Reviews are a powerful way to market a business. Be it a small entrepreneurial venture or a large Fortune 50 enterprise, testimonials coming from happy customers build credibility and help you sell whatever it is you sell. Reviews are not just found on retail sites such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, and they also go beyond Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google, and similar apps and platforms. There are industry forums where customers from all types of businesses leave comments and write about their experiences.
Today’s customers expect a better experience. And whatever the experience is, they talk about it. In some cases, they write about it, and the world gets to read what they are thinking. So, it makes perfect sense that any organization would want to create an experience that gets praise from customers.
However, before you can get a five-star review … You must be good enough to earn a five-star review! And with that in mind, here are some of our secrets to getting five-star ratings and reviews.
Three Reasons to Focus on Ratings and Reviews:
- Social Proof Builds Confidence – Please know the new rules of Reviews ”The business with the best online reputation wins.” Reviews offer proof that some customers need to move forward with their purchases. Customers rely on reviews, which research says can be even more important than price.
- We Are in the Trust Economy – Positive reviews and comments from customers build trust. It makes social proof more important than ever. Having hundreds of more reviews than your competition makes your business an obvious choice. People believe in friends, family, and other customers more than they believe you. Reviews provide a much louder and more persuasive voice in the marketplace. They create credibility. That turns into trust. This is what you need to move a customer from thinking about buying to taking action.
- The Golden Lead – We like to talk about the “Five-Star Gold Rush,” we are currently a part of in which businesses rush to accumulate as many five-star reviews as possible. The result is what he calls a “Golden Lead,” a lead that puts you far out in front of the competition. My take is that a “Golden Lead” could be someone who has done their research on the company and knows coming in that they want to do business with you. Same impact. You have a lead over the competitor.
Two Reasons Why Customers Won’t Leave a Review
- It’s Not Important to Me – While accumulating ratings and reviews may be important to you, some of your customers don’t view it the same way. Typical customers are too busy with their own lives to find the time to share their opinions.
- Review Exhaustion – When is the last time you did business with a company that didn’t send a survey and/or ask for a review? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Sure, there are many that don’t, but more and more businesses are asking customers to take time to share their opinions. Happy, loyal customers are willing to do so, but they too will experience fatigue. Just today I was asked to review or rate a restaurant experience, an Amazon purchase, my insurance company, and a recent flight. And that was all before 9 a.m.!
Four Ways to Get Customers to Write Reviews
- The Law of Reciprocity – At Advoria, we have discovered a way to get people to write reviews for your business. Give them a compelling reason. Do something nice for them, and they will do something nice for you. For example, when someone leaves you a good review, email them an offer to do business with you in the future with a percentage or dollar discount, or if you do not want to discount your services, or maybe you can send a donation to a non-profit organization every time you get a review.
In 2021, it is more important than ever to have a holistic approach and this is a great way to deliver social reciprocity. Your customers will like that you are “giving back” and the recipient will be grateful for the support. More and more customers want to do business with brands and organizations that are behind a cause or are involved with the community
- Use the Right Words – Asking a customer, “Can you write us a review?” is better than not asking at all, but can be done better by tying that review to a donation or cause as mentioned above. One of our clients offers to plant a tree for a review, giving the customer an incentive that is good for the earth and increasing the chance of getting that review. If you want to increase your chances, even more, consider a slight variation on the lesson from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s classic book, Influence. After the customer agrees to write a review, say, “Thank you, and if for some reason you choose not to write the review, would you please let me know?” When the customer answers, “Yes,” to that request, it adds a subtle layer of a deeper commitment. That innocent line is more powerful than you might think.
- Timing Matters – Asking for a review a week after the customer’s interaction with you is a waste of time. It needs to be timely. If the customer is buying in person, why not ask while they are still there? The best time for an online sale could be within a day after the customer receives a package. Contact customers within hours after their interaction with you, not days. A way to do thi is that you can schedule out your reviews with Advoria to meet the timelines you need to make these timely.
- Gentle Reminders are Appropriate – There is nothing wrong with giving your customer a gentle reminder to leave a review. Even your most well-intentioned customers are going to forget. You can use technology to automate your reminders, as long as it appears genuine and thoughtful.
Recognizing the power of a review or rating is the first step. Then, it’s time to place a tangible strategy in place. You now have several reasons to focus on the ratings, and you understand at least two reasons customers may not leave a review. But you also have four tactics to get your customers to act. You can’t leave it to chance. You have to ask the customer at the right time, with a compelling reason, and if necessary, remind them. If you want your review strategy to be a success, don’t leave it to chance!