Coastal Web Marketing
Tips to Getting More Customer Reviews
In today’s competitive business world, having a bunch of positive online reviews is important. 90% of customers say their decision on which product to buy or which service company to hire are influenced by online reviews, such as Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews and Angie’s List reviews to name a few.
Customer testimonials on your website are still good, but some people may not even visit your website if your overall star rating is 3 or below, or if (gasp!) you don’t have any reviews at all.
With that in mind, here are some easy ways to get more customer reviews:
- Go above and beyond. You’ve probably heard the phrase “under promise and over deliver”. It’s great advice for any business, and allows you to exceed expectations. Nothing makes a happy customer like delivering on time and under budget or handling unexpected issues with grace. Make it a company policy to always offer polite and friednly customer service, every step of the way. Deliver a product or service so great they can’t wait to tell everyone about it!
- It’s not about you. It’s about your client. Let them know you care about their experience and appreciate their feedback. You can use any requests for a review to make sure your customer was totally satisfied with the product or service they bought, and the treatment they received. Asking for reviews is pretty common, but it’s important that you don’t talk about how important it is for you to have reviews, but to focus on how by completing a review, your client can help others make a buying decision when it comes to your products and services. Tell your customer how much you enjoyed working with them and hope to work with them again in the future.
- Make it easy. Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and reviews. Provide them with links to the various review sites – you don’t want them to have to spend time searching. One of the simplest ways to do this is to have a Tell Us What You Think! Page on your website that links to your company page on the various review platforms. You should also include a link to the review page in your email signature.
- Follow up. If you have an ongoing relationship with a client, they are more likely to use your services again and again. Allow some time to pass, for your client to have gotten some use out of your product or service, and send them an email to follow up. Ask them if they are happy with the service, and if they are, ask them to consider writing an updated review. This is also a good time to correct any problems they may bring up. A follow-up review is especially helpful if the product or service has exceeded their expectations. Again, make it easy for them by providing a link .
- Show your gratitude. Offering an incentive for completing a review is an excellent way to increase the number of online reviews for your business. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be an entry to win a gift card, a free sample or a discount on the next product or service they buy. You need to be sure that they know this incentive is not tied to them giving a positive review. You want people to be honest when giving feedback, not feel like they are being bribed.
- Do not write fake reviews. If you don’t have any reviews yet, do not be tempted to write a fake review. Reach out to long-time, satisfied customers to get the ball rolling.
- Monitor your reviews. You need to monitor your reviews, thanking people for positive feedback, and offering to help work out a solution with clients who leave negative feedback. Keeping track of what people are saying about you, and responding directly to them, shows prospective customers that you are on top of things and offer great customer service.
As an added bonus, customer reviews can help your SEO efforts in several ways.
Creates fresh user-generated content. Google loves fresh, relevant content.
Boosts long-tail keyword traffic. People who leave reviews will use language similar to what your target audience will use in a search.
Boosts social conversation. What if a series of impressive/glowing reviews increases your company’s popularity? Consider incorporating reviews into your social media marketing strategy.
Google favors highly rated sites. Customer reviews boost your social proof, or online credibility.
Get visible star ratings from Google. When star ratings are displayed in Google search results, prospective customers can instantly judge if they trust your company enough to visit your website. This helps increase traffic, and possibly sales. Google relies on specific third-party review sites to determine your star rating.
Sites with 4-5 stars are going to get more clicks than sites with 3 or less stars, or no reviews at all. Check out this blog for more in-depth information on how the whole Google stars thing works.
So, there you have it. Once you implement a plan for asking for reviews, it gets easier.
Coastal Web Services can help you automate asking for reviews, and following up. We also offer online reputation management services to our clients. We offer a full range of web design and SEO consulting services. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form and someone will gt back to you. We serve clients in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as North Carolina and Alabama.