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5 strategies to get more reviews for your local business. The tips, tactics, impact, and effort to make each strategy a reality today.
Online reviews provide invaluable social proof which helps inform the purchasing decisions of prospective customers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In today’s world, reviews have the power to catapult your business to the top of local search rankings, serve as effective marketing collateral, and even help bring in more reviews on a more frequent basis. Seeing as 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family, the power of online reviews to help attract new customers and retain current ones shouldn't be ignored.
So how can you bring in more reviews for your business? There’s no shortage of ways to get started, but let’s look at six strategies you can implement to get more reviews.
The Tactic: We find that when asked around 20% of customers leave a review. To translate, the more customers you ask, the more reviews you’ll end up getting. You're leaving opportunities on the table if you're only asking 50% or 75% of your customers for feedback on your business. Cast a wide net and ensure you’re asking every customer that does business with you to join the conversation.
The Tips: Automate the review outreach process by sending an invitation to every customer that purchases goods or services from your business. Also, since it’s against Google policy to ask only happy customers for feedback or to incentivize writing a review, you’ll avoid having your reviews removed and ensure you’re complying with all guidelines.
The Impact: As we said before, asking more people for reviews will lead to more of them. Based on the statistic above, if you ask 100 customers for a review a month, you should get around 20 reviews a month. That can make a big difference for a small business on the up and up!
Nothing’s a sure thing, and maybe you won’t receive as many reviews as you were hoping for after reaching out to all your customers. But expanding customer outreach will likely lead to more reviews in the long run.
The Effort it Takes: HIGH
Negative reviews are assured. Positive reviews often have to be requested. It takes some time to compile customer information, develop email templates, and schedule out review request messages. Be prepared to have your internal team spend a considerable amount of time consistently executing an outreach of this scale.
Make it easier: using software such as Widewail Invite enables you to automatically send SMS review requests to your customers.
The Tactic: Products that cost over $100 get almost 10% more reviews than products that cost under $30. Your big spenders are more motivated to leave reviews since they are investing more money into your business. With this in mind, start your customer outreach efforts by prioritizing customers who have placed large orders with you in the past. You’re more likely to hear back from them.
The Tips: Review recent order information to pinpoint the customers who have spent a considerable amount on products or services from your customers. Additionally, look for customers who have placed multiple orders.
The Impact: Starting the process by going after the high-paying customers will likely yield solid results from the get-go. If you’re looking to get reviews and get them fast, reaching out to your big spenders first is likely a quick win.
The Effort it Takes: MEDIUM
If your CRM makes it easy to filter a list of recent transactions by order size and export the contact information, tackling this project should be relatively easy. If not, skip this strategy, save the time, and put it towards asking all customers for a review.
The Tactic: It’s certainly easier to send out the same message over and over to customers asking for a review. But your patrons will be more inclined to leave a review when they’re asked by (or think they're asked by) a real person versus an automated system. Personalizing your review requests will communicate in a relatable way who is reaching out and why, which minimizes confusion and increases click-through rates.
The Tips: Through automated review generation software (and perhaps some assistance from a review management company), you can personalize your messages with the customer’s name and reference the employee they worked with at the store without having to manually customize each request individually. Having technology in place that can pull relevant information about the customer and include it in a review request email is an easy way to personalize your messages without eating up too much valuable team time.
The Impact: Your review requests may be beautifully designed and written, but if they come across as cold and impersonal, your open and response rates will remain low. Personalizing both your review requests and your responses will help customers see your brand as people-powered and customer-centric, which will help improve customer retention rates and new customer acquisition.
The Effort it Takes: HIGH
Personalized review requests are made much easier when you’re armed with the proper tools and resources. But trying to manage this initiative in-house without the help of software or third-party vendors will prove to be a behemoth of a challenge. Do some research on effective review management tools, software, and vendors if you want to save yourself time, money, and resources in the long run.
Make it easier: Widewail's review request software will pull the customer name and representative name directly from the business's customer database. We can even help you get more video reviews.
The Tactic: If you’re sending marketing collateral or order confirmations to your customers through email, consider adding a review link in your email signature. This is a simple way to increase the visibility and accessibility of your review sites and give customers another avenue to leave a review of your business.
The Tips: The process for updating your email signature to include a review link is a piece of cake. Simply go into your email signature settings on your preferred email platform, update the text of your signature to include something like “Click here to leave us a review”, hyperlink that text to your review form, and presto! You’re all set.
The Impact: Unlike the strategies mentioned above, don’t expect this tactic to yield major results. Most people won’t bat an eye at your email signature. Also, there’s no context for your review link, meaning people aren’t likely to click on it. You might get a review via your email signature here and there, but all in all, this review generation strategy won’t be cost-effective.
The Effort it Takes: LOW
Again, it’s easy to update your email signature to include a review link. Updating email signatures that are included oi marketing and sales emails shouldn’t take more than a few hours.
The Tactic: Roll up your sleeves and gather reviews the old-fashioned way! Whether the process happens in-person or over the phone, train your employees to ask customers for reviews once they’ve made a purchase. Your employees also need an easy way to get patrons to submit the review (e.g. sending them a direct link via email or text to leave a Google review).
The Tips: When your employees are properly trained, every verbal review request becomes highly personalized to each customer. Customers will also be more inclined to provide some level of feedback when they’re asked by a real person, as opposed to being asked via an email or text. Get your employees in the habit of asking customers for a review once they’ve closed a sale or completed a transaction.
The Impact: When a review request comes from a friendly, thoughtful employee versus a line of text, customers will see your review request as genuine instead of pushy. You don’t want your employees spending too much time hounding customers in-person or over the phone for a review (especially if there are other customers waiting for assistance), but training them on knowing when and how to ask for a review will likely lead to some customers providing feedback.
That being said, you don’t have any control once your customers leave the store or hop off the phone, so a verbal commitment by them to leave a review may not result in an online review being left.
The Effort it Takes: MEDIUM
Training your employees on how to effectively ask for customer feedback will naturally take some time. Additionally, your employees may have a hard time finding the time to ask for a review and knowing which customers to ask. There may be some learning curves along the way, but once your employees are trained on the art of requesting reviews, there’s not much need for ongoing maintenance.
I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!
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