One of the single most important factor for any business is receiving reviews, recommendations and referrals by their customers on the products or experience they have shared with the business. If there is one reason as to why your business doesn’t receive reviews, it is because you are not asking for it.
Many people are under the misconception that asking for reviews from their customers is more like asking for a favour when in reality it is not. Being asked for one’s opinions about a certain thing is appreciated by all humans, thus, looking at it from a different perspective, you realize it only makes your customers happy for the fact that they have been asked for an opinion.
Good reviews are a method of assurance for your potential customers. This is because they are aware from the experience of others that what they are going to buy or the company that they will engage with is not a counterfeit and this is especially important if we are talking about an online business. However, good reviews are also of great benefit to brick-or-mortar businesses as it increases the number of customers who may visit it to test their products in the future. However, the real question is, how exactly can businesses encourage customers to write reviews?
Let’s take a look at how to get reviews achievable:
Make it possible
Although it may seem like an obvious thing to do, it is indeed a crucial step in receiving reviews from your customers. On your website, you need to present an obvious display of “Write Review” or “Post Review” to allow your customers to acknowledge the fact that you are prompting them to leave a review on the products you purchased.
Ask for it
Ask and you shall receive. Your business needs them in order to increase revenue streams. The best way to do this would be via email after the customer has received their order. This is because it gives the customer enough time to use the product and develop an opinion on it. Another common way of doing this is by asking customers to leave reviews after they have had their queries answered via email.
It is extremely important for the reviewing process to be simplified. This will encourage the user to leave a feedback for your business. Businesses that have a complicated reviewing process where they ask the user for login details or have a series of steps to complete before the user can actually drop the review is more likely to receive fewer reviews than others. Some customers may come with the determination of leaving a review on the website but may be put off by the complicated process and avoid doing it altogether. Conversely don’t ask someone to provide you a review on 2, 3 or 4 different sites. Once is enough, more than that, you’re just making it hard.
Make it mobile
Nowadays almost everyone uses their smartphone for every activity that they wish to perform. Thus, it is important to make reviewing a function that is available to your customers on the go by making it mobile. You can do this by having apps through which customers buy products, wherein they can also leave reviews or have mobile-friendly websites.
Ask for reviews on expensive products
There is a probability that a customer might buy more than one product from your online store at a time, this is the time for you to encourage your customer to leave a review on the most expensive product bought by them, if not all. In this way, other users will be aware of the product and might consider buying it thus increasing revenue streams.
Ask reviews for products that don’t receive reviews
There are many such products that may not receive reviews from buyers at all. In circumstances like this, it is crucial to look into the product and understand why this is happening. Firstly, increase the exposure of the product. Secondly, change the way you approach customers in asking for reviews. Lastly, encourage users to leave reviews if these products are purchased to increase sales on these products.
The best strategy to get customers to write reviews is by giving them something in return. This can be done by rewarding your customers with points or entering their names for certain raffle draws once they have successfully posted a review. These points that are rewarded to them can later be redeemed for discounts the next time they make a purchase.
Once you receive reviews, responding to them should be the main focus. If the review was positive, be sure to show genuine appreciation. If it was less than positive, it is important to make the customer feel like they have been heard and that their opinion hasn’t gone down the drain. This in a way will encourage customer loyalty. The business should make them feel like their review is appreciated. Another important factor is negative reviews. Although this might not be to your liking, it only makes it look more authentic and relevant if you show negative reviews alongside the positive reviews as well. Addressing the negative review with a positive response will help you build customer confidence as well. A negative review handled well will, in fact, gain consumer support and instill confidence to all.
Referrals and recommendations are just as much important as reviews. Referrals are basically the recommendations of others. People might knowingly or unknowingly promote your business while talking about a certain thing, this is a word-of-mouth referral. Word-of-mouth referrals are extremely helpful and are approximately 2.5 times more effective than other forms of advertising. Referrals can happen without your knowledge, but it is best to formalize the process of receiving referrals as they are highly beneficial for the business and may be the key to make it profitable. Referrals are especially crucial for start-ups as it is a way from them to grow in the market.
Recommendations and referrals are provided by customers who are satisfied with the service they have received and are proud to share their thoughts about your business to their close friends. Although recommendations and referrals may seem to be very helpful, the real question is how do we get customers to write for us?
Let’s take a look at how we can get recommendations and referrals achievable:
Provide quality service
Although this may seem straightforward, it is the way to go ahead. It needs to be kept in mind that a good business requires you to provide your customers with the best service and support them in times of need. As the customer is satisfied with the service received by the business there is a higher chance for them to recommend your business to others, which can be a great deal of help for your business. Regularly review the services that you provide to your customers and showcase honesty at all times.
Make your clients aware of what you want them to recommend
It is important to let your existing clients know that you are willing to take in new clients in order to grow your business. This can be done by having side notes in the emails you send them wherein you mention that you are welcoming new clients. However, you should always provide the same service to all your clients, never giving one more importance over the other. This will help increase customer loyalty.
Develop an “Elevator Pitch
The idea of an “Elevator Pitch” was introduced by Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso. It promotes the idea of providing enough information about a certain product, service or opportunity that you offer, that is explained in the length of an average elevator journey. This needs to cover a few details which includes the plans of your business and why you would like to be referred to, to what kinds of people you would like to be introduced to and how it won’t compromise your already outstanding service standards.
Build an effective website
Building a mediocre-styled website will cause you to receive less number of recommendations and referrals. Thus, it is crucial to build a website that is interactive and encourages user friendliness. There is a high chance that when you are recommended to someone, they will either Google you or check your website. If they see that there are positive endorsements present, they might call you, but if they see more negative comments, they may consider moving on to other businesses.
Provide incentives to your client to make them realize that you value their recommendations and referrals to new clients. This will encourage them to buy products or use services provided by your business and even recommend it to their family and friends.
There are also many other platforms other than the website of the business itself wherein they can promote themselves by customer reviews, recommendations and referrals. It can be done through Facebook reviews. Facebook is a great platform that is used by many people and customers can leave their reviews and recommendations here. Many people read reviews left by others on Facebook which can influence their choice. Receiving recommendations of your employees on LinkedIn and using these recommendations, with their permission, to represent your business is a great way to show how well your company is performing. Google Plus is another great social media platform to collect reviews and the higher your star rating and greater number of reviews will also help with the ranking of your website. Thus, having an online presence on these websites in order to represent the company in a brighter light is a great way to represent the business.
To sum it up; there are plenty of ways to receive reviews and recommendations from customers. To receive the best response from the customers, it is important to approach them in the right way. Consistency is the key. Be consistent with what you promise to your customers and deliver on your promises. Always appreciate them spending their time and putting their effort in writing reviews and referrals for your business. This way you will not just encourage them to buy more products from your business but also leave additional reviews.
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