When you’re looking to buy an item or hire a tradesperson, what’s the first thing you do? For most of us, it’ll be reading reviews.
Nearly all consumers nowadays rely on testimonies and recommendations before parting with their cash. They need to know they can trust the company, trust the product and trust the service.
If you want potential customers to choose your business, you’ll need to gain reviews online. Here are our top tips for how to do this effectively…
Record positive feedback
The best reviews are authentic. Who better to give them than people who naturally praise your business? If a customer pays you a compliment of their own accord, thank them and ask for their permission to share their words with others. You can then publish them as testimonials on your website or social media.
Spot happy customers
Though customers are delighted with your service, they might not always be forthcoming in telling you. Look for hints that you’ve delivered beyond their expectations such as an enthusiastic thank you or generous tip. You could then politely ask if they’d be happy to tell you what they particularly appreciated.
Reach out on social media
Chances are, you’re using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn for your business. If people have gone to the effort of following your profile, they’ll likely be prepared to help you out. Don’t be scared of openly asking for feedback in a social media post. You could share a link to a site which you’d like them to use or better still, ask them to review right there.
Not sure how to post on social media as your business? Our free tutorials might help
Keep your review profiles up to date
You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you online and leave a review. Make sure your profiles on sites they are likely to search are complete and active. Have you claimed your Google My Business page? We’ve got a guide to making sure it’s up to scratch here
Include badges and links to your review sites
Make your review profiles even easier to find by putting a link in your email footer. Minimal effort for your customers means maximum chance of them writing a recommendation. It’ll save them time if they can click straight through. You can also include a badge linking to popular sites including TripAdvisor, TrustPilot and CheckaTrade on your website.
Send out a survey after a sale
Once you’ve sent your customer their product or completed their service, do you check how they got on? A follow-up email with a couple of questions will not only help you improve your offering but provide valuable reviews that you can share online. Try an automated email tool like Mailchimp and a survey collector like Google forms to make the process effortless.
Offer a reward in exchange for feedback
While you should never pay people to give you a recommendation or fake a review, there is no harm in rewarding those who share genuine feedback. Could you offer a free coffee to those who take a couple of minutes to write you a TripAdvisor review? Or could you enter people who mark you on Trustpilot into a prize drawer? Even if customers are pleased with your service, they might need a little nudge to put their pen to paper.
Recommend others first
When you pay someone a compliment in real life, they’ll often pay you one back. Think about who out of your customers or neighbouring businesses has impressed you. If you publicly say how happy you are with them, they’ll probably want to reciprocate! This would be especially effective if you’re both local independent businesses who share similar customers.
Reply personally to every review
If people who came into your physical shop didn’t get a response when they paid you a compliment or expressed a concern, they’d probably feel put out. The same is true for review sites.
You must respond to every reviewer with a personal comment thanking them for their feedback. If they’re pleased, share in their joy- it’ll be infectious for others. If they’re disappointed, acknowledge what’s gone wrong and invite them to contact you offline to resolve the problem.
Seeing that you’re responsive and you care will encourage others to leave their reviews too.
Provide a great service
Finally, remember fantastic reviews come from fantastic service. Though you might be tempted to fabricate a few five-star recommendations, there’s no substitute for genuine praise from satisfied customers. Deliver above and beyond, and your community will feel compelled to sing your praises without any encouragement.
If you would like support to organise ways to gain customer reviews or a strategy to entice customers to leave your business reviews then please get in touch 01904 863511.