4 Ways to Increase Positive Reviews
Before the age of the Internet, if you wanted to know more about someone’s personal experience with a business, the best way to find out was to go around and ask former customers yourself. Not only did this require knowing someone who had interacted with the business, but it also required placing your trust in someone who might not have the same priorities as you. More often than not, customers would take a leap of faith and hope for the best when it came to choosing a business to work with.
Now, times have changed. Online reviews are all the rage, and nearly four in five consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations. Plus, around 70% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
The most popular places for customers to leave reviews are Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you are selling products on Amazon, your customers are likely to leave reviews through that platform as well. If you are involved in tourism and hospitality, Trip Advisor is a go-to source.
Make no mistake – positive customer reviews are essential to a successful modern business. So how do businesses gain the trust of their customers enough to where they feel inclined to leave a positive review? Here are some ways you can encourage customers to take time out of their day to leave positive reviews:
Ask them directly
As the old saying goes, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” No matter how satisfied a customer might be, they might not remember to leave a review unless you specifically ask them. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can simply ask. You might find it helpful to print out instructions on a business card that you can hand to them after they receive their product or service. If they have provided you with their email address, you can also send them a follow-up email to let them know that you appreciate their patronage and encourage them to leave a review.
Be interactive with your customers on social media
Social media is another great way to encourage your customers to leave reviews, especially because social media platforms like Facebook offer a specific portal for reviews. If your customers are already interacting with your business on social media, you will be at the top of their minds and they will be more inclined to leave a review. It might be helpful to get into a good habit of checking in with your followers on social media and responding to them daily.
Host a contest
One of the more creative ways to encourage positive reviews is to host a contest for them to win a gift card or gift certificate. Those who would be interested in a gift card or gift certificate from your business are probably the ones who have already had a positive experience. Encourage them to leave a review as a form of entry in your contest. You can also give them the option to repost your social media post or leave a comment, which will help generate engagement.
Lead website visitors to your review page
If a user is interacting with your website, they are probably a current customer or are interested in becoming one. You can leave a link on your website or even embed a whole page that allows these users to leave reviews. Coding a page like this is simpler than you might think. When you log into your Google Business Profile, you can select the "share" icon followed by the "embed post" icon. This will allow you to copy the Header code and place it between the <head></head> HTML tags on the desired page of your website. Your website can also include a "Google review" icon in your footer. The best place to place this is next to your social icons.
Exceed expectations with customer service
The most organic way that you can encourage your customers to leave a review is to offer them such quality service that they feel it would simply be the right thing to do. Even the smallest positive interactions can go a long way to leave a lasting impression on your customers. One great way to start is by training your team to uphold the best customer service practices. This will help ensure that your customers feel taken care of every step of the way and will encourage them to spread the word.
How Will Customer Reviews Help Your Business?
It is always great to have positive customer reviews, but what matters most is how you use that feedback to your advantage. One of the ways you should be thinking about leveraging your reviews is how you will use them to increase exposure for your brand. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely your business will be to appear higher on search engines. This improves your visibility overall and your chances of attracting new business. Plus, positive reviews will help you stand out from the crowd of other businesses that appear in the search.
Another way you can utilize customer reviews to your advantage that you might not expect is to help you find keywords for your products and services. Pay attention to the way your customers discuss your products and services in your reviews because this is the way they will likely be searching for your business. Using these words in your own content will help you improve product positioning, long-tail keyword targeting, and will help you improve your overall ranking.
If you are using publicity as part of your marketing outreach, adding customer reviews as part of your press releases can take them to the next level. Positive reviews are a great way to show influencers and journalists that real people are interacting with and benefitting from your business. This form of social proof can also be spread across your email newsletters, banner ads, and emphasized in your social media.
Although positive feedback is the ideal outcome of your business efforts, this is not always a guarantee. If you find yourself receiving some complaints or negative feedback, don’t panic! It could be a great opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and improve the trajectory of your business. The most important thing to remember is that you should always respond to online complaints and use them to show how thoughtful you can be. Some users might be negative for the sake of being negative, but if you read through your reviews, you might find some helpful feedback to improve your business.Customer reviews are an important part of your business’s online presence and reputation. Contact Scorpion to get the tools you need to use customer reviews to your advantage and gain new business.