10 Best Tips to Get More Customer Reviews
Online customer reviews are like first impressions. They can make or break your small local business. Building an online reputation with reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp is free, easy and super important. After all, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.
The question is: how do you get more customer reviews for your small business? Just follow these tips:
1. Ask for customer reviews and make it easy.
The simplest way to get more customer reviews is to ask for them, either by email or text. Most customers don’t automatically think about leaving a review but if you ask them, they will likely be happy to do it. Include a direct link to your Google or Facebook page to make it quick and easy.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of an in-person request.
Making a verbal request to your customers, and even explaining how reviews help your business grow and improve, can go a long way in motivating customers. This is especially helpful when you weave it into a conversation while closing a call or service.
3. Set the timing and the tone.
The timing of your ask is a key factor in getting you a response. For a local service business that provides customers with the full experience right away, like a food delivery or an auto repair, make an immediate request as that’s when they are the happiest.
Here are some other opportune moments to ask for a review:
- After a repeat order
- If they tag you on social media or mention your brand
- Upon receiving a referral
A “review us” link in the email signature of any transactional emails or customer service emails is a great way to make it easy. The customer only needs to click this link to be taken to a review platform of your choice.
4. Send a reminder.
Send a quick reminder a few days after the first email or text if you haven’t received a response. Keep the follow-up simple and point them directly to where you want the review left. The key is to keep it simple and to time the email to go out either early in the morning or after work around 6-8 pm as these seem to be the most opportune times for people to be online.
5. Help your customers write a review.
Providing customers with sentence starters can be super helpful. This one works especially well with long-time or repeat customers with whom you have a trusted relationship. Send questions in an email, ask for their permission to turn it into a customer review and post it on your website under their name. Most happy customers are willing to write your praises but feel stuck on words so give them a set of questions to answer and help them lay out their thoughts.
Your initial email may sound like this:
“Hi Susan, I hope your recent experience with our company was exemplary. We are always looking for ways to keep our customers happy and we would love it if you could review our company. You can either follow the link below that will take you directly to our Google/ Facebook reviews page or answer some questions for us by replying to this email. With your permission, we would like to publish your responses on our website under your name.”
Here are some questions to include:
- What was it like before you had our product or service?
- What made our product or service stand out?
- What made you happiest about working with our company?
- What’s the main reason you recommend our product or service?
- Was there anything we could have done differently?
6. Personalize the email.
It’s hardly a surprise that targeted personalization has proven to increase customer engagement. Instead of saying, “How likely is it that you would recommend this brand to a friend or colleague?” it’s nicer to say, “Hi Mark, how likely is it that you would recommend this brand to a friend or colleague?”
7. Use the negative customer reviews to your company’s benefit.
A negative review is inevitable but also a great opportunity to create a positive image. People usually look for a pattern of reviews, and one negative review isn’t going to overshadow a hundred glowing ones.
So instead of stressing out, respond with an apology and ask for the details of the situation. Then, offer a solution and request the customer to update their review. An updated review which details how your company made an extra effort to solve customer issues will make your success snowball.
8. Reach out to repeat customers.
These are your happiest customers and biggest fans. They are most likely to wax eloquent about your service, and write a glowing review. Their words are likely to have the most far-reaching impact because they will likely talk about how often they use your business and come away happy.
9. Respond to all customer reviews.
The customer has taken time to leave you a review and it’s your duty to respond. When people see that you respond to every review, good or bad, it shows you truly care about their sentiments and prompts new customers to share their own experiences.
10. Don’t forget to thank your reviewers.
A simple thank-you message goes a long way in reminding customers of your impeccable customer service, and making them feel valued for their time and effort. It also makes them more likely to review another of your products or services the next time.
Take these steps to build your online reputation because when the reviews get better, they lead to more customers, which leads to more reviews.