Your customers have the power to influence the reputation and perception of your business every time they post a review about you – be it be positive or negative. Of course, we all want positive reviews.
Beyond doing everything possible to ensure your customer has a positive experience with you, there are ways you can increase the likelihood that they will post a positive review about you.
Why does it matter? Beyond making us feel good, customer reviews are powerful influencers.
According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. 73% of consumers say that positive customer reviews make them trust a business more and 85% of customers say they read up to 10 reviews, according to a survey conducted by Search Engine Land.
Here are 5 tactics to help you get more positive reviews
Ask customers to post a review
Make it part of the conversation. Always ask a customer who has had a great experience with you to please share it online. You can do this without being “pushy”. Say something like, “Thank you so much for your business. Check out our website and Facebook page for announcements of special events and while you’re there, we would really appreciate it if you would post something about your experience with us. We can’t wait to read it!”
Make your business “review friendly”
The easier you can make it for customers to post reviews, the more likely they will. Make sure your marketing materials (cards, brochures, signs) include the direct link to your review pages and to your social media sites where customers can post a review.
Be sure your website has clear links to your review pages and add those links to your email signature. Encourage customers to “Check us out on Yelp” with a link to your Yelp or Google+ profile. Many sites including Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare provide free materials to encourage customers to check-in and post reviews.
Provide exceptional follow-up service
A follow-up call goes a long way to create goodwill and a positive experience for a customer. When a customer does a large amount of business with you, call them a few days later to be sure all is well and they are satisfied with their experience. Tell them you will be following up with an email with a link to post a review and that you would really appreciate if they would share their experience with others. Always be authentic and appreciative.
Send an email thank you with an “ask”
Send an email to customers who have had a great experience with you. Thank them for their business and encourage them to post a quick review. Provide a link that will take them directly to your review pages.
Everyone loves getting presents
When a customer does a significant amount of business with you, show your gratitude by sending them a gift. Include a sincere thank you note thanking them for business and that you would appreciate if they would take the time to post a review. Make it a nice gift. We all have enough travel mugs, pens and refrigerator magnets. Check out www.sendoutcards.com for some great gift giving ideas.
Being pro-active about seeking positive reviews should be part of your daily marketing efforts and strategy. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely customers will want to do business with you and the less likely an occasional negative review will scare them away.
At The Light Digital, we work with businesses to help monitor and manage their reputations, proactively, and reacting as well. By proactively encouraging positive reviews, your business will increase the likelihood of showing up better in search results, and having viewers see the things that customers love the most about your company. Contact us to see we can help showcase your business, through positive reviews and proactive marketing.