Reports show that online reviews affect nearly 67.7% of purchasing decisions. Thus, if potential customers are unable to find any reviews of your business, they’ll likely end up spending their money with a competitor.
You probably know that this is true, but you might not know how to ask for reviews. You may not even know where customers should leave reviews for your business.
Below are some tips that’ll help you overcome some of the common issues businesses face when collecting online reviews. Check them out, and you’ll understand how to get feedback from your customers, without annoying them.
#1 Provide a Good Service
If you’re unable to do this, then collecting reviews is arguably going to hurt your business. That’s because you’re going to be collecting the opinions of disgruntled customers, for all to see.
That said, this can feel as though it’s a catch-22 situation. You might think that you can only improve service if you have reviews that tell you what you need to work on. While that might sound true, you can likely improve things without asking customers for advice.
Reach out to your customer service department and ask them to provide you with a list of common complaints. Take steps to fix these issues and track future complaints to see how effective your approach is.
You may also want to speak to some of your long-term customers and ask them for tips on what can be improved. Since they’re longstanding customers, they’re in a good position to provide relevant advice on what you need to work on.
#2 Prevent Negative Reviews with the Help of an NPS Survey
NPS stands for ‘Net-Promoter-Score,’ and it’s designed to help you measure customer satisfaction levels.
One of the interesting things about NPS is that’s it’s designed to be an internal metric. Thus, you can use the data generated by your NPS surveys to figure out what’s making customers unhappy. You can then take steps to fix these issues before they become public, in the form of a negative review.
NPS scores range from 0-10, with 10 being the most positive. Depending on the score that people provide, they will fall into one of the following categories –
- NPS Detractors – people that score your business between 0-6
- NPS Passives – people that score your business between 7-8
- NPS Promoters – people that score your business between 9-10
If you have a lot of Detractors and Passives, you should take a look at the feedback these people have provided and take steps to fix things. You’ll want to repeat this process every month or so, to prevent any small issues from escalating.
#3 Use Email Marketing
For a lot of business owners, the main problem with collecting reviews is that the process takes up a lot of time. But with the help of an email marketing campaign, you can automate the entire process.
All you need to do is set up a campaign so that customers receive an email after they’ve made a purchase. The email should ask people if they’re happy with the product and how/where they can leave a positive review.
Mention that people should reach out to customer service if they’re unhappy with the level of service. In doing so, you give yourself the chance to turn a negative review, into a positive one.
Over time, you’ll want to experiment with various aspects of the campaign. If you do this, you may be able to improve open rates and thus the number of people that engage with your emails.
At the very least you’ll want to experiment with the subject line. You’ll also want to adjust with the ‘wording’ within your email too. Even if you achieve a 1% improvement in emails opened, it will amount to a significant increase in reviews over the course of a year.
If you want to learn how to create effective email marketing campaigns, consider buying an item from one of your competitors. You can then study their campaigns and get a sense of what does and doesn’t work when asking for reviews. You could even study the email marketing campaigns of companies you aren’t in competition with.
#4 Make Use of Social Media
No matter how hard you try, some people will fall through the net of your email marketing campaign.
Fortunately, some of these people may follow your social media profiles. Thus, if you create a social media post that asks people to leave a review, you may be able to reach the people that didn’t engage with your emails.
Like your email marketing campaigns, you’ll want to run some experiments here.
Try posting at different times of the day, to see which time produces the most reviews. You’ll also want to experiment with the images you use in your social media posts. Additionally, experiment with the way you ask people for reviews, in the text portion of the social media post.
If you want to make this process easier, invest in social media scheduling software. Make use of the free trials on offer, to figure out which option is right for you.
#5 Run an Ad Campaign
Essentially, you’re going to do this using a retargeting campaign, and you’ll use either Facebook Ads or Google AdWords to get the job done.
For this to work, you’ll need to collect a list of all the customers that have purchased something from you.
You then need to set up your campaign so that your ads target these individuals. In Facebook, you’ll do this by creating a ‘Custom Audience,’ and in AdWords, you do this by creating a ‘Website Remarketing List.’
It’s vital that customers stop seeing these ads, once they’ve left a review. To do this, adjust the campaign settings so that people who visit your ‘review page URL’ are automatically excluded from the campaign.
You should also consider limiting the amount of time people see these ads after they’ve bought something. A limit of 15 days or so should work well for most ad campaigns. This will reduce the odds that people find your ad campaigns annoying.
For the ‘design’ of the ad, you don’t need to go overboard. Make sure the ad includes a call to action that tells people how they can leave a review. If you can, give the ad the same ‘brand design’ as your website. This will help create some familiarity, thereby improving the level of engagement.
You might also want to experiment with personalizing the ads as much as you can. So, you could have specific ads for particular products. If someone buys a ‘fridge’ from your store, the ad could say ‘Thanks for buying a fridge from us – would you mind leaving a review?’
#6 Focus on One Review Location
If a customer leaves a glowing review on an obscure site, the benefit to your reputation will be minimal because the review is not widely visible. Following this, you should ask your customers to leave reviews in one central location.
For most businesses, the best option is Trustpilot.
Because it’s a third-party review site, it helps lend some credibility, thereby making the reviews more impactful. Note that Trustpilot does have a paid offering, but you don’t need to invest in it to see results. As long as you set up a basic account the right way, you should be fine.
One of the cool things about Trustpilot is the ‘Automatic Invitations’ feature.
This is a feature that’ll send people an email, once they’ve bought something from your business. This feature also has a built-in follow-up option that’ll send people reminders if they’ve not left a review. If you set this up, you can take advantage of the email marketing benefits discussed earlier.
If you collect reviews using Trustpilot, your company rating will be visible in the search listings. So when someone searches for your business, they’ll see a ‘star’ rating alongside links to your business.
If you run a local business, this can be especially powerful as your competitors are probably not making use of this feature. Ratings may no appear automatically, and so you’ll probably need to set this up ahead of time. If you find this challenging, ask a local marketing agency for some help.
Do You Know How to Ask for Reviews?
84% of consumers trust online reviews, as much as a recommendation from a friend. It’s clear then, that online reviews can have a massive impact on the success of your business.
In this post, we’ve explored various tactics you can use to collect more reviews for your business. You first need to know how to ask for reviews, and you can do this by using methods like email marketing. You could even use ad campaigns to help you reach customers that haven’t left a review.
It’s vital that you ask people to leave reviews in one central location. This makes it easy to collect reviews as you only have to provide people with a single link. But it also ensures that your best reviews aren’t on a website that no one knows about.
Thinking about hiring a digital marketing agency? Check out this post for some tips on how you can find the right agency for your needs.