As a business owner, you probably already know how much customer reviews can influence your business, so the importance of having positive customer reviews cannot be underestimated. According to a 2017 survey by BrightLocal, 92 percent of consumers these days read online reviews before making the buy decision. The same study found out that 85 percent of today’s consumers trust online customer reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. In another survey by Zendesk, up to 90% of consumers claimed they had been influenced to purchase by positive online reviews while 86% claimed their buy decision was influenced by negative reviews. Further, up to 49 percent of customers need at least a four-star rating before choosing to do business.
These stats show how consumers are nowadays relying on product reviews before deciding to use a business. As a business owner, therefore, you should try getting your customers to leave positive reviews on your products and services.
Here is why product reviews are so important to businesses:
Customer reviews are essential for online marketing and branding. They will help you build loyalty and trust among consumers. They typically describe the things that make your products and services stand out from the rest. Positive product reviews make your potential customers feel more confident about doing business with you. The more reviews your company has, the more convinced shoppers get to make the buy decision.
Product reviews also help with SEO. One of the primary factors that help raise your website rankings on search engines is the number of websites and blogs that link back to your business’ website. So, getting other websites and bloggers to review your business will increase your online presence and generate traffic. Again, when customers share the products they have reviewed, say, on social media platforms, your brand and products get more exposure.
Customer reviews can also help business owners to understand their products and services better. Customers notice things that you probably wouldn’t, and when they send you feedback in the form of reviews, you can get great ideas for improvement.
So how can you get people to review your business online?
1. Ask your customers directly
Sometimes, it is not that your customers don’t want to leave a review, they often do not remember. So just ask them about a day or two after their order arrives. You can send them an email with a polite request for a review. Most customers understand the importance of reviews to businesses, and as long as you are offering top quality products and excellent customer service, they will be happy to review your business.
2. Create profiles on various review sites
Create a list of review websites that will be good for your products and services, set up profiles and start using them. There various are websites that specialize in product and services reviews like Lodlois.com, TrustLink, Google Local, Yelp, among others. Consider those sites relevant to your business.
3. Offer incentives
Compelling incentives are an excellent way to get consumers excited over sharing information. They are also a great way to show that you appreciate your customers. For instance, you could offer a coupon for those customers who leave a review on your products.
4. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
Often, most customers will not start looking for ways to leave a review for your business unless they have some negative experience. So besides asking them to leave a review, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to review your products. You can, for instance, put links to your various review profiles on your website, your newsletters, follow-up emails, etc. You can also have a dedicated space on your business’ website for customer reviews.
5. Send your customers follow-up emails
Sending follow-up emails to your customers shows them that you appreciate them doing business with you. Ask them how their experience was and with the product still fresh in their mind, they are sure to provide a proper assessment. You can include a link to your customer review page and, perhaps an incentive and ask them to “share their experience on the product with the world.”
6. Make reviews part of your work
Ensure that your staff, especially the sales and customer service employees know the importance of soliciting reviews from customers. You can implement an incentive program in which you reward employees for getting reviews from the customers they work with. You could, for instance, give them a cash bonus, say, $20 for every review they get. This will make them remember to ask for reviews.
7. Remember to thank your customers
Monitor your reviews and make sure you thank the people who leave a comment. You can even go ahead and surprise them with a freebie or a discount code. Prompt responses to your customers’ reviews show them that their input matters. They feel appreciated.