One bad comment or review by a customer can easily cancel out 10 good ones. And then, a company must spend time re-building its reputation.
Customers post reviews everywhere, especially on social media and on review sites. It is the responsibility of a business to know anytime a comment or review is written and to access those immediately with rapid responses. Letting any negative comment hang out there without a response tells consumers that the business doesn’t care. Fortunately, there are monitoring tools that will provide alerts, so no business should ever have to be unaware of any mentions.
But the ultimate goal is to be proactive and get as many positive reviews as possible. That is how a great reputation is built. With that in mind, here are nine strategies to get those great reviews.
- Ask for them
Ask your customers if they have a good experience with you and any purchases they have made. If they have, ask them if they would write a review and give them a link to a review site where you would like it posted.
- Make it Easy
Provide a survey for your customers. You can even have that survey published on review sites and provide a link for them to go there and complete it. And as you construct that survey, consider including some open-ended questions which will cause your customers to think a bit before checking on the offered responses.
- Ask for Photos/Videos
Customers may be happier than you think to send you photos or videos using your product or service. Post those on your site, your social media pages, etc. It’s a bit of “publicity” for them, and they are likely to share those with their friends too. More reputation building.
- Respond Immediately
Great customer service has become the backbone of business success. Consumers will not stand for poor service, no matter what their question, issue, or even comment may be. Steve Bradley, Director of Customer Service for the writing service Studicus.com, has this to say: “Like any business, we rely heavily on repeat customers and referrals from those customers to others. When we receive an alert that our company has been mentioned anywhere, we access it immediately. If a comment has been positive, we thank the customer and offer a small discount on their next purchase. If it has been negative, we publicly resolve the issue and offer a discount as well.”
- Speaking of Incentives
Customers are not inclined to provide positive reviews. They tend to make comments when they are dissatisfied. To reverse this a bit, plan to provide an incentive for your customers to leave positive comments on review sites or your social media channels. Discounts usually work well, and the cost will be well worth it if a business can get a great review that can be published in several places.
- Try to Get Specific Rather than General reviews
Positive reviews that just generally state, “I had a great experience” or “I really like the ______ I purchased” are too general. Your goal is to get customers to be more specific. This is why photos and videos often work well.
As you fashion surveys, make your questions as specific as possible. Just a “star” rating is too general as well. However, if a star rating is included in your review strategy, as a conclusion to other survey questions, then you want a 4 or 5. Consumers tend not to do business with a company that comes in less than 4.
Asking open-ended questions as well as details about fast shipping, good customer service, etc. should also be included in any survey. If you are having difficulty fashioning good survey questions, it is best to contract that out, using reputable writing services that have professional copywriting departments, like Trust My Paper or Grab My Essay, or through freelance writers that you can find on sites such as Upwork or Freelancer.com.
- Recent is Better
Don’t sit back on your laurels just because you have a number of positive reviews. The older they get, the less they are trusted. Getting good reviews is a never-ending task. Old reviews become “stale,” and they won’t be read.
- Authenticity Really Matters
Today’s consumer is not a trusting soul. When he reads a “testimonial” on your website or on a review site that only contains a customer’s first name, followed by a glowing review, they are suspicious. This is why photos and videos can be so effective, especially when shared on social media. Check out ModCloth’s Facebook or Instagram pages. They are filled with actual customers wearing the items they purchased and providing very personal comments about where and when they wore those pieces. This is what authenticity is all about – real customers sharing their stories.
Never fall into the “trap” of paying for fake customer reviews. They will all sound the same and are easily recognized.
- Timing has Impact
When a customer has just had a great experience with your business, they are feeling all “warm and fuzzy” about you. Now is the time to ask for that review. They are more likely to provide one while their happiness is fresh in their minds.
It Takes Commitment
Building and maintaining a business reputation is an ongoing effort. Of course, it involves offering high-quality products or services, integrity, and great customer service. But a strong online presence is key too – and a part of that presence is the continued accumulation of authentic, detailed, and current positive reviews. This is how trustful relationships are built with both current and potential customers. Consumers do look for reviews and recommendations before they are willing to do business with a company. These nine strategies should have you on your way to getting better and more positive reviews.
Author Bio: Nicole D. Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at Best Essay Education and a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog, LiveInspiredMagazine.