9 Strategies for Requesting Reviews
A customer review can make all the difference in another customer's conversion. Even a short review of minimal words can impact a visitor more than a brand's entire website. The difference of one star, or even half a star, could be the deciding factor for a shopper to choose your competitor instead of you. In addition, reviews are the highest factor for local SEO ranking.
However, to receive those words or stars that could propel your conversions, you have to request reviews from your customers. Despite feeling awkward or self-centered on your part, most people enjoy sharing their viewpoints but need the invitation.
The power of reviews
You've most likely witnessed the impact of customer reviews through your own experience as a shopper. Consider the times you've chosen one brand or business over another due to its reviews. It's a fact that what others say about your company has a greater influence than what you say about it. According to studies, 84% of shoppers trust online reviews as strongly as a personal recommendation. Increasing your review rating by 1.5 stars could translate into 13,000 extra leads, and a 1-star increase in Yelp can bring a 5-9 % revenue increase. Not only do shoppers seek online reviews, but 76% of those asked will leave a review.
Keep in mind that you're not limited to one method, but you should be using several simultaneous strategies to ensure you're receiving a constant flow of feedback. With recent and many reviews, you can earn more customer trust and have a higher search result ranking.
Whether you're seeking to increase Google reviews, better your Yelp ratings, boost your reviews from Amazon, or get all five stars on Facebook, here are the different ways you can gather reviews.
1. Asking in person
Requesting a review in person might seem daunting, but it's the most efficient way, and should the opportunity arise, take advantage of it. One such opportunity is if a customer comes to you with a spontaneous accolade. Express your thanks for the praise, then suggest how terrific it would be if the customer could write this on your online review platform. Explain how those types of comments assist prospective customers in deciding on your company. Then explain to your customer how to leave a review.
You can also take advantage of bringing up the opportunity in a conversation without waiting for the customer to initiate the praise. You can accomplish this by inquiring about your customer's experience with your business, services, or goods during checkout. If your customer goes into enthusiastic detail, encourage the conversation then, as it's wrapping up, casually mention how great it'd be if the customer could leave this feedback on your review platform.
2. Asking by phone
If your business has a prominent customer service department, you and your team will have many opportunities to request client reviews by phone. But use discretion. If you've gone through a time-consuming or difficult process of assisting a client, it may not be a good time to solicit a review. On the other hand, a delighted customer who vocalizes gratitude for your service will likely be happy to share this positive experience in a review when you ask.
3. Asking through text
Communicating by text message is becoming more popular for today's businesses, including for soliciting reviews. You can ask one of two ways. Through a manual request, as you've wrapped up the performed service. Or an automated request through SMS that sends texts after scheduled appointments and finalizing purchases.
4. Asking via email
Email communication has been one of the standard ways for connecting to customers. Also, it's easy to add the review platform link within the email. Your review request can be in an individual email or in an email campaign. You could send your campaign email as one group or segment it with more personalized demographics.
5. Asking post-purchase
Depending on the type of purchase, you may wish to ask for a review right after purchase or first allow your customer time to use the product.
Automatic purchase confirmation emails are great opportunities for requesting feedback or reviews. In them, you could ask for feedback on the customer's online shopping experience or a product review, directing them to a review page.
You could add a review request to receipts and invoices or ask on a small thank-you card enclosed with your product.
6. Asking through your website
Although you might place review CTAs throughout your site, it's not as beneficial as a dedicated reviews page accessible through the main landing page. Your landing page is where prospective customers navigate first when researching a business. Don't forget to allow your "leave a review" page to display current reviews, or show the reviews on another page, which will give writing inspiration to potential reviewers.
Various content management systems, including WordPress, have a script or plugin to gather your reviews from other review channels and place them in a feed on your dedicated page. However, you can add these manually, too. Whichever method you choose, ensure your reviews show in text format rather than as an image, so Google can locate any important keywords found in the reviews, boosting your SEO.
7. Asking through social media
Although any social media site is excellent for collecting reviews, you should focus on Facebook, which is a top platform for reviews. Just ask for reviews in a Facebook post. You can also create posts from current reviews, sharing them as they arrive on your feed. Then you can include a link for clients to add their own review.
8. Asking vendors
If your business involves B2B clients, think about reviews from your partners and vendors. Fellow business owners realize the importance of reviews. Leaving a review on their site or review list could prompt them to add one on yours without you having to ask.
Aside from this, you can also ask them for reviews. When you're both in a meeting, you can tell them how it's been a pleasure working with them and ask them to give a quick review regarding their experience with your business.
9. The wrong way to ask
There are also improper ways you should avoid when asking for reviews.
Don't give incentives in exchange for a review, whether this means a monetary payment, free gift, or discount. Incentivization is not only against many review platforms' terms of service, but it can encourage low-quality reviews without any actual honest review substance. These may have stars but no text or uninformative text, and potential customers will lack the needed information to make decisions.
Don't ask for reviews in an apologetic manner. Keep it professional, even in your requests. Most customers will be happy to leave a review. And you are giving them the opportunity to assist other shoppers with needed details to reach an informed choice.
Don't neglect responding to your reviews, whether positive or negative. Your responses will indicate your acknowledgment and gratitude for your reviewer's time. In addition, this will help you build and strengthen customer relationships and show others that you listen to your customers. Responses provide your listing with interaction, which Google will recognize as it ranks business listings.
Although there are numerous ways to request reviews, the most productive channel and/or approach depends on the company. It's best to have several simultaneous game plans and test which are more successful for you.
Make the process as simple as possible for potential reviewers. Any emailed requests should be short and to the point. If your request is on printed material, use a short, memorable URL to your review page. Be honest in your requests and not pushy.
Remember that reviews aren't just to help you but a tool for consumers to assist other shoppers in making wise and sure decisions.
A constant flow of high-quality reviews is vital to your company's reputation, Google ranking, and eventually your profits. By using these strategies for a successful review campaign, you're on your way to seeing successful results.
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