We all know that getting more good reviews are, well, good. Positive ratings bring in customers, and customers bring profit.
You probably know that reviews aren’t always a great indicator of quality. In this technological era, scams infiltrate even the sanctity of online reviews. Despite this fact, studies show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation from friends or family.
If you don’t have enough reviews—or worse, if you don’t have enough positive reviews—your business could be in trouble. Only 53% of people would even consider trusting a business with less than 4 stars.
You can be selective on your business’s website, featuring positive reviews that instill trust in your consumers, but when it comes to third-party review sites like Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor, sometimes reviews are out of your hands.
Wondering how you can get those essential golden stars? It’s easier than you might think.
1. Create Incentives
One of the most popular strategies out there is to create an incentive. Think about it.
When presented with the choice between a few moments of free time and a coupon—which one are people going to choose? Consumers love discounts.
But if you’re going to do this, you need to be careful. Offering cash or goodies in exchange for reviews is against the rules on many third-party review sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you don’t play by rules, the risk could be higher than the reward.
2. Just Ask
This tip might seem obvious, but some of you might need a reminder. Just ask for what you want. You’re bound to get a yes from somebody.
Most customers are willing to leave reviews, and when prompted most people do. One survey found that 68% of people who were asked to leave a review did. That’s it.
There are different ways you can ask for reviews from your customers. For example, you could provide links on your website, social media accounts, or emails. These links could prompt consumers to leave private feedback on your website or public feedback on third-party review sites.
Like incentivizing reviews, some third-party sites have rules regarding soliciting reviews. For example, Google mandates that you don’t request reviews in bulk (for example, sending an email blast to your entire mailing list).
This floods your page with reviews quickly, so Google will know. And, it’s a bad business practice, anyway.
3. Use Appropriate Timing
When you do ask for reviews, you need to ask at the most opportune time. If your timing is bad, you could get a bad review instead of a good one.
So, how do you know when it’s the right time?
Well, it depends. Sometimes you’ll want to give your customer time to use the product. Some products are best reviewed immediately after delivery. Others need days, weeks, or months before they’re ready for review.
For some services, the best time to review is immediately after receiving it. This strategy of immediacy would work great for a ride share service but terribly for a book. Every product will have a different best time.
One way to gauge customer satisfaction is through your customers’ actions. You can take it as a good sign that they’ll review your business in a positive light if they:
- Placed a second order.
- Tagged your business or product on social media.
- Spend a lot of time on your website or socials.
- Referred you to friends or family.
After these markers, ask for a review!
4. Leverage Positive Moments
Like using client behavior to trigger review requests, you can leverage positive experiences with your customers to gain good reviews.
Ask for reviews after receiving praise or positive feedback from a client. Encourage employees to ask how the customers’ experience was at the end of a service or transaction. If they were happy, use that to your advantage!
Asking for reviews in person is more effective than written requests. Saying no to a nice human is a lot harder than ignoring an email. In the same vein, building great personal relationships with clients and promoters will create positive experiences that they’ll want to share.
5. Make it Easy for Consumers
The more barriers there are to reviews, the less likely consumers will want to leave one. Streamline your process to make it as easy as possible. Don’t create long-winded or difficult to answer questions.
And don’t make the survey last for twenty minutes.
6. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Instead of leading with, “Will you leave a review?” ask an open-ended question like:
- How did you like our service?
- How did we do?
- How are you liking your product?
- How is this product working for you?
By asking how your customer enjoyed their experience before soliciting a review, you can also avoid the awkward moments where you ask for a review from an unhappy customer.
While this tactic allows you to resolve customer dissatisfaction before they post their opinions on the internet, it’s also one that is perceived as shady by some third-party review sites. For example, Google calls this strategy “review gating,” and it’s against their policy.
7. Be Transparent
The best thing a company can do for their clients is to be honest with them.
And, when it comes to leaving feedback, most people won’t bother if they feel like they don’t have the time. You can help yourself and your customers by telling them how long the survey will take before they start.
This might come as no surprise, but shorter surveys will get more responses.
8. Be Consistent and Frequent
When it comes to reviews, it’s important that they’re good. But it’s also important that they’re recent.
To maintain high quality, recent reviews, your review requests must be consistent and frequent.
However you choose to frame, time, or filter feedback request, make sure that you stick with it.