With 94 percent of consumers saying that an online review convinced them to avoid a business, it’s important for businesses to do everything they can to get as many positive reviews possible. Doing so helps cultivate an online reputation as well as acquiring and retaining customers.
With a steady stream of positive feedback, reviews can help boost exposure, and play the deciding factor for consumers when it comes to making a purchase decision.
There are many strategies for review generation, but we narrowed it down to five key methods:
- Claim your listings
- Send an email or SMS message
- Provide review request handouts
- Showcase positive reviews
- Respond to reviews
Get Reviews Method 1: Claim Listings
It’s not enough to just have a presence on Google or Facebook. You should claim and utilize as many online listings as possible. This gives the business a larger online footprint, which makes it easier for consumers to find it on multiple websites.
In addition, a collection of listings has the benefit of providing multiple avenues for customers to leave reviews. Research shows that 60 percent of consumers look at Google for reviews, but that leaves the other 40 percent using other sites including Yelp and TripAdvisor to get information on a business before they make a purchase.
Simply put, having control of multiple listings helps you cast a wider net that not only captures new audiences, but helps previous customers easily find you online.
Get Reviews Method 2: Send an Email or SMS Message
There are prime opportunities to get customers even after they leave your location, and you can capitalize on this by creating review request emails and SMS messages.
Research shows that 57 percent of all local searches are conducted on mobile and tablet devices, and it only makes sense to send requests for a review on the popular platform. Before you start sending requests, make sure that you have a clear messaging strategy in place.
You can encourage customers to leave a rating or review on specific sites, but you can also include open-ended queries such as “How was our service?” or “Tell us about your experience.” Using these prompts helps set the tone before a customer writes their review.
If you’re struggling to think of appealing content for review requests feel free to use some of our handy template suggestions.
Get Reviews Method 3: Use Review Request Handouts
Email and SMS review requests might be a convenient solution, but you can stand out from other businesses by providing a physical review request card. Unlike a text message or email, which anyone can easily disregard, a handout is harder to ignore because it’s an object that people actually hold in their hand.
Now that you have their attention make sure you keep them interested. Write appealing copy encouraging them to leave a review on a specific listing or your own website. You can even use the handout to increase exposure for your social media channels.
You can get the ball rolling on the contents of your handout with a free template.
Get Reviews Step 4: Ask before they leave
For more immediate feedback you can easily ask customers for their reviews before they leave your place of business. This is convenient for both you and the customer because there’s already an interaction between the two parties when the time comes to pay for goods or services.
Some point-of-sale (POS) systems already have a feature included in the system that allows you to easily ask customers to leave a rating or short text review of the business. If you don’t have that type of system you can still effectively ask customers to leave a review at checkout time through third-party solutions like ReviewTrackers’ Kiosk Mode.
Get Reviews Method 5: Respond to Reviews
You already interact with customers in the real world so make an effort to be just as engaging with the online reviews left by customers.
In fact, responding to reviews still manages to convince 45 percent of consumers to visit the business. By responding, you show that you care about every piece of feedback, which encourages other patrons to leave their own review.
Before you go and respond to every review on your listings and website make sure that you have a review response plan in place that addresses topics such as the tone of your responses, how to address specific issues, or providing contact information to resolve the matter in private.
The Tools to Get More Reviews
Creating a review generation plan is the first step to effectively get reviews from current and future customers. A combination of in-person and digital methods ensures that you capture the attention of as many customers as possible.
A continued and refined review generation process over time will not only net higher ratings and reviews, but also new customers and a larger stream of revenue.