FAST FACT: Customer and client testimonials and reviews are very powerful for businesses.
A great review can help convince an audience to patronise your business; a poor review can be incredibly damaging to your brand. So obviously having good or great reviews is of paramount importance.
But what about businesses that have no, or very few, reviews? Is this a bad thing?
Consider this: Reviews give a brand authenticity – as long as the reviews aren’t fake! It’s even (somewhat surprisingly to many) not a bad idea to have a range of reviews – of course with the vast majority being great. But one or two less than stellar reviews allowed onto a public review list alongside plenty of great reviews shows that you are a real and credible business and not faking or cherry-picking what you publish. When you get more reviews, it helps build consumer trust and loyalty.
More than 60 per cent of online consumers look at reviews during the purchase decision process. Research also shows that eighty percent of customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. Reviews matter.
Of all social media platforms, Facebook reviews for B2C (business to consumer) are most effective, followed by Google+ reviews. B2B (business to business) does best with LinkedIn reviews.
The question then remains, how to you get reviews for your business? Many consumers will be more than willing to “have a whinge” and leave a bad review if they’ve had a poor experience with a brand, but what triggers people to take the time to write a good review?
7 great ways to trigger customer reviews
Make it clear to your customers that you not only appreciate their business, but that you also welcome and encourage all feedback. If you invite feedback in the form of reviews, you’re more likely to get it!
The trick is to make the review about the customer, as opposed to how valuable it will be for your business. Emphasise the fact that their opinion matters and that others would love to hear about and benefit from their own experience with your brand.
If a consumer believes that you honestly value and have a personal interest in their opinion, they will feel more inclined to give it.
- Deliver premium service
Great reviews require great service delivery. The greatest product in the world will not garner a good review of the customer service attached to the buying experience is anything less than stellar.
When great customer service that stands out is delivered, consumers will want to share their experience.
Note that poor customer service experiences also will be shared – so pay attention to this crucial part of your business.
- Engage with your followers
Make sure your social media presence is active and friendly. Post regularly and frequently, but not in an overbearing way. At least one post per day is ideal, but no more than three in total.
Share content that is engaging, captivating, interesting, informative, funny, or inspirational – and change it up so people remain interested. Be positive! Respond to comments and thank people for sharing your posts.
- Encourage social sharing
Without directly asking for reviews, invite your social media followers and fans to share their experiences and thoughts.
- Make leaving a review easy
Leaving a review should not be complicated. Reviewers should never have to go looking for a place to leave a review, and they should not need to fill out long or complex forms.
Have a quick link to “Leave a Review” or “Tell Us What you Think” on your website, as well as easy links on your Facebook profile. It should also be easy for customers to review via links in emails and newsletters.
- Focus on your credibility
Social media is a great way to personalise your brand and business and to build your credibility with consumers. This gives customers another level of interaction with your business that they won’t get in a bricks-and-mortar store or simply from a website.
A social media presence can not only build your sales; it can help you get reviews for your business.
- Say thank you
Reply to all reviews you receive. This personalises your brand and makes the consumer feel that they have been heard and that their opinion matters to you.
New reviewers will also see this and be more inclined to share their own opinions. Share positive reviews on your testimonials page or social media, citing the reviewer.
Negative reviews need not be shared further, but they should not be edited or removed (unless they are written in an offensive way). They must also be responded to, ideally with a request to make private contact about any issues.
The 3 DON’Ts of REVIEWS:
- Offer incentives for reviews – it is not considered to be ethical in the marketing industry. This is tricky because some marketers actually recommend doing just this. You need to consider the platform you’re using – for example, neither Google nor Yelp allows incentivising of users.
- Aggressively solicit reviews – you can invite people to leave a review, but you should never coerce and use strong tactics to bully a customer into leaving a review.
- Delete negative reviews – this diminishes transparency and can harm your reputation
What if I get a bad review?
At some point even the best businesses will receive a bad review. Maybe you had a bad day. Maybe things did not go to plan. Perhaps your customer was having a bad day!
Let’s face it – some people like to complain, no matter what. Some people thrive on negativity, and some are very difficult to please. Murphy’s Law states that if things are going to go wrong, it will be with one such customer.
You need to respond and address negative reviews online – ignoring them will potentially cause harm to your business. Monitor all reviews (note that reviews can be left in places you won’t see them).
Respond to all reviews – but especially to negative reviews. Many customers will calm down when you communicate directly with them to explain and try to resolve their issues. A lot of negative reviews are actually left in the heat of the moment and don’t actually reflect the reviewers true ongoing feelings.
When you respond publicly on negative reviews, always be constructive and positive. Be polite and professional. Remember at all times that you are the face of your brand. Handles the right way, dealing with a bad review can demonstrate your commitment to great customer service and your overall business.
Final tips to get more reviews for your business:
- Make sure the tab on your Facebook profile for Reviews is both visible and activated.
- Verify your business with Google.
- Automatically share your social media profile links in your email signature and on your home page.
- Rank all positive reviews as being helpful.
- Place best reviews and recommendations higher on your page.
- Promote existing reviews.
Good reviews on your website and social media profiles help to instil credibility in your brand and a sense of trust in your customers. It also extends your reach and improves rates of conversion for your business. Employ the above tactics to get more reviews and reap the rewards.
One way you can get reviews is through LinkedIn…
Do you know about our 4-week LinkedIn Optimisation Course? Not only do we share a bunch of valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you.
While we are talking about LinkedIn, here are some of best blogs on our favourite platform!
Have you ever considered growing your career or your business with LinkedIn?
There are numerous ways to create a LinkedIn marketing strategy, and in this article we’ll look at some simple tips and explain how to use LinkedIn for business and create a marketing plan for measureable results.
- Latest LinkedIn changes – what you need to know
LinkedIn has introduced some pretty significant changes in the last few months. These LinkedIn changes include a new look and feel to user homepages, profile pages and also changes to the LinkedIn pricing structure, so that more users will pay to use the platform (or pay more than they already were).
One of the more important things that should be shared on your social media business page is your blog. Don’t have a blog? You should!
Social media sharing includes news flashes, inspirational or funny memes, product showcases, images, and much more.