With Yelp, Google+, Trip Advisor and many other popular review websites, more and more of your future customers are going online and reading your reviews before they contact you. Once upon a time, consumers would call a friend and get a recommendation. Nowadays (i.e. the Digital Age), customers use review websites to validate your reputation and choose a business.
Read on – this post covers 8 simple tips on how to turn your customers into a marching army of advocates of your company for FREE!
Whether your business provides a service or you have a website to sell products, online reviews can mean the difference between capturing a new customer or letting them slip through your fingers to the competition. Not only are they massive confidence boosters for consumers, but it also lets them know their opinion is held in high regard by your business.
Consumers need something to reassure them that others have actually seen the items or received the service offered. Business reviews offer potential buyers an insight to how the product worked for others, if it was in good condition when it arrived or if a service was performed properly and with professionalism.
Online reviews build consumer confidence. They want to know what to expect. Even though consumers often feel fairly confident in making brick and mortar store purchases, reviews online get them in the door in the first place.
Numerous studies have shown the value of online customer reviews:
Here are some common ways to get reviews for your products or services.
Place links on your site to make it easy for customers to leave reviews on the popular review pages such as Yelp and Google. Those pages show up high in search engine listings and will help lead more traffic to your site.
Customers who come to your store often are obviously satisfied. Ask them to let others know how they liked the service or products you provide.
Use various social network resources to ask readers if they like what you are showing them, or the service you provide. Give them an easy to follow link where they can leave a review, and ask them to let others know how they feel about your products. Don’t forget those important email links as well. Every time you send an email, you could be prompting receivers to go to your website and leave a review in a low-key, no-hassle way. Emails and social networks work wonderfully for this. When people see those links, they are already in front of a computer. Going to the site is immediate and easy.
Always follow up with a thank you page when consumers buy an item from your online store and ask for a review at the same time. Many customers are more than willing to leave a comment on Yelp or Google, or create a review for your product on your pages, but they may not think to do it on their own. Make it easy for them to give you a review by providing links. You can also place a written request at your brick and mortar checkout to prompt customers to leave an online comment on the service or products they purchased. You can even go a step further by having the URL for reviews printed on the receipts you hand buyers after a purchase.
When you are able to get a customer’s email address, send a thank you a few days after a purchase. That is the perfect time to remind them to leave a comment on Yelp or Google, or leave a product review on your site. Don’t forget to make it easy by leaving a link to the best places to leave a review.
On the occasion a customer leaves an overwhelmingly negative review or expresses dissatisfaction with service or quality of a product, reach out to them immediately, and do what you can to resolve any issue. Make sure you ask the consumer to change their review, or leave a follow up remark about how the situation was handled when you solve the problem. Taking the time to watch for problem reviews and acting quickly will pay off in a big way. Not only will it help prevent consumers from seeing the negative reviews and decide not to purchase the item or service, many times a consumer who had a bad experience will return to make future purchases when they know a business owner will work hard to correct any problems.
Print out easy to use review cards that offer your customer’s an easy way to voice their opinions. Add your logo and links to common review sites to give them the ability to leave a comment online about your services. Hand them out at the time of a purchase or staple them to the receipt you give them.
Your customers are busy and may not get around to a review the first time around. Every time you have contact with a customer, ask them to leave a comment on Yelp or Google. Make sure they know how quick and easy it is to leave a review, and make sure they know how much you appreciate them taking the time to do it.
Reviews are excellent ways to get more business and improve sales. If you are not already implementing some of the above strategies to get customer reviews, you should be. Business reviews give consumers a way to have a voice and feel good about their purchases, while helping new consumers make the right decisions for their own purchases. With just a little work, your efforts toward obtaining online reviews will give you an army of consumer advocates.
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