How to Encourage Customers to Leave More Reviews
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How a brand builds its reputation has drastically changed over the years. In many cases, a company’s prestige is no longer fully controlled by the organization itself but by the customer. Consumers can publicly share whether or not they approve of a product or service, and those reviews have the power to drive business away or help profits skyrocket.
Customer reviews are an essential component of your brand’s reputation management strategy. According to a recent consumer survey, ninety-eight percent of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making a purchase decision. Similarly, 79 percent of consumers specifically seek out websites with product reviews, up from 63 percent in 2018. Reviews really do make all the difference!
So how does a company encourage customers to leave more reviews? We’ll dive into that next.
10 Ways to Increase Client Reviews
1. Encourage More Reviews
As a multi-location brand, one of the easiest ways you can gain more reviews is by simply encouraging customers to leave them. After a customer purchases a product or uses your services, your brand can send them an email inviting them to leave a review. We’ll get more into email etiquette later.
There are also opportunities for your brand to encourage reviews in person. If your company has a customer success team that interacts with customers, they can encourage reviews directly. For example, if a customer success member is speaking with a customer, and the customer is raving about a product — that is the perfect time to encourage them to leave a review.
2. Make Reviews Easy and Accessible
While encouraging customers to leave reviews is a significant first step, other customers won’t leave reviews if they can’t quickly figure out how to do so. Leave calls to action for reviews throughout your site, so your customer knows where to leave their feedback and that their input is valued.
Another way to ease the review writing process for your consumer is to decrease the amount of information they’re required to provide. Simply ask them to provide their name and to rate their experience from one to five stars. A few clicks, and they’re done.
The easier you make it for them to generate a review, the higher the chance they’ll do so. This simplicity will also increase your company’s exposure online and can help you gain more credibility.
3. Give Your Customer Options
You should allow your clients to report their experience with your product or service on multiple channels. This includes all of your search and social channels. If your brand doesn’t know where to start, a local presence on Google, Facebook, and Yelp is a must. Industry-specific platforms such as OpenTable for restaurants or Trip Advisor if you’re a hotel and resort company.
The more places consumers have to leave reviews, the better. While giving customers options for where they can leave reviews is necessary, your brand must also be willing to monitor those reviews. We’ll get more into monitoring reviews later in this blog.
4. Send A Follow-Up Email
Customers are more inclined to write a review right after receiving and using your product or service. Send them a follow-up email one to three days after a purchase and inquire about how they liked their product or experience. You can then prompt them to share a review by adding a direct link to your reviews section within the body of the email.
Here are a few tips on how to encourage reviews via email:
- Have the email come from a real person’s email address.
- Have the body of the email read like a personalized note, even if it is pre-drafted.
- Test different subject lines.
- Test different body copy.
- Have a clear call to action by placing a button in the email.
5. Leverage Social Media Fans
Your fans on social media are already a loyal pack. That’s why they follow or have subscribed themselves to all of your updates! You can garner additional reviews from them by simply encouraging them. Did you know that seven out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they’re prompted?
Show customers that their reviews hold value by turning them into promotional images and sharing them on your social channels. Doing this will help boost your brand and will get other clients to write a review so they can be featured on your page.
Alternatively, you can prompt your social media followers for more reviews by simply posting a product photo and asking them what they think about it. This could spark an increase of likes, comments, or shares of the post.
While this won’t improve ratings within your reviews section, it could produce responses from those who would not usually speak out. The post could also appear on other timelines and pull in new customers who may not have known about this product or how wonderful your brand is.
6. Deliver a Better User Experience with Reviews
Users love a more tailored experience. Deliver a personalized experience to them by using their past reviews to make more accurate product recommendations the next time they shop.
The personalized approach shows your consumers that they are valued and that you care about their purchasing decisions.
For example, if you were shopping for camping equipment and gave a certain brand stellar reviews, wouldn’t you want to see other related products? Simplify the buyer’s journey by showing your customers similar products with the help of their feedback.
7. Engage with Existing Reviews
While encouraging customers to leave more reviews is critical, it’s also essential that your brand interacts with existing reviews. Consumers said they tend to read ten reviews before deciding on a business. Of those who read reviews, 97 percent said they pay attention to the responses business owners and operators write. The data speaks for itself; responding to reviews is a must.
When responding to reviews, personalization and timeliness are crucial. Forty percent of consumers expect a response no more than 24 hours after a negative review is posted. For positive reviews, a quick “Thank you, [name]!” for positive reviews goes a long way.
For more tips on responding to reviews and additional reputation management tactics, check out our Multi-Location Marketers Guide to Online Reputation Management.
8. Leverage Surveys
Surveys are another excellent way to gain feedback from your customers who may not be as likely to leave a review.
Surveys allow your multi-location brand to:
- Get more detailed feedback from guests who aren’t on the extreme ends of the guest experience spectrum.
- Leverage data to better compare the customer experience at different business locations, influencing improvement strategies.
- Improve your customer experience across locations, reduce the number of negative online reviews, and increase the number of returning customers.
While a survey may not directly impact your business’s volume of reviews, it can help improve your customer experience, which can, in turn, increase your reviews in the future. For more tips on surveys, read our customer advocacy KPIs blog to understand which types of surveys best influence and improve your online reputation management.
9. Emphasize the Importance of Reviews to Employees
As a multi-location brand, all of your locations must understand the importance of reviews. They should be aware of all the tactics above and prioritize gaining customer reviews.
Your employees should also understand the importance of local reviews. Eighty-seven percent of consumers read online reviews of local businesses. Most employees will want their business to succeed, and reviews are a part of what makes a business successful.
10. Develop a Strategy for Review Collection
Once you have your local teams on board with the importance of reviews, your brand should have a solidified strategy for review collection. While the tips above can help guide your strategy, corporate and local teams need to understand how they will execute the plan.
Who is responsible for encouraging customers to leave reviews? Who is managing review responses? What will your brand do if a business location lacks reviews? These are questions to ask when developing your strategy.
An outlined plan will help keep all parties accountable and ensure your brand gets the reviews it needs to succeed.
Make Optimizations Based on Findings in Reviews
Finally, your brand can encourage customers to leave more reviews by making sure the reviews that are left are heard. Your brand should pay attention to the reviews it receives and make adjustments based on both positive and negative feedback.
For instance, if you get multiple reviews mentioning difficulty getting in contact with your business, this pain point needs to change. To do so, your business can leverage a reputation management platform that provides insight into the sentiment of your reviews, so you can identify and manage emerging sentiment trends from online reviews while analyzing shifts in local reputation over time.
If a consumer notices your brand is paying attention to its reviews, it will increase the chances that they’ll keep doing business with your company. It will also attract new customers and, ultimately, more reviews. Our blog on brand reputation management shares additional reputation management efforts your business can focus on to keep customers happy.
As a multi-location brand, encouraging customers to leave more reviews is a smart business move. Now that you know how to do so, it’s time to start. Managing reviews at scale can be challenging with 100s or 1,000s of business locations, but SOCi is here to help.
SOCi Reviews is a streamlined reputation management software built for multi-location businesses. Through SOCi, users can view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect.
With SOCi’s Reputation Insights, you can also identify and manage emerging sentiment trends from online reviews while analyzing shifts in online reputation over time. This solution allows your brand to analyze data, make proactive changes, and set your business apart from the competition. For more insight into how SOCi can help you manage your online reputation and gain more reviews, request a demo today!