We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: customer reviews are important. According to a Pew Research Study, 82% of adults always or sometimes check online reviews before making a purchasing decision, with 40% always checking reviews. But how do you get customers to leave a review? Should you just ask them directly? Or is there a better way?
While some experts encourage asking customers directly for reviews, others say such a strategy could turn out to be counterproductive. Clearly, you don’t want customers to feel bombarded with requests to review your products and services.
Instead, the better strategy may be to let the motivation to leave a review come organically from the customers themselves. It works much better than trying to remind customers to leave reviews.
Start by finding creative ways to celebrate the greatest reviews left by your customers. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Post customer reviews on signage in your shop.
Let’s say you own a restaurant where every day hundreds of customers come to have a meal. Some of them then head to your site to post reviews. Sample the best reviews on a daily basis and post them on signage placed strategically around the restaurant.
It could be as simple as writing reviews on a blackboard. Include the name of the reviewer to add a personal touch and lend credibility to the review.
When customers see how much you value the reviews, they will be motivated to leave their own comments on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They will probably even hope to see their own review featured on the board.
2. Make customer reviews part of your outreach.
Not all businesses have a large in-store customer presence. So, it makes sense to feature reviews wherever your customers interact with you. Whether through social media, website copy, blog posts, or regularly e-mailed newsletters, presenting positive reviews reminds them of the importance of leaving behind comments about their own experiences. All this, without coaxing them into doing so.
BONUS TIP: Get a bad review? Learn the essentials of online reputation management and react accordingly!
3. Permanently commemorate good reviews.
Don’t allow your positive reviews to go unnoticed by your future customers. Immortalize the greatest reviews by printing them on business cards, plaques, window clings, napkins, coasters, or staff t-shirts. Use your imagination and have fun.
Whenever customers see these messages, they will be reminded of what a great business you have and may be motivated to leave behind their own reviews in the future.
4. Use customer feedback solicitation.
Most businesses want to know how their customers first heard of them. Customers are often given a number of choices, which could include online, word of mouth, social media, newspapers, television, and so on.
When customers indicate that they heard about you through customer reviews, go ahead and inform them how valuable feedback is to you. Without explicitly asking them to leave a review, your customers will feel encouraged to share their own opinions online.
5. Share good reviews and photos from Yelp on social media.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter play a complementary role to all your other marketing efforts. Apart from your website, it is here that you get to interact with your customers one on one and address some of their greatest concerns.
Take it further by moving a conversation that begins on your Yelp page to social media. Post your positive Yelp reviews on your various social media outlets. You will reach people who don’t use Yelp, and when they become buying customers, the likelihood of them leaving a positive review increases.
BONUS TIP: Optimize your Yelp page to leverage business leads today!
You don’t have to pester your customers to enjoy the benefits of online reviews. These 5 organic tricks will encourage online feedback in subtle yet effective ways.
LightHouse Graphics is a Yelp-Certified Partner and specializes in several areas of online presence, including social media management and content creation. If your business needs assistance in these areas, contact us. We’d love to work with you.