Online reviews have a huge impact on your search engine ranking and overall business reputation. The problem is, often even your happiest customers don’t bother to take the time to write you a review.
So how can you get more customer reviews for your business?
While there is no definitive shortcut to getting authentic reviews, here are a few tips for a successful review management strategy:
Ask customers to leave a review while they are still on-site. This way, your business is still top-of-mind and your request will be relevant and helpful rather than intrusive and annoying. Hint: text message requests tend to have a higher conversion rate, since customers are already active on their phones.
- Make the review process seamless. Obstacles that may seem simple, like logging into a review site and searching for a business, are enough to deter most customers from writing a review. The fewer steps involved in leaving a review, the higher the likelihood of customers doing so. So how can you eliminate these steps for your customers? That brings us to tip #3.
- Automate everything with review management software. BirdEye lets businesses automatically send SMS and email review requests to customers at critical moments, such as right after a transaction or service. From this message, happy customers are routed directly to third-party review sites the business has selected. The process of leaving a review involves just a tap of a button.
Make sure you also know what NOT to do when asking for customer reviews:
- Offer incentives. Offering incentives in exchange for reviews violates Google’s terms and conditions, and does not help you understand how your customers actually feel about your products and services.
- Publish fake reviews. Do not accept or publish reviews written by employees, friends, or anyone associated with your business either. These reviews are biased and will likely be flagged and removed by Google.
- Ignore the reviews you already have. Reviews can become a powerful form of advertisement if you manage them well. Thank customers for their positive feedback, and offer support to customers who left negative reviews. This transparency prevents negative word-of-mouth from spreading and saves your online reputation by proving to existing and potential customers that you value their feedback.
Of course, the only way to ensure your customers leave positive reviews is to provide outstanding products, services, and experiences on a consistent basis. If you make your customers happy, they’ll do your marketing for you.