Reviews for a product, business, service, or anything else are vital now a day. Especially with the ease of simply doing a Google search to find thousands of reviews from multiple 3rd party websites. It can be treacherous as there are many false and paid reviews out there, so you must always be skeptical and browse through a few sources before making a final decision as a consumer.
As a business you are always striving to obtain more reviews. As more reviews transpires into trustworthiness, which equates to sales. More sales = more revenue. A win-win situation has arisen, but how do you obtain these reviews?
You do not want to come of as pushy or begging for reviews, so what is the secret. We all know upset customers will leave a review, whereas satisfied customers are less likely to leave any feedback. How do we get around this problem? Listed below are some of the techniques I have used in the past for clients and have seen great success.
- Ask Customers – This is one of the easiest and most effective way to obtain reviews. Ask the client what they think of your service and if they would post a review online (as long as thy are a happy client)
- Act Swiftly – Do not wait a couple of days or weeks. When getting customers to leave reviews it is important that it happens that day or a few days later. Anything longer and the customer will have forgotten about it and moved onto something else.
- Emails – Sending out emails is a great way to connect with past, future, and existing clients. It is always good to email clients after finishing a project, completing a job, selling a product to make sure everything is working properly. In this email you can offer links to your review sites such as Yelp, Google Maps, your own site, etc.
- Extra Functionality –Many sites offer users that leave reviews new products that may be of interest to them. Amazon is big on this; when you leave a review you will be shown products tat go along with that product already purchased. This simplifies the buying process.
- Publish Reviews – Everyone likes to read reviews about what your business has to offer from third party sites, but it is often helpful to crate a reviews page on your website. Create a section devoted to customer testimonials where users have the option to add their own reviews. This adds a sense of trust and confidence to potential buyers.
- Third Party Reviews- It is a great idea to add a live stream of reviews from third party authority sites such as Yelp, Google Maps, YellowPages, etc.
- Incentives – Often times, especially for new businesses, it is a good idea to offer an incentive to users that leave reviews. These can be a percentage off their next order, money off a service, or anything else that can be a bargaining tool. This is a good short-term plan, but in the long run ti can backfire. If someone outs that your are offering free services for positive reviews your creditability can be ruined.
- Samples – Free stuff is always something will admire, but like the above scenarioit can backfire. If it does backfire your company is in a lot of trouble and this type of online reputation management is difficult to repair.
- Borrow Reviews – If your company is selling a specific type of product that is popular amongst consumers you can take reviews from the company website and third party sites such as Amazon, eBay, Overstock, and others as factual reviews. Just make sure to give credit to the sites where the reviews were taken from. Once your business has been established and has original reviews you can remove those taken from third party websites.
- Using Social Media- Many companies do not realize the power and influence social media sites have on their brand appearance. Many times people will do a company search and the top sites will be the company’s site along with their social media channels. This means having a positive influence on these channels is vital. Make sure posts from users on social media sites are appropriate and if not respond to them accordingly. Do not be hastily, but simply try and resolve any issue.
- Reach Out – Find people who have reviewed similar products or services and see if they would be willing to write a review for you. This is a great tactic, as the people you are targeting have already shown an interest and are most likely knowledgeable in the field. This is great for credibility, especially if you find influencers in your niche to leave a review.
- Keep it simple – Make it easy for users to leave reviews. This means giving users options to leave reviews on different third party sites. Post the URL’s to your Yelp pages or another sites. Do not make users search the web as they will often times be discouraged and give up. The easier it is to leave a review, the more likely you are to receive that review.
- Buying Reviews –This is something that occurs all the time, but is highly frowned upon. We do not recommend ever using this tactic, as it is deceitful and unethical. Make sure to obtain real, truthful reviews. Unfortunately, there is a large market for fake reviews. People will spend thousands of dollars to get reviews removed or hidden. It is a deceitful tactic, but unfortunately there is no way to thwart this currently.
By following these techniques your business will see your review count skyrocket. Reviews are a way potential buyers gauge if something is worth their investment. Therefore it is vital to get positive reviews for your business using the above techniques.
What techniques do you use to grow client testimonials for your online business?