Online reviews are simply good for business. Positive reviews, and a good number of them, can build immediate trust with new customers, increase a website’s conversion rate, and even create publicity or buzz around the brand.
But you don’t have to take my word for it; the data agrees. According to a 2018 survey by BrightLocal, consumers read an average of ten online reviews before feeling that they can trust a company and 57% of consumers will only do business with a company if it has 4 or more stars (out of 5). On the other hand, a whopping 92% of consumers, reported from a survey by Fan & Fuel, hesitate to make a purchase if there are no reviews. “Good reviews, word-of-mouth buzz, and consistent positive publicity – that’s the lifeblood of any serious, scalable business,” says Justin Wu, the founder of Rebl, a new online credit card company.
Of course, getting consistent online reviews for a new business is easier said than done. Let’s take a look at six ways to get positive reviews for your business.
1. Offer A Gift For Every Review
The first step to getting more online reviews is to simply ask for them. If you don’t ask, few customers will remember to leave a review and even fewer will spend time figuring out where or how to leave a review.
Sending an email blast asking customers for a review is great way to get the ball rolling. Always make it as easy as possible for the consumer. And if you want to increase the number of people who actually write a review, offer a small incentive (10% off their next purchase, for instance). According to a report by PowerReviews, 55% of consumers that don’t typically leave reviews said they need motivation to do so. Offering a discount on a future purchase or a free sample of an upcoming product can give customers the extra motivation they need to take the time to write a review.
2. Create A Facebook Page And Google My Business Account
Collecting reviews on a company website is crucial for increasing on-site conversion rate. But that isn’t the only place that customers are looking for online reviews. According to data collected by ReviewTrackers, 63.6% of consumers check reviews on Google before visiting a local business, which is more than any other review site. Similarly, Facebook now influences 52% of online and offline buying decisions, as reported by Digitas.
In other words, online reviews beyond the ratings on a company website, are key. Creating a Facebook Page and a Google My Business accountallows companies to collect online reviews where potential customers are already looking for them.
3. Ask For A Review When The Customer Is Most Motivated
In addition to using small incentives to encourage customers to leave a review, it’s equally important request a review at the right time – when customers will be the most motivated to leave one.
So when is the right time? “It really depends on the business and the products or services that you offer. If you sell simple consumer products, like clothing for example, then asking for a review right after the customer receives the package, when they’re most excited, is probably a good idea. If you sell a more complex enterprise product, such as a CRM, then you will probably want to wait a week or two to ask for a review until the user can really appreciate and utilize your product,” shares Alec Beglarian, Founder of Engage, an email marketing company.
4. Respond To Every Single Review
It might seem like a lot of work to respond to every review that people leave, but doing so can encourage new customers to leave reviews, increase your conversion rate, and even build more meaningful relationships with your existing customers. Not to mention that customers will receive a notification that you have replied to their review, creating a more personal experience.
In fact, people don’t just read reviews, but 89% of consumers also read businesses’ responses to reviews. Additionally, a study performed by Harvard Business Review found a link between high online ratings and businesses which respond to customer reviews, indicating that responding to reviews could increase your business’ overall online rating. So it’s a smart marketing strategy to take the time to thank customers for their positive reviews and smooth the edges with negative reviewers.
5. Share Positive Reviews
Not surprisingly, 97% of consumers say that company reviews factor into their buying decision. And the likelihood of consumers purchasing a product with at least five reviews is 270% greater than the likelihood of purchasing a product with no reviews.
Positive reviews directly impact sales. Whenever you get remarkable reviews, case studies, or testimonials from customers, make the most of them. Post them on the homepage of your website, share them as images on Instagram or Facebook, and include them as a “P.S.” at the bottom of your emails. When people see glowing reviews about a business, it helps build credibility and trust.
6. Address Negative Reviews And Offer Solutions
Since 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews, perhaps a response to a negative review is the most important of all.
Kind, helpful, and problem-solving responses to negative reviews can save nearly-lost customers, and increase loyalty and trust of current customers.
According to Fan & Fuel, 35% of people say that one negative review is enough to make them decide not to buy. Just another reason to respond empathetically to each negative review, proving to on-lookers that the company cares about its customers and is willing to solve their problems.