As a business owner, you understand how critical online customer reviews are. An online review significantly impacts your business. According to a Zendesk poll, 90% of participants indicated positive internet reviews influenced their purchasing decision, while 86% stated that bad reviews influenced them to stay away from a brand.
When collecting reviews, many businesses focus on what to do about one or two negative reviews. This is wrong. The most effective way to counteract a few negative remarks is to pile on the positive ones.
This calls for you to encourage many of your satisfied consumers to write about their experiences.
How do you convince customers to give reviews
There is no better way to go about it. If you need more reviews, ask your customers to review your business. The beauty is that as long as you provide excellent services, your customers won’t have a problem leaving the review.
When it comes to asking for reviews, there are plenty of ways to go about it. These ways include:
Emails: When communicating with the customer via email, ask them to review your business in every email you send. You might think you need to be ultra-creative when doing it, but this isn’t the case. After you have sent the message to the customer, include a link to a review site in your email signature.
You can also send an email specifically meant to ask for a review. Here is an example of an email you can send.
How to ask for a 5-star rating example
Hello, [Client Name]!
How did you find our services?
We always look forward to hearing from our loyal clients to continue improving.
We would be grateful and delighted to hear from you. If you don’t mind, please take two minutes to let us know about your experience with our service.
Click on this link [link to the review page] to leave us a review.
Thank you for trusting us and taking your precious time to give your feedback.
If you have any questions about our services, please contact us at your earliest convenience at [contact link/email].
Business card: Here, you give your customers a business-card-sized handout with a QR code that links to your review site, such as Google My Business page. When the customer scans the code, it launches a window on their devices that directs them to a page where they can write a review for your business and submit it on Google.
Website or app: While the customer interacts with your app or site, you should ask whether they are satisfied with your service. When the customer leaves a review, ask them to do it on the various review sites. If happy with your offer, they will be more than glad to do it.
You need a plan to have an easy time asking for reviews. One thing you should do is to automate the reviews.
To do this, you can have a pop-up form on your site to collect reviews. On the form, ask your customers to give feedback about their consumed service. This form should automatically populate the review on your review sites so that the customers don’t need to fill the review on every site.
You should also have a series of follow-up emails where you ask them to write a more detailed review of their shopping experience.
While you can ask for the reviews manually, you should refrain from doing it as it will become too much of a strain. You are also less likely to be consistent when you do it manually.
You can also use customer feedback emails, where you send emails at least once a month asking your customers to complete a survey about their experience with your customer service.
At the end of the survey, ask your customers if they would like to submit a Google review. If they are happy with the service, they will be open to it, which increases your review count.
When collecting the reviews, you shouldn’t just focus on getting any reviews. You should concentrate on getting positive reviews as they put you in good light. You can accomplish this by encouraging customers to leave a review once they have shown satisfaction.
A good way to go about it is to send them a survey. Once they give a higher rating, encourage them to write a review.
Plenty of businesses have had tremendous results when they personalize their ask. You can borrow this and use it to your advantage. For example, when a customer buys from you, you can make a short video thanking them for the purchase and ask them to review the service and business.
If you have a large staff, you can have a dedicated team calling your customers personally and asking them about their experience with the services and business.
Offer an incentive
Sometimes even the most satisfied customers need a little push to take time out of their busy schedule to submit a review. Offering a tiny bonus is a good way to express your gratitude.
Remember that your offer should be for writing a review. It should not incentivize the customers to create a nice review. When it comes to the incentives that you can use, there are many. The common ones include:
Discounts and credits: You can give your customers discounts for their purchases when they leave a review. You can also partner with a gift card company and offer gift cards to customers who review your business or services.
Charitable donations: Everyone likes to be associated with social good. You can ask your customers to leave a review, and in return, you donate a certain amount to their charity of choice. When making the request, remind your customers to be as honest about their reviews as possible.
Offer free publicity: If your customers have websites or social media pages they would love to be featured, you can ask them to leave a review and a link to their website or social media pages. This is a win-win result because you get the review you want and, at the same time, increase your customer’s online presence.
At least once a week, pick two or three reviews and feature them on the front page of your website with the link to the customer’s page or website.
Make the process easy.
The average consumer will only look for ways to submit a review if they have a poor experience they want everyone to know. If they are happy with the service, they won’t go out of their way to leave a review. That’s why you should invite them to leave a review and make it as simple as possible for them to do so.
A great way to do it is to include direct links to your review profiles in various places, such as a follow-up email, newsletter, and website.
Customers are more likely to take the time to post a review on a site they are familiar with, so send them a link to the popular review sites. You should remember that as much as the customers love your business and products, they won’t take time to leave a review on all the sites, so keep the sites as minimal as possible.
When sending an email asking for the review, keep it short, make the customer feel special, and include a link directly to the review site. Don’t wait for them to research and find your profile. You should always aim to make the process as simple as possible for them so that it takes the least time, increasing their chances of leaving their feedback.
Another option to make it easier for customers to leave reviews and write testimonials is to provide a review request template.
You should provide a template based on the response you’re looking for. For example, if you offer landscaping services, you can ask your customers how they feel about the service, the quality of interaction, and overall satisfaction with the interaction.
When designing the template, remember a clear relationship exists between the number of paragraphs included and the conversion rate.
The more content people have to read, the less likely they will provide input. The longer the email, the lower the conversion rate. Keep things brief, simple, and to the point.
The beauty of providing a template is that you can influence what your customers say. At the same time, your customers won’t have to think too hard about what to say, which increases their chances of leaving feedback.
Engage with the existing reviews.
In most cases, people who would not usually post reviews, whether satisfied or not, will be encouraged to do so if they see business responses and input.
So, by responding to reviews, you encourage others to leave feedback.
Many business owners will respond to positive reviews and avoid or ignore negative ones. This is wrong. Even if you have nothing to say to the negative review, say Thank you.
Besides replying to reviews, another way to engage with the reviews is to share them on your social media pages. When a customer sees that you are sharing reviews of past customers, they are more likely to let their voices be heard.
Best practices for responding to online reviews
Responding to internet reviews is essential to maintaining your online reputation and communicating with your customers. Whether the reviews are positive or bad, you should respond to them.
How to respond to positive reviews
You don’t have to overthink when responding to positive reviews, as the customer is already satisfied. You also don’t have to respond to every positive reviewer, but to show engagement, give a “thank you.”
Some of the things you can say include:
- “Many thanks!” We look forward to seeing you again soon.”
- “Thanks for sharing your experience.”
- “We’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed your experience.”
If the customer leaves specific compliments, recognize and emphasize them. For example, if the reviewer commended your timely service or pleasant personnel, thank them and emphasize how essential such qualities are to your business.
Remember that responding to a positive review acknowledges the reviewer and allows you to engage with other possible consumers who may be reading the review.
You may develop a good reputation and inspire others to choose your business by demonstrating your gratitude and commitment to providing excellent service.
How to respond to negative reviews
Responding to negative online reviews requires tact, sensitivity, and dedication to resolving the issue. To help you out, here are tips that will help you properly respond to the negative reviews:
Respond as soon as possible: Respond to negative feedback within 24 to 48 hours. This shows that you take consumer input seriously and are committed to resolving the problem.
Be emphatic: Acknowledge the customer’s experience and offer genuine empathy for any inconvenience or disappointment caused. Even if you believe the complaint is unjustified, apologize for their poor experience. This indicates your dedication to providing excellent customer service.
Thank the reviewer: While it may appear paradoxical, thanking the reviewer for bringing the issue to your attention demonstrates gratitude for their feedback and a willingness to improve.
Address the specific concerns: Respond to the review’s concerns. Be explicit and open about how you intend to resolve the issue.
Present a solution: Depending on the nature of the problem, present a solution or offer assistance to resolve it. This could include issuing a refund or requesting the customer to contact you directly to discuss the issue further.
Take the topic offline: If the issue necessitates further discussion or sharing personal information, share contact information (phone number, email address) and invite the reviewer to contact you personally. This allows you to handle the situation quietly and efficiently and answer their worries.
When responding to a negative review, maintain a professional tone and avoid arguments. You should avoid getting into fights or being defensive. When you respond professionally, you show your commitment to customer service and help your company maintain a good image.