In part one of How To Get More Online Reviews we looked at the customer experience your business is providing and how you can optimize it to earn more reviews. This aspect of review optimization is harder, but pays the biggest dividends when you correctly deliver a great customer experience (not just customer service!).
In looking at data from our platform in 2016 we’re able to make this correlation between a great customer experience by using Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measurement and getting reviews.
Businesses on our platform with a NPS score over 80 get 6 times the reviews that a business with a NPS below 80 gets. Six times! Think about that and make sure you understand your “word of mouth index“.
Five Tactics To Get More Positive Online Reviews
For part two, let’s look at some of the tactical things you do to help your business get more positive online reviews on sites like Google, Trip Advisor and Facebook. If you have your customer experience squared away you can really benefit by layering in these next … but if your still not delivering on that, then it will be much tougher to make a sizable dent with these.
1- Engage ALL Of Your Customers In Feedback (Feedback, not JUST review asks)
Asking every one of your customers for feedback is essential. Let’s face it, getting reviews can be a numbers game so getting as many customers into your feedback funnel is a must. Besides all of the great things you can learn from their feedback, both accolades and complaints. You’ll be able to move happy customers on to reviewing you online.
When you only ask a few or without consistency, you’re only lowering the top of the funnel. You need to make feedback a priority and part of your business process. Bake it in!
Use a platform like ours to ask your positive feedback customers for online reviews, while following up with customers that left negative feedback to see how you can fix it.
2- Give Customers Review Site Options
We see and talk with businesses that are tempted to only ask for reviews on one specific review site because they REALLY want reviews there and only there. They want to ask all customers with Gmail addresses for only a Google review. Don’t.
We have noticed that only asking for reviews on one review site decreases the amount of reviews you earn. Your customer might not have an account with that site, trust that site or even know about it. We understand the desire to try to shape what happens with your reviews and where they come in, but any and all reviews and review sites can help you, even ones that might be crappy.
Best of all, great reviews at multiple sites can earn you business (and a review!) just like this one for Barbara Oliver Jewelry, a GetFiveStars client.
We advise our users to give their customers 3 to 5 review site options.
3- Use Multiple Entry Points Into The Process
The analogy I often use here is it’s great to own a gas station with 6 freeways all having exits to it. We see businesses most successful when they offer many different ways, both proactive and reactive into the feedback and review process.
Creating as many “in-roads” to your feedback and review process is key. A few of these are:
- Ask proactively by email, as soon as you can after the transaction
- Offer calls to action and feedback buttons on your website
- Use in-store signage, receipts and printed materials to ask for feedback
- Have a specific testimonials and review us page on your website
- Integrate “Give Us Feedback” buttons into your monthly email marketing
- Have employees hand customers an iPad or tablet to get feedback
4- Seed The Feedback And Review Process
This one is key. You need to plant the seed that you value feedback, want feedback and you will be asking for feedback. If your request for feedback hits your customer as a surprise a few days or weeks after buying from you, you have lessened your chances of feedback.
You can best plant these feedback and review “seeds” with your staff and customer interactions.
Having your front line employees make the customer aware they will be receiving a request for feedback after the transaction or service is complete is key. It let’s the customer know it’s coming and helps form responsibility in the customer to engage and provide feedback.
This can be taken to further levels by your staff letting the customer know that rating and giving feedback on their performance matters. Communicating that mentioning their name in the feedback and review is a level further. The customer now has a personal connection and all the more reason to leave feedback and write an online review.
5- Leverage Crowd Behaviors
In physics they say that a body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion will stay in motion. The same tends to be true for a body of reviews. If you don’t have any, no one wants to be the first reviewer and if you have a fair number everybody is willing to add their opinion.
So if you have no reviews it is critical to get your first few. Pull out all of the stops to get those first few reviews at Google and Facebook.
With Google print out a set of instructions (https://whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/) and personally reach out to a few of your most loyal and friendly customers and explain to them why you would appreciate them leaving you a review.
Once you have broken the ice on these review sites with one or more reviews, you can turn on automatic mode and work your process.
Go Get ‘Em
Hopefully our first post on customer experience and this one have given you a stronger understanding of what you can and need to do to get more online reviews. Above all, never forget that earning reviews is NOT EASY. Consistency, commitment and time will produce results so make sure you give all three your best.
Also read: How To Get Online Reviews – Part One