Customer reviews are a great way to grow your business. That’s because, with online shopping booming, user-generated content has never been stronger. In fact, 88% of consumers say that positive reviews influence their purchase decisions.
Reviews are an essential part of communicating with your customers after a transaction and one of the best ways to understand how they view your products or services. They’re a way for you to find out how to better meet your customers' needs and solve their pain points. Reviews are also a great way for you to identify areas of improvement. This can help you improve your customer service and business as a whole.
Check out these tips and tricks on how to get more reviews for your business.
Make it easy for a customer to give feedback or reviews
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by implementing a few of these ideas.
Provide ways for customers to give feedback on receipts and packaging. A QR code is perfect for this. You can also use follow-up emails to customers asking them to leave reviews for their purchases.
Add a review section on your website. You can make this even easier with a review plugin or app that allows you to add a review call-to-action to any page on your website. This makes it easy for customers to leave reviews without navigating away from the page they’re on. The more ways you make it effortless for customers to leave reviews, the more reviews you’re likely to get.
Reviews can be hosted on your business website or a third-party site like Facebook or Google Business pages. The advantage of posting on a third-party site is that you can then post it on your own website, but this can't be done in reverse. That is, if someone leaves you a review on your website you cannot then post that on their behalf on Facebook or Google.
For a link on Google Business to give to customers look for the "Share review form" button on your main Google Business page.
Leverage your email
Another way to get more reviews is to leverage your email list. You can do this by adding a review section to your email newsletter with a link to encourage your customers to leave a review if they haven't already done so.
Add a link or QR code to your review site to your email signature and other business collateral like quotes, invoices, business cards, and of course your website.
Ensure your post-purchase communication for EVERY customer is a polite request to leave a review with a link to make it easy for them. This can be done via email, SMS, direct mail or a card enclosed with their purchase.
Reach out on social media
Social media is one of the best ways to increase your reach and keep in touch with customers. Use social media to let customers know that you’re there and that you want to hear their feedback. Let customers know that you’re always open to their comments and reviews, and ask them to leave feedback on any online platform that you use.
If the feedback or review is positive, then express your gratitude to them for taking the time to write. If the feedback is left publicly then use it on your website.
If it was given in private then ask for permission to use it publicly. They may be more comfortable if you do not use their surname. If they are reluctant then don't pressure them. Be graceful.
False or malicious reviews
You should also be sure to respond to negative reviews, whether you agree with them or not. Treat negative reviews or feedback as an opportunity to improve.
If a negative review is left publicly such as on social media, try and obtain their details to resolve the issue in private - you do not want to get into a public debate. Instead thank the customer for their feedback, express your regret that they are unhappy and ask them to direct message (DM) you with their details so you can contact them directly to discuss.
In Australia, businesses and review platforms that do not remove reviews that they know to be fake risk breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). According to the law, reviews may mislead consumers if they are presented as impartial, but were written by:
the reviewed business
someone paid to write the review who has not used the product
someone who has used the product but written an inflated review to receive a financial or non-financial benefit.
You also may not mislead consumers by
suppressing or editing negative reviews
removing genuine reviews that are negative
Businesses that offer incentives to people to write a positive review risk misleading consumers and breaching the law. Incentives include offering discounts or free gifts.
Incentives offered to customers to provide reviews must be:
applied regardless of whether the reviewer leaves a positive or negative review
clearly disclosed so consumers know the review was incentivised
There are a few things you can do to get more customer reviews:
Make it easy: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by adding links to your website or emails, and by using a plug-in to make it easier to leave a review on any page on your website.
Be proactive: Be proactive about asking for customer reviews. Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Instead, reach out to your customers and ask for their feedback. People are usually very happy to if they have had a good experience - they just need a little prodding - so politely ask.
Be ethical (and legal): When asking for reviews, be authentic. Don’t try to trick your customers into leaving reviews by promising something you can’t follow through on. Rather, be honest and sincere about your request for feedback.
Be timely: You can get more customer reviews during the holiday season, around the start of the new year, or at any other holiday. At these times, customers might be more likely to leave reviews because they have new purchases to review.
Stay consistent: Keep asking for customer reviews on a regular basis to make sure you get as many as possible.
Be creative: There are lots of ways to ask for customer reviews. Be creative and try new methods to get more reviews.
The benefits of good customer reviews are indisputable but getting customers to write reviews can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks to help you out. First, make sure your customers know that their feedback is valued. Ask them directly for their opinion and explain why their reviews are important. You can also send automated communications to customers after they make a purchase, asking them to review their experience. Finally, make sure your customers have easy access to review sites. Include links in your emails or on your website to make it easier for them to leave a review. With just a few simple steps, you can get more customer reviews and build a strong reputation for your business. So don't hesitate - start taking advantage of the benefits of customer reviews today!
Remember, even if you aren't selling online, your customers are researching you online.
So if you haven’t done so already, start reaching out to customers and ask them for reviews and feedback. I promise it will be one of the simplest things you can do to make a tangible difference to your business - and its FREE!