Before the internet, word-of-mouth was the strongest form of advertising. Its modern counterpart would be online customer reviews – but customer reviews are even more powerful. The real trick to managing online reviews is encouraging customers who had a great experience to share it online.
Why are online reviews so important?
There are a few reasons why you should care about how many good reviews your customers leave for you.
Everybody cares about reviews
According to Brightlocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review, 87% of consumers read reviews when they search for a local business, and the majority of them won’t consider a business if it has less than 4 stars.
Reviews improve your visibility on Google
The same survey showed that 93% of people use a search engine to find a business that fits their needs, and reviews make up about 13% or how Google ranks companies in their search results. More reviews give you more visibility and therefore more business!
People trust what other people have to say
This is especially true when they know that those who have left the reviews tried the product or service with their own money and left an honest review with no other incentive than to share their experience. Online reviews are an amazing marketing tool because they turn regular customers into unbiased brand advocates.
Reviews provide context and useful information to prospects
The reviews that a good or product or service has can tell your customers a whole lot of information, such as quality, value for money, popularity, availability, tips, and if what you’re selling is the right fit for them.
Reviews are a great way to learn about your customers' expectations
The more reviews you get, the better you can understand what your customers expect of you. You can identify any issues that your customers perceive so that you can resolve them, and you can stay on top of your competition by constantly improving. Additionally, responding to reviews shows your customers that their feedback is valuable and that you truly do take it to heart.
3 steps to increase your reviews
With all of that being said, here are three ways to increase the number of reviews that you get online.
1. Create a relationship with your customers
Let your customers know that you’d appreciate an online review for your product, and ask them how they would like to reminded about leaving that review (by text, email, phone call, etc.). You can briefly explain to them how important and impactful their review would be for your business, and thank them in advance.
This lets them know that they are an integral part of your success, and feel like they are genuinely involved and valued.
2. Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews
Make sure that you actually follow up with your customers so that they can be reminded (but not annoyed by the reminder) to leave a review. Choose your communication channels carefully, because according to Forbes and Campaign Monitor, the open rates for SMS can be as high as 98% while for emails it’s only 20%.
Include a link in your request so that customers can simply click on it and then leave their review. If the process is as easy and effortless as possible, customers are more likely to leave you a review.
You can also have a noticeable banner or button on your website where customers can easily leave a review for you there, if they decide to do so without being prompted.
3. Optimise the process for requesting reviews
If the process of asking customers to leave reviews is difficult and lengthy, then you’re not going to want to do it or have the time to do it. Instead, create a template for requesting reviews and then make sure to send the review requests when you’ve been paid for your product.
Create a template to follow up with people who still haven’t left a review yet, and then follow up with them at the end of the week. Try not to follow up with them any more than two times however, as that can come across as pushy and annoying and end up driving customers away, even ones that loved your service or product.
Seek tools that will help you to optimise or automate this process – like Fuzey.
Get the inside scoop with Fuzey
For some of our customers’ growing business, the strategies that we’ve outlined have increased their received reviews by 5.7x and their Google page reviews by 1.7x. If you’d like to know more on how we can help your business thrive, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book a demo with us to see how we work.