Reviews play a critical role in determining whether a business will succeed. They establish social proof and directly influence customer behavior. Considering it’s never been easier to access reviews, it’s no wonder they’ve become such an important facilitator of business growth.
Companies are impacted by reviews in a multitude of ways.
● People typically read 10 or more reviews before shopping at a new business
● 88 percent of shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
● Improving your rating by 1 star can yield a 9 percent increase in revenue
With so much at stake, it’s imperative businesses both encourage and engage with customer feedback. Reviews not only improve your reputation, they also increase your search visibility and sales.
To utilize customer reviews to your full advantage, consider the best practices for requesting them.
When to Ask Customers for Reviews
It is important to consider both
(1) when customers are interacting with your business and
(2) what time of day they are likely to post reviews.
The ideal time to request reviews is around lunchtime and after business hours. This time frame corresponds with an opening in the customer’s schedule when they are likely to visit businesses and have time to write a review.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to request a review immediately following the point of sale. This approach capitalizes on the customer’s enthusiasm and offers you an opportunity to evaluate your customer service. It also provides you with the contact information of the customer which you can use to facilitate future sales.
How to Ask Customer for Reviews
Sending review requests through email is both simple and effective. By providing customers with links to the review sites of your choosing, you can generate reviews tailored to your business needs. This strategy acts as a good barometer for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. It allows you to determine which customers are both satisfied with your business and are willing to take the time to post a review on your
The majority of online reviews are posted using cell phones. To take advantage of this, consider sending requests through SMS. Customers are more likely to click on and respond to these requests. SMS requests are a convenient and effective tool in generating customer feedback.
Keep a few things in mind when designing your message. Every review request should be:
- Personalized: acknowledge each unique recipient
- Concise: keep your message brief
- Simple: include clear instructions
For efficiency purposes, create a template message for requesting reviews. You can adjust it and reuse it in the future.
Bear in mind, for review campaigns to be effective they must be conducted frequently. New reviews are more likely to influence customer behavior than old reviews. Develop a schedule for requesting reviews to ensure they are up to date.
Responding to Reviews
Customer feedback provides businesses with valuable insights. It is important that you thank everyone who takes the time to leave a review, regardless of whether it is positive or negative.
If the customer leaves a positive review, be sure to share it on social media and your website.
If the customer leaves a negative review, apologize and offer to move the conversation offline.
Where to Request Reviews
Concentrate your efforts on the most influential review sites: Google and Facebook. These sites offer your business the greatest visibility and return on your investment. Both companies encourage businesses to request reviews. This makes your job easy.
Prioritize these sites when sending out review requests and watch your digital marketing grow.
Companies like Yelp discourage businesses from requesting reviews. To increase your volume of Yelp reviews, include links to your company’s Yelp page in customer emails and newsletters. By promoting your presence on Yelp, customers will feel more inclined to post reviews there.
Online reviews play a significant role in shaping your reputation. It’s more important than ever to influence, monitor and manage customer feedback. Doing so can increase your visibility and generate more sales. Take control of the online conversation and get started managing your Word of Mouth Marketing.
Consider signing up for Visual Visitor’s free trial- no credit card required. Take advantage of our automated tools for requesting and monitoring online reviews across 38 platforms. And when you’re done exploring our resources, be sure to leave us a review!