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How to Quickly and Strategically Generate Reviews


Customers today rely heavily on others’ opinions when considering a new product or service. Ninety-eight percent of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions. Additionally, nearly 8 in 10 consumers specifically seek out websites with product reviews. Since reviews are so important to consumers, does your business have a strong strategy in place to generate reviews?


If not, you’re likely losing business to competitors that do. Many companies, particularly multi-location businesses, don’t ask customers for reviews because they don’t have a strategy in place, and it’s too time-consuming to solicit reviews manually across business locations.


In this blog, we’ll explain the overarching benefits of reviews, and we’ll cover seven strategic tactics to generate reviews. Let’s get started!


What is Review Generation?


First off, let’s define review generation. Review generation is the act of encouraging customers to write reviews about your business, products, and services. These reviews will appear where your business is mentioned online, such as your local listings, and you can place them on your website to improve your conversion rate.


Benefits of Review Generation


Your company can profit in many ways from generating reviews. Below are some of the greatest benefits. 


Improve Sales


Reviews, especially positive ones, can boost sales. According to one study by Northwestern University, the purchase likelihood of a product with just five reviews is 270 percent higher than products with no reviews.


Boost Online Conversions


According to our recent research report, The State of Google Reviews, when a business increases its Google Business Profile’s (GBP’s) average star rating by just one star, conversions (phone calls, website clicks, or a request for directions) increase by 44 percent


Increase Search Rankings


Reviews impact search rankings as well, especially your local listings’ local search rankings. According to a WhiteSpark Study, reviews have the second-highest impact at 17 percent influence on your GBPs local rankings. Keywords in native Google reviews particularly influence your local pack rankings.


Furthermore, according to our Top Rankings and Conversion Factors for Local Search report, GBPs ranked three through five averaged 280 reviews, which is far less than the top-ranked GBPs that averaged 404 reviews.


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7 Strategies to Generate Reviews 


Below are several tactical ways to generate reviews across your local listings and social profiles. Once you’ve generated those reviews, we recommend publishing positive reviews and recommendations to your website, helping you sway potential customers. 


1.  Make Leaving Reviews Easy


Your customers should have an excellent user experience anytime they interact with your company, especially when leaving reviews.


Ensure the review process is as straightforward as possible by simply including a link to leave a rating and text review on your website and in communications with customers. Clients should be able to merely click and respond. If the process is too complex, this could lower a customer’s original rating.


2. Correctly Time Your Review Requests


When asking for a review, it’s crucial to consider timing. You want to ask customers to leave a review when the product or service is still fresh in their minds but not too early that they haven’t even tried the product. 


According to PowerReviews, the type of goods your business sells influences when you should request a review. Here’s a breakdown: 

  • Seasonal goods (7 days): For seasonal or holiday products that are themed, don’t wait more than seven days to send a review. Customers have likely used these products by then.
  • Perishable goods (14 days): Items with a shorter lifespan, such as food, beverages, or flowers, wait 14 days before requesting a review. This waiting period gives consumers enough time to have tried your product(s).
  • Annual goods (14 days): Annual goods are often used immediately and only last a few years, such as personal care products, clothing, shoes, etc. Waiting 14 days to request a review ensures they’ve received the product and used it at least once or twice.
  • Long-term goods (21 days): Long-term goods are hardware products that will last several years, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, computers, and monitors. Waiting 21 days to send a review request helps ensure they’ve set up and used the product and it’s working as expected.


Now, let’s look at the best time of day to request reviews.


According to one study, the best time to request a review is between 2-3 pm and 6-7 pm. In the afternoon and evening, people aren’t working as much and have more downtime to consider your product or services and to leave a review.


3. Solicit Reviews Through Different Channels


Most companies, if they’re soliciting reviews, do so by email. Email is a great place to start. However, if you want to generate more reviews, use other channels such as chatbots and SMS text messaging. 



If a client is interacting with a chatbot, they likely have questions about their order or your brand. At the end of the conversation, feel free to ask them for a rating and review on their experience with your brand or around the specific product(s) or service(s) discussed.


SMS Messaging:

You can have customers opt-in to receive text messages from your brand as well. Some consumers prefer this over email. Don’t hesitate to ask for a review via text message. Just ensure you give them a link that makes it easy to leave a review and that the site you send them to is optimized for mobile use.


Email Signature: 

Beyond sending drafted review requests via email, you can also include a review link in your email signature. For instance, add a linked image or hyperlinks to your email signature with something like, “please share your experience with [company name] with other clients.”


4. Ask for Reviews on Highly-Frequented Platforms


Another tactic to increase review generation is to gather reviews on search and social sites your customers frequently visit. To achieve this, you need reputation management software that integrates with multiple platforms that host reviews — more on this later.


This strategy, paired with the right software, makes it easy to gain new reviews from multiple sources. Additionally, having reviews on these platforms will increase your chances of other consumers visiting your businesses. 


Here are a few of the most important review sites:


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5. Interact With and Respond to Reviews


According to our previous research, more than three-quarters of consumers leaving critical reviews expect the business to respond to them. Furthermore, 87 percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review depending on how the business responds.


It pays dividends to respond to reviews, particularly negative ones. Not only does responding to reviews enhance customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value, but it also shows prospective consumers that you care about and address client sentiments and concerns.


Download The Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management for specific details on how to respond to positive and negative reviews.


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6. Seek Reviews From All Customers


You should solicit reviews from all customers. Ideally, you should ask any customer who purchases a new product or service to rate it and leave a written review.


Also, it’s important to note that it’s against Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) regulations to only ask for reviews from customers you believe will write a positive review. You also can’t ask for feedback first and then request a review later, depending on the feedback. These are considered review gating tactics and are frowned upon by the FTC and companies like Google.


7. Develop a Review Generation Strategy


Now that you know the significance of reviews and responding to them, as well as tactics that can be used to gain them, it’s time to generate and solidify a review generation strategy. Consider the following questions as you begin brainstorming a strategy: 

  • Who will ask customers for reviews?
  • Which channels will you request on? 
  • Which team members are managing review responses? 
  • Are they adequately trained?


Layout a plan for your business to install that will keep all parties and team members accountable, at both the corporate and local levels. It’s also essential to improvise and make improvements to your review process and strategy as time goes on.


Generating and Managing Reviews Across Multiple Business Locations


If you’re a multi-location business, you’re tasked with generating reviews across all of your locations on multiple platforms. Doing this manually often seems daunting. Thus, you need review management software. This is where SOCi comes in.


SOCi Reviews is a reputation management software built for multi-location businesses. SOCi Reviews integrates with all major review sites and can help you track and respond to reviews across these platforms.

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Not only can you generate and monitor reviews across 100s or 1,000s of locations through SOCi Reviews, you can also use SOCi’s Reputation Insights to identify and manage emerging trends and sentiments around your local listings. 


Using these trends, you can better understand what’s making top-performing locations so successful and use these insights to make proactive changes to poorly performing locations. 


Request a demo today to learn how SOCi Reviews can help you manage and generate reviews across all of your locations. It’s time to generate reviews to improve search rankings, grow brand awareness, and boost sales!


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Chi Whitley

Chi Whitley is a content marketer who specializes in local SEO. He’s passionate about helping multi-location businesses grow their brands and online presence in the ever-changing world of localized marketing.

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