Brush up on best practices.
Reviews from satisfied customers are one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. They provide feedback about your product or service that helps shape the future of your business and attract more customers. Let’s explore best practices for collecting and managing your online reviews.
Positive online reviews are practically free advertising. Your business is being endorsed by a satisfied customer, which speaks to an intrinsic piece of our psychology: Humans are social animals, and when we are unsure of what to do, we look to others to justify or guide our choices and provide “social proof.” Plus, we tend to trust user reviews because those customers have experience with the product or service and can provide an informed opinion.
People who leave online reviews are often prompted by strong emotion: They absolutely loved your service, or they hated it. So how do you get your clients to leave a review saying you provide excellent, reliable service that they’ll keep coming back to?
Delight your customers
Consider this: 52% of consumers won’t use a business with less than a 4-star review, so you not only want to grow the number of reviews you get, but also work to get high ratings. That’s why providing an outstanding customer experience is crucial to your success. Leverage your communication, professionalism, knowledge, and expertise to create an emotional connection with your customers. Essentially, you don’t want to simply provide them a service; you want to build a lasting relationship. This increases their customer lifetime value and will lead to more glowing reviews and referrals.
Ask for it
72% of people who are asked to write a review do so. It’s important to ask as soon as possible after a successful transaction is completed so that the good feelings and good impression of your work are still fresh in the client’s mind. While you can ask them in person or on the phone, sending an email request is easier for both of you, since they can simply click the link to the review site (and won’t have to make a mental note to complete the task later). Not sure what to say when making the request? Use this email template as a guide. You can also ask for reviews on social media and directly on your website.
Choose a review management platform like Delighted or RealSatisfied to automate your review collection process and monitor your review activity all in one place.
Expand your reach
Where will people go to look for services and products like yours? Besides the obvious ones like Facebook and Google, ensure you’re getting feedback on sites like Yelp, Zillow, and even NextDoor. You could also check out Consumer Affairs, Yahoo, and Bing. While there are many review sites out there, you don’t have to be on all of them. In fact, some sites require your clients to register just to leave a review, which can deter them from completing the task. Keep this in mind when deciding which review sites you’d like to be on, and be sure to focus on ones that pertain to your business and attract your ideal customer.
Respond to every review you receive, positive or negative.
A less-than-stellar review is not necessarily a terrible thing. Negative feedback can help you identify and correct issues with your service or product and, consequently, improve the customer experience. Plus, having a few negative comments in amongst the positives actually lends legitimacy to your testimonials.
It’s critical to respond to negative reviews. When potential customers read the complaint, they will judge you and your business based on how you reply. Keeping an eye on reviews and responding appropriately provides an opportunity to further enhance your reputation. For example, a study showed that on the travel-planning website TripAdvisor, when hotels began responding to feedback their guests left — negative or positive — they increased the number of reviews left by 12% and improved their ratings!
Collecting, monitoring, and responding to online client reviews is an ongoing effort: 73% of consumers only bother with reviews written in the past month. So keep them coming!