When shopping for a product or service, your potential customers don’t give the same value to different sources of information. They generally don’t trust what they see in advertising, but many believe the reviews written by other customers on the Internet.
Not convinced? Here are average figures from various marketing studies:
80% of consumers trust advice from family and friends;
60% trust customer reviews they read online;
15% trust advertising.
Learning how to get positive online reviews from your customers is a strategy that can pay off very well. Read on for our dos and don’ts to maximize your success.
1. Do help your customers publish their reviews
Write simple and complete instructions on your website. For example, list the web addresses for your company or products on Google+, YP.ca, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, LinkedIn and so on. Explain how to publish a review on each of these sites (for example, you could write that on YP.ca the “Write a Review” button is located in the “Ratings & Reviews” section below the contact information).
2. Do identify the customers whose expectations were far surpassed, and ask them to write a review
Be respectful. Don’t ask your customers to give a positive review – ask them to give an honest one. You’ll get more customer reviews, and they’ll be excellent.
Send them your instructions by email, and follow up after a few days. After they’ve published their testimonials, thank them.
Depending on the situation, you can ask for their permission to use their review on your website. Add specific details to your site to indicate that these are real reviews. The statement “I received very good service. Mary, Red Deer” is less convincing than “I received very good service. Mary Smith, accounting technician and mother of three, Red Deer.” Including the customer’s picture is even better.
3. Don’t forget to invite your clients to leave a review or a comment
Add a statement in your email signature, next to your cash register or on your website.
4. Don’t cheat
Don’t write your own reviews. Don’t ask your friends and family to write them, unless they’re actually your customers. If they do write a review, they must not use your personal computer or your company computer. Several websites can pick this up and conclude that you’re writing your own reviews. You’ll then be greatly penalized.
5. Do be gradual
If you’ve never received any reviews and all of a sudden you start getting dozens of them, you may be falsely identified as a cheater. Implement the tactics described here progressively, such as one per month.
Reviews from your satisfied customers will be one of the best leverage points to increase your sales. Considering what little time they require, you should prioritize them in your marketing strategy. If you get negative reviews, use them as opportunities to show how much you care about your customers’ satisfaction.
Potential clients who read a negative review are more interested in seeing how you handled the situation than anything else. For tips on effectively responding to criticism, read 4 Rules for Handling Negative Reviews on the Web.
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