Just a few years ago one survey found that 90% of online customers say that their purchasing decisions are influenced by reviews.
And the more a person shops online the more likely they are to check for reviews.
This study found that 67% of weekly online shoppers almost always check reviews before buying.
Now, you may be a little fearful of seeking more online reviews.
After all, no business is perfect (although I think you are). So we’re all bound to get a few bad reviews.
But the thing is…bad reviews aren’t really all that bad.
Customers trust brands more when there are at least some negative reviews. It makes the positive reviews seem more real. Or it at least gives a full picture.
And a lot of people seek out reviews that aren’t entirely negative, which is one of the good points in this article.
When someone says, “Love this product!” it makes you feel great, but does that really help a potential customer? Probably not too much. A 3 or 4-star review with more detail gives potential customers great insight and it also gives you some feedback to help you improve.
Ok, so now we’re at least thinking about getting more social media reviews on sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, iTunes (podcasting), YouTube, Yelp and more. Here are some tips for getting more reviews…
This one is obvious, but it’s a big part of it.
I like listening to podcasts. And the best ones ask for reviews on every episode. Some even ask in the beginning of the podcast as well as in the middle and end.
The way I like how some ask is they say something like:
Hey, we would love your support. If you’re looking to help us out one way you can really do so is by leaving us a review. Good, bad or in between. It really helps us out to learn about ourselves and to provide the best service we can.
Tell them where to leave a review. All the ones listed above.
You could even give an example of how you used a review to improve the business. Or how you got more customers as a result of a specific review or a consistent theme in a review.
2. Ask At The Right Time
The end of a podcast is a great time to ask for a review. The listener has received some value. They’re about to leave the podcast anyway. They’re going to take some kind of action. It’s a good time for them to leave a good review.
Let’s say you own a restaurant. Asking a customer that just sits down to leave a review for your restaurant on Facebook while they wait for their drinks may not be the right time. But after they sign their check it might be a better time. Training your staff to ask at the right time is wonderful.
Other examples of pretty good timing:
- After someone engages with you on the channel (comment or like on Facebook; comment, like or connection on LinkedIn; etc.)
- After someone receives your product via delivery and maybe after they’ve had it for awhile.
- After a client has been with your business for one year, two years, etc.
- When a client renews their contract after being satisfied during the initial phase.
Here’s another really good one. The example is a chiropractor. Usually it takes a few months to really see changes. After those few months the chiropractor could sit with the patient and go over all the changes. The patient gets talking about things. That’s a great time to ask for a review; right after they’re about to leave as a happy patient.
3. Engage With Reviews
A lot of people get a thrill when a brand responds and engages with them online.
You’ve probably heard of online trolls. People that go blatantly over the top with their comments as a way to get a reaction. From other people. From brands. From anyone.
Well, you don’t have to engage with the trolls, but it’s good to engage with positive reviews and the truly helpful negative reviews.
I like engaging with specific reviews. Not really the ones that say, “This sucks…” That’s not really helpful. But someone that goes into detail and makes some good points? Engage with them. Tell them it was helpful. Thank them.
This encourages others (that want brands to engage with them) to leave specific reviews of their own.
My final tip for social media reviews is to make it part of your everyday process. Training employees to encourage reviews from customers at appropriate times. If you’re a B2B, look at your entire review process. Make sure new clients hookup with analytics. After the first contract is up make sure to get them thinking about reviews once they re-up. Have them look at the analytics or whatever determines success.
Online and social media reviews are huge. It’s essential to make the review process part of what you do everyday. It’ll help you improve. It’ll also help you grow as the reviews work to earn you more customers.