When your customers love you, it shows. One of the perks of having satisfied customers is you can get positive reviews of your business for a whole bunch of people to see. And who doesn’t want that?
Positive reviews not only feel good as a business owner, they also help elevate your online reputation and instill confidence among new and existing customers. Google’s own research shows that 71% of consumers feel more comfortable using a business that has positive reviews.
Though getting a negative review here and there is common (and not the end of the world), it’s a powerful indicator that you’re doing something right when you can point to a host of positive reviews from verified customers. So there’s nothing wrong with striving for positivity.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of positive reviews and how you can encourage more of your satisfied customers to leave reviews.
Benefits of positive online reviews
Positive online reviews help your business:
- Establish credibility: Positive reviews from real customers provide valuable social proof that your business is legitimate, does what it says, and delivers on its promises. When customers are willing to publicly share the positive experiences they’ve had, it builds your credibility and trustworthiness — making your business more attractive to potential new customers.
- Improve SEO and visibility: Search engines like Google use the presence of verified positive reviews to rank your business for trustworthiness, authority, and relevance, therefore bumping up your website in search results. The higher your site ranks, the easier it is for new customers to find you when they’re looking for products and services like yours.
- Increase conversions: Positive reviews help inspire potential new customers to convert, whether it’s clicking over to your website, booking an appointment, calling with a question, or making an actual purchase on the spot. And having more positive reviews than your competitors is often the deciding factor for new customers when choosing between you or them.
- Boost revenue: Positive reviews bring more new customers through your door and reinforce with your existing customers that they’ve made the right choice. More customer interest, conversions, and traffic lead to more sales and greater revenue.
We’ve established that positive reviews are beneficial, but the trick is getting reviews in the first place. And we know that at least 50% of surveyed businesses say this is difficult for them. So let’s talk about that next.
Source: GatherUp SMB Marketing Activities Survey, August 2023
5 strategies for encouraging customers to leave reviews
Feeling hesitant about asking customers to leave a review is normal. Maybe you don’t want to seem intrusive or make anyone feel obligated — or you’re worried they won’t leave a positive review.
But never asking or encouraging your customers to leave a review decreases your odds of building a solid body of quality, positive reviews that can net you the benefits outlined above. Because only 10-15% of customers will leave a review. In other words, if you don’t put it out there, very few people are going to pick it up, let alone even realize it’s an option.
Asking for reviews from customers is important. That’s where you start, and there are lots of ways to do this. If you want to encourage satisfied customers to get into the game and leave more reviews, try the following:
1. Share your existing positive reviews
Don’t hide your light. If your customers are raving about you, showcase this. When other customers see the positive comments and feedback, it can have a knock-on effect of making them want to join in with their own feedback. Think of it almost like FOMO — fear of missing out — but in a nice way.
Post some of your most glowing reviews on your website, include them on in-store signage, and highlight them on your social media channels. This shows your customers that other happy customers exist just like them and that your business acknowledges and appreciates their reviews.
2. Be obvious — like really obvious
Sometimes making it super obvious where and how customers can leave a review is all the encouragement they need. When a customer who’s just had a really great interaction with your business happens to notice a link to leave a review as they’re walking out of your store, they could very well jump on it.
GatherUp makes it easy to automatically request reviews from all of your customers. But if you don’t have a review management tool, you can still request reviews. Include review information everywhere you can — in your store, at the bottom of purchase receipts, on your website or customer portal, on social media posts, in emails and texts, and other places where you have a presence or a direct line of communication with customers. You never know who will see or hear it and take advantage.
3. Assure your customers it’s easy — and then make sure it’s easy
Even after a great experience, even when it’s super obvious, some customers may still hesitate to leave a review because they think it’s going to be a long, complicated process. No one wants to take time out of their day for a bunch of extra work if they don’t have to. When you advertise where or how to leave a review, say it upfront: Quick and easy! One simple step! Whatever is appropriate for your review method. Then just ensure that it is that easy. When customers realize this, they may end up leaving multiple reviews over time since they know for certain it isn’t hard or annoying.
Guide to Get More Reviews
4. Offer incentives
Incentives can be good motivation too. Although FTC guidelines say you can’t incentivize customers to only leave a positive review, you can, however, incentivize them to leave any kind of review that conveys their true experience. (And since we’re talking about encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews, hopefully, you’ll get some positive ones.)
Along with your review request, consider offering something in exchange, such as a free gift card, discount off their next purchase, cash, extra points in a rewards program, or any other perk you feel comfortable providing. For the subset of happy customers who prefer a little something in return for their efforts, an incentive is right down their alley and can make all the difference for them.
5. Engage with customers who do leave reviews
Finally, we say it all the time: respond to your reviews — good, bad, or neutral. Why? Because it shows that you’re paying attention to what your customers are saying and that you’re not ignoring or indifferent to them.
When someone has something nice to say, thank them and celebrate the win. If someone has a problem, address it right away. When customers see your business engaging like that, it helps them feel like part of a community and know that their thoughts and experiences matter. Engagement fosters emotional connections with your customers that open up genuine communication — encouraging honest feedback and more positive reviews.
Keep the good vibes going with GatherUp
Whether or not you get positive reviews really comes down to providing the best customer experience you can. And that’s the result of listening to your customers, doing more of what’s working, and improving what isn’t.
With GatherUp’s comprehensive customer experience and reputation management platform, you have the tools you need to proactively request reviews, collect and listen to customer feedback, and turn that feedback into actionable insights. The more actions you can take to improve the customer experience, the more positive reviews you’ll get, and the better your online reputation will be.
To learn how GatherUp can support your business in getting more positive reviews and enhancing your reputation, schedule a demo.