According to a recent study, nearly 90 percent of consumers now read reviews for local businesses as part of the product or service selection process. Many base their buying decisions on what others say about their customer experiences and contentment with their purchases.
What does this mean for your business?
It means you need to ensure you have a wealth of positive, honest reviews that will build your buyers’ confidence, offer social proof for your prospective buyers, and bolster your brand’s reputation.
In this article, we’ll show you how to get started.
Should I ask my customers to review my business or wait for them to do it on their own?
More consumers than ever before are sharing online reviews without any prompting from a business. Because of this, it stands to reason that you’ll attain some reviews simply because it’s become the norm for many online-savvy people.
However, nearly every consumer has opinions that would benefit others, but they don’t feel motivated to share them. This means you're likely missing out on lots of positive, helpful reviews of your products or services from people who can provide social proof.
If your goal is to attain a large number of real, positive, persuasive reviews, you’ll need to make an ask.
Who should I ask?
Start with your most dependable group of customers: those who are loyal, happy, and speak well of their experiences to you and your team. This group of customers is easiest to convert into vocal promotors and word-of-mouth advocates for your business.
Customers who offer verbal praise may not realize the power their words can have in supporting your business. However, a simple ask may trigger action. Start by explaining how their feedback can help their neighbors/peers/others make smart buying decisions and help your business grow.
|Make the ask when your customer is happiest. In most cases, the right time is immediately after the completion of a service or after the customer has had a chance to use your product.|
How do I make the ask?
If you perform a service, ask for a review after ensuring your customer is satisfied with the work. The way that you go about it can be quite simple.
Start with a simple verbal ask:
“Are you happy with the service you received today?”
If your customer shares positive feedback about the service you offered, respond in this way:
“I really appreciate that feedback. Words like that matter to us. They matter to members of our community, too. Would you mind posting an online review to share that message?”
If you provide a product, follow up by email or text message after enough time has passed for your customer to experience the product. Share a to-the-point message that shows your gratitude for their business and makes a clear ask. You might use the following email template, which you can customize to suit your business:
Hi [customer’s first name],
I wanted to thank you again for purchasing our product. Your support helps our business thrive and fulfill our mission to [a brief description of your mission].
We want to make sure your experience with [your company’s name] meets your standards. If you’ve experienced any problems with this order, please let us know right away. We want to make it right.
If you’re happy with the product and the experience you had with [company name], would you mind sharing it with others?
- [A link to your Google My Business page]
- [A link to your business’s Facebook page]
Thank you for your business and your continued support!
|Avoid making a direct request for a Yelp review. Yelp has strict policies against businesses asking customers for reviews. Rather than making an explicit request, consider putting your Yelp profile below your signature line, including a link to your Yelp profile on your social media pages, and inserting a link to your Yelp profile on your business’s home page.|
Many businesses prefer to send a survey rather than a personalized email, and that can be ok, too. The benefit of a survey is that the recipient understands, right away, what you need from them.
You can use a survey tool such as Survey Sparrow or Ask Nicely to take on this task. But the key is to direct your customers to review sites after completing your survey so their opinions are shared with others, not only the people within your business.
If you’d rather chat by text, keep your message brief:
“Hi [customer’s first name]! [Your first name] here from [your company’s name]. We’d love your feedback on your purchase. Would you mind sharing your experience? Click the link below to get started.”
The link you reference could be a brief survey or a direct link to a review site.
Can I automate this task?
Many customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and sales commerce platforms allow you to create workflows that send review requests by email or text at exactly the right moment. Reach out to your solution’s help team for step-by-step guides to getting started.
Another option is to work with Nicejob, an AI service that uses algorithms to encourage your customers to leave reviews and provides a simple, streamlined review experience.
Once you start gathering reviews, you’ll need to commit time to read and respond to them. Our guide, Devote Time to Read and Respond to Reviews of Your Business, can help you take on this task.
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