Five Simple Tips to Encourage Customers to Write Positive Reviews
It’s the ultimate conundrum for marketers and online businesses. We know that most people (at least 60% and as much as 90%, according to several studies) read online reviews before buying. However most people don’t bother to leave a review themselves.
People are generally only inspired to leave a review if something has gone wrong, using a review as a means of making a public complaint. But after a normal, straightforward, positive transaction, most customers stay silent. This can lead to a situation where a business’s collection of online reviews becomes increasingly biased, and does not include the majority of your transactions – those that go by without a hitch.
Try these five simple tactics to encourage your customers to leave online reviews.
Claim Your Business
Before you can start collecting reviews, you need to make sure your customers actually have a way of reviewing. You’d be surprised how many businesses haven’t claimed their Google business listing https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?hl=en or created pages on Facebook and Yelp.
The first and easiest way of encouraging your customers to leave a review is to simply ask them to do so. Send a follow-up email after your transaction with a direct link to the page to leave a review. Beware of asking too many times or appearing too pushy about it though, as this is one area where customers can easily become annoyed.
Make It Easy
Customers will soon turn away if it becomes too difficult to leave a review. Make it as simple as clicking on a star number with a small text box underneath. If you require customers to answer page after page of questions or make them register first and then confirm their email address, you’ll soon lose them.
Spell It Out
When asking for a review, give some examples of other positive reviews to guide your customers. Many people feel stuck or intimated by an empty text box. Giving a few short examples of other positive reviews should give them some inspiration to get started.
Say “Thank You”
Make it a practice of checking for new reviews once a week and sending a very quick personalised “thank you” message to every new reviewer. This will encourage that same customer to write a new review the next time they deal with your company.
*Let’s say that for every ten transactions your business has, one is particularly positive (the customer received a bonus or was pleasantly surprised by fast delivery), one was negative (a mistake was made and the customer had to contact your company), and the other eight transactions were normal and unremarkable. In all likelihood, only the customer with the negative experience will leave a review, and possibly the customer with the particularly positive experience.
The aim should be to encourage all of your customers to leave an online review – not just those customers who have had a particularly positive or negative experience. That way, these outlying transactions will be weighted appropriately by the majority of the transactions.