You want your customers to leave online reviews, because 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. But how can you get your customers, especially the happy, satisfied ones, to leave honest, easy-to-read feedback online?
You can take specific steps to help your customers leave online reviews. You can’t do it for them, but you have to be proactive to get results. Positive reviews can have a major effect on the success of your local business, so start boosting your digital reputation with some proven strategies.
Claim Your Business on All Platforms
First, make sure your business is visible on all the platforms the modern consumer looks at before deciding on a purchase. Everyone should claim their Google listing, and every business needs an official Facebook page. Restaurants should be on Yelp. Contractors should be on Angie’s List.
Fill out your online profile with updated information on your products, services, hours and website. Make sure your past and future customers can find you on these platforms and you’re one step closer to getting the digital reviews you need.
Make it as Easy as Possible
If your customers have to go out of their way to look up your business and write a review, they probably won’t. It’s not that they aren’t happy with your service, it’s just they don’t want to take the time.
It’s important to make the digital review process as easy as possible. Sending your customers a mobile or email link is the best way to elicit feedback — just a few taps on their smartphone and your online review is on its way.
Ask … But Don’t Wait Too Long
Sometimes the most obvious solution is the most effective. In this case, simply asking your customers could be the best way to get them to leave online reviews. However, there’s still a right and a wrong way to go about asking, so pay attention to timing.
If you try to cram your profiles full of online reviews in the space of a few days by asking all your customers from the past six months for feedback, it won’t go well. The customers you haven’t communicated with in months likely forgot all the details of their experience at your business. And it looks suspicious when a business goes from no online reviews to 20 within the space of a week.
Get into the habit of asking your customers right after your transaction is done whether they’re happy with what you’ve provided. Ask them if they mind taking a couple of minutes to share their experience online. This will create a regular stream of feedback, and it’s a good habit for a healthy digital reputation.
Offer an Incentive
It’s not ethical (or legal on many platforms) to pay customers to leave online reviews. However, to build up your digital reviews, you could run a contest with a giveaway, and when customers leave online reviews, it counts as their entry.
As long as you aren’t encouraging customers to leave positive reviews only, this is acceptable in many cases. Explicitly state that you are looking for honest feedback in order to improve your products and service offerings.
Involve All Employees in Your Effort
Get your employees in on the game! You can reward employees who get the most online feedback. Offer a cash prize to the employee who is able to generate the most online reviews for their positive, helpful service.
Respond to Online Reviews
Business owners should take a personal interest in responding to all online reviews of their business. For positive reviews, a simple, “Thank you for your feedback!” is all that’s needed. For negative reviews, it’s important to try to correct the complaint and offer a solution.
If possible (and it is possible when you’re using Accrue Reviews), try to take the conversation offline and address the unhappy customer’s negativity in private. Many times, this gives you an opportunity to turn their initial bad review into a good one.
Share a Positive Review on Your Social Channels
Encourage past happy customers who follow you on social media to leave online reviews when you share a review that stands out. Pick a review that highlights what your company does best, and thank the customer by name for offering their opinion. Many times, this can lead to an influx of reviews from satisfied customers who feel the same way and want to help your business succeed.
Depend on Accrue Reviews
Our service is designed with the modern consumer in mind. They receive a text or email with a link to write feedback on your business on their social or digital platform of choice. This is a convenient, effective way to generate online reviews because it’s streamlined, it’s personal and it’s at their fingertips.
Ready to try it out? Contact us today set up your free trial and explore our monthly subscription packages. Get customers to leave online reviews with a user-friendly service that fits your budget.