“While it’s true that today’s consumers have notoriously short attention spans and a million other things to do besides writing reviews, they do want to share their experiences,” shares Aimee Millwood.
With 90% of customers admitting their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews and 84% of people saying they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, it only makes sense to get proactive about building your online reputation.
Check out these review-garnering strategies.
- Make it easy
Make it easy for customers to submit reviews. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to give you the positive review you deserve. Set up and “claim” your profile on multiple directories, as not everyone is on Facebook or Yelp. Of course, the more places a satisfied consumer can leave a review, the better.
Create a “feedback” button on your online store’s after-purchase page, again, making it easy for customers to share feedback.
- Follow-up via email
Sending follow-up emails is a great way to build and maintain a connection with customers. Check in to ask if they were happy with the service or product and to inquire if your company can be of further assistance. And of course, include links to online sites where they can leave a review.
- Ask in person
“There’s no better way to ask for, and get, reviews than to do it in person. The person-to-person request is incredibly effective, particularly if the requester has spent a lot of time with the customer,” suggests Brian Patterson.
Over the course of in-depth time spent with the customer, it’s not unusual for talk to turn to families, hobbies, interests, and so on. A mini-bond can form quickly, leaving the sales associate in an excellent position to ask for a review.
No discussion about reviews is complete without a word about the flip side of online reviews: negative feedback broadcast across the web. Here are some pointers for dealing with this inevitability.
- It’s impossible to please everyone so expect some negative feedback.
- Don’t shrink back from negative comments, instead view them as an opportunity to improve.
- Don’t write them off without an objective examination of the facts.
- Don’t underestimate the difficulty of being “objective.” Put pride and personal feelings aside in pursuit of the truth.
- Acknowledge the review in a non-argumentative, professional manner.
When handling a negative review, remember how many places exist for customers to leave reviews. You do not want mishandled negative feedback to create a backlash across multiple review sites.
In case you’ve heard conflicting info on wondering it’s okay to ask for reviews, here’s some assistance. The answer is a resounding “yes” for Google. Yelp’s response is also “yes” as long as there is no incentivizing (See #2 in “5 Yelp facts business owners should know”). Check the terms of service and guidelines for all other review sites.
Let the ASJ Partners’ team of marketing specialists create a customized plan to promote your business across all media avenues. Contact us today to discover how a partnership with us can drive sales and impact your company for years to come.