviews, promptly after you solve a customer grievance.
- Use surveys when you want detailed inputs and have some open-ended questions to ask, such as: ‘How was the service’, ‘Rate the food’ etc.
- Add a personal touch by giving customers a call at an appropriate time, the chances of getting a genuine response is very high.
3. Incentivize your requests
Reviews can make a whole lot of difference for your business. So in order to secure them, go the extra mile and offer something in return to your customer.
A discount card, a coupon etc. can further encourage your customers to drop a review for you online.
If a customer is indeed happy with your product/service but hasn’t given you a review because of a lack of interest then this technique can do wonders.
Here are few things you can try:
- Have a monthly give out for customers who provide reviews.
- Offer them a discount/coupon/freebie when they review your product.
Get creative here and try new ways to incentivize the reviewing process for your customers. Also, make sure you award every review, not just a positive one (because that would be bribing!)
4. Make requesting for reviews a part of your daily routine
In general, not paying attention to soliciting reviews consistently can make you lose out on a number of them.
Understanding this, at Hiver, I encourage my sales and marketing teams to send review request emails to a sample of customers. This review outreach has consistently provided with many useful reviews and feedbacks which have allowed us to not only boost our word of mouth but also refine our product features to produce better versions of it.
Having said that, the task of writing repetitive emails from Gmail inbox and asking customers to review your business on a daily basis might sound good on paper but it can actually eat up a chunk of your time, making the entire exercise futile.
It might cost you precious business hours making you lose track of prioritizing your task. The hideous task of drafting an email from your Gmail, every time to ask for reviews might deviate you from addressing genuine problems of genuine customers. That’s not a healthy way of carrying out your task of asking customers to review your business.
However, using a powerful Gmail task management software can help you create email templates- write once and then keep reusing them. You can easily ask for customer reviews without having to constantly draft emails from your Gmail, enabling you to prioritize the task the ‘right’ way.
When your workflow is clearly mapped in front of you then – make a routine to reach out to some 10-15 customers every day to request a review or a testimonial. Also, in the emails make sure to link to your Facebook and other social media pages, giving them the option to provide a review wherever they want to.
In fact, incentivize the process of review solicitation. If an employee secures some amount of reviews reward them with money. This way you can motivate them to try harder to get reviews.
5. Throw spotlight on your users
When a customer has taken the time to provide you with a review, wouldn’t it be nice if you can show your gratitude by throwing some spotlight on them!
How can this help? Giving your reviewers attention can encourage other customers to provide reviews. This is, in fact, a form of reward too. Also, expressing your gratitude publicly can help you inspire customer loyalty.
For example, let’s say a blogger who is your customer, posts a great review for you online, you can demonstrate a bit of ‘give and take’ relationship, by mentioning their blog and their review on your website.
Now, the blogger is bringing in traffic for you and you are bringing traffic for the blogger, but most importantly you are ready to put your customers in the spotlight, encouraging other customers to post reviews.
A few other suggestions:
- Create a video testimonial with a bunch of video clips from your happy customers mentioning their names.
- Mention them on your website or place small quotes from the customer on your homepage.
- Create an ad with recorded or live customer reviews.
Remember that getting one or two bad reviews doesn’t matter if you compensate it with a good number of rave reviews from your happy customers. So encourage all your customers to review your business, because, without a doubt, reviews impact the buying decisions of your prospects.