How challenging can it be to get positive reviews for your brand? Well, extremely challenging as it turns out! In fact, it’s way easier for businesses to generate negative reviews. Angry customers are much more likely to take the time to leave a scathing review on Yelp, Google, Facebook and elsewhere across the internet. But what can you do to get positive reviews for your business? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and remarketing. The power of online reviews is something that I understand fully well. Today, I am going to share that knowledge with you. This article is divided into the following sections;
Why it’s Important to Get Positive Reviews for your Brand
Why are positive reviews important? Here I will let the statistics do the talking;
- 90% of people will first consult reviews before making a purchase. That’s a lot of people who are relying on what others have been saying about your products and services. Clearly, you need to get your businesses as many reviews as is possible if you are to remain competitive in today’s operating environment. And it’s not just about getting reviews. You need to make sure that the majority of reviews that you get are positive.
- Up to 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews. In other words, they trust that the feedback that’s left across the internet about your business is genuine. The really surprising thing is that this trust is in spite of the fact that these reviews are left online by complete strangers. You may be aware that reviews are an extension of the word-of-mouth phenomenon that has always been a major driver of sales for businesses since time immemorial. However, with word-of-mouth, recommendations are made mostly by friends, family and colleagues. They are rarely made by complete strangers. That’s where online reviews differ. People still trust them in spite of the fact that they are written by people who they don't even know.
- Reviews are a good way of building trust for your brand. If trust could be assigned a score, then a business that has more positive reviews would rank higher than one that has negative reviews or one that has no reviews at all. So, online reviews are important in this regard. You need them to convince people to buy from you. The eCommerce conversion rate stands at a lowly average of 2%. The good news is that it's possible to boost this by getting more positive reviews.
- Reviews offer social proof, which further helps convince people to buy. Social proof is related to trust. People are much more inclined to trust a brand that has been reviewed by a lot of people. You will notice that companies such as Amazon run early reviewer programs. Under this program, brands that are introducing new products can pay to have people write honest feedback. The aim for these programs is to build social proof. People will buy from a business that has been reviewed a couple of times, rather than from one that has no reviews.
- If you advertise on Google, reviews are important because they can be used for Seller and Product ratings. You may have noticed those little stars that appear on some ads when you carry out a search on Google. Those stars can boost your CTR by as much as 17%, according to Google. So, they are important. But how do you get them? Well, I have written an article on how to get Google Seller Ratings. Just to summarize, there are some companies out there that are approved to syndicate data for use in seller and product ratings. This data comes from online reviews. One such company is Shopper Approved. This is a company to which I have recommended over a 100 brands. It’s a good all round option for effectively managing your online reviews.
How to Get Positive Reviews
Now that we have shown you why reviews are important for brands around the world, it’s time to explore how to get positive reviews. Remember, it’s not enough to get reviews. If you get only negative reviews, you will probably be worse off than if you weren't getting any reviews at all. The following is how to get positive feedback for your business;
1. Provide the best possible service
Positive reviews are closely related to customer experience. You will not get good reviews if your customer service is not up to standard. A while back, I was reading articles on the subject of how to get positive reviews. One thing that surprised me was that most of these articles neglect to bring out this most crucial of points.
Your customers will not give you positive reviews if they have not had a positive experience dealing with your brand. At best, what you can hope is a lukewarm response. At worst, you will get a negative review. And negative reviews can really be damaging.
Just consider the fact that a drop in a star on Yelp can translate into a fall in profit of between 5 and 9% and you will understand what I am talking about here. Fact is, people do not do business with you because they like your face!
They do business with you because they have needs that they hope to have fulfilled. If your brand fails to fulfill its end of the bargain, you will not be able to convince anyone to give you positive reviews. Offer great service and you won’t have difficulty convincing people to give you positive feedback.
2. Allow people to review you business on Facebook
Maybe you have lots of happy customers, but they haven't exactly been flocking to review your business. What do you do then? Well, fact of the matter is that happy customers are hardly motivated to review a business. Most people will buy from you and simply go away, no matter how great their experience was with your business.
One shortfall that I have noticed is that businesses do not make it easy for their customers to give them reviews. If somebody has to search high and wide to find a platform on which your business can be reviewed, then chances are high that they will simply leave without giving you any feedback.
The good news is that there is no end to the platforms that you can use to get reviews from your customers. The following are a few of them;
- Your own website: You can get people to leave product and seller reviews on your website. These are great for convincing people to buy from you. In fact, tools for getting and displaying reviews are essential for all eCommerce businesses.
- Yelp is another good and popular platform for online reviews. Most people think they need to be listed on Yelp for people to review them on the platform. However, that is not the case. People can still review your business even if you have not claimed your Yelp listing. So, you need to be there to control whats being said about your brand.
- Trip Advisor is good for those in the travel industry.
- Google is also an essential platform for online reviews. You should sign up for Google My Business so your customers can review you business and so you can appear on Google Maps. You also have the option to use Google Customer Reviews, which presents your customers the option to review your business upon checkout. The information that’s gathered is syndicated to Google for use in Seller Ratings and Products Ratings.
- Another option is to sign up with a company such as Shopper Approved. In fact, this is the option that I recommend the most for brands. With this option, you get all round online reviews management. Your customers get asked for reviews at various points on the purchasing cycle. These reviews are displayed on your site. They are also syndicated to Google for use in Seller and Product ratings.
- Facebook can also be used to gather reviews from your customers. We look at this option in detail below.
- If you sell on Amazon, you also need to start getting reviews on the platform. That’s a good way of boosting your performance as a seller.
- Another great option for getting reviews from your customers is Better Business Bureau (BBB). Simply claim your page on the platform and you will be able to get positive reviews via the platform.
Which platforms should I choose for my business?
As you can see, there are plenty of options for getting customer reviews from your customers. What you opt for is going to depend on the nature of your business. Local businesses should absolutely get listed on local business directories. They also need to be on Google Maps so they can appear on local search.
There are listings for specific industries. I have already mentioned TripAdvisor. There are also listings for those in the real estate industry and for many other sectors. The trick is to be listed where your customers will be able to find you so they can easily review your business.
3. Make it easy for people to review your business on Social Media
How much time does the average person spend on your website? Probably less than a minute. The moment that they leave, most people forget all about you, even after making a purchase. So, what do you do to get them to give you positive reviews.
Well, one option is to have them review your business on Facebook and on other social media platforms. People spend a lot more time there than on your site. There are many ways through which you can get people to review your brand on Facebook.
As a business, you probably already have a business page. Here is how to properly run a Facebook business page. If well maintained, your Page will likely become the focal point for your online reviews. Your customers can leave comments on the platform regarding your performance as a business.
That way when others visit, they will be able to read these reviews and make informed decisions regarding whether or not to do business with you. Social media thrives on sharing. If someone reviews your brand on Facebook, as an example, their comment will appear in their feeds, giving you much needed exposure.
4. Ask your customers for reviews
Okay, this tip on how to get positive reviews for your business is a bit controversial, because there are some platforms that frown on people soliciting for reviews, while others actively encourage the practice. As an example, Yelp does not like it when businesses encourage their customers to leave reviews on the platform. For Yelp, all reviews should be organic.
On the other side, there is Google, which encourages businesses to ask for reviews from their customers. So, your approach here is going to depend on where you wish to have your reviews posted. If you are looking for Google reviews, you should ask your customers to review your business. However, if you are doing Yelp, you should let reviews come organically.
5. Identify the right moment to ask for feedback
If you want to get good feedback, you will need to identify key points in your interaction with your customers at which they will most likely be inclined to give you positive reviews. But what’s the best time to ask for a review?
Well, truth of the matter is that the ideal time for asking for a review differs from one business to the next. For some, it’s immediately after a purchase has been made. For others, it’s when the customer has tested the product.
Whatever the ideal moment for your particular type of business is, don’t wait too long before asking for a feedback from your customers. If you ask for a review, as an example, months after the purchase, chances are high that the customer will have all but forgotten about you.
Either they will completely ignore you or they will give you a lukewarm response. The following are some of the key points in the relationship with your customers at which you can ideally ask for feedback;
- At checkout or soon after the purchase. At this point, the purchase is still fresh in the mind of the buyer. These times are best for getting seller reviews. For product ratings, you will need to wait a bit till they have actually used the product.
- You can also ask for feedback when a customer makes a reorder. That’s a signal that they are satisfied with your business. It’s easier to get positive reviews from such customers because they are willing to keep coming back to your business for purchases.
- You can also get positive reviews from customers who have referred other customers to your business. It means these customers are satisfied with your brand.
6. Choose the correct tool for each instance
What tools do you use to ask for reviews from your customers? There are many tools in use out there. You can use any number of them. I have previously written on the best tools to get local reviews for your business. The following are some of the tools that can be used to get positive reviews from your customers;
- Social media
- You can ask for reviews in person
- You can call
- It’s also possible to place a card in the package when shipping the product to the customer. Ask for a review in as subtle a way as is possible.
The point here is that choosing the correct method is likely to give you the best responses in terms of getting reviews from your customers. Reach out to your customers where they are most likely to see your requests.
7. How long does it take for a person to write a review? Tell your customers
Time is a major concern for customers looking to write reviews. If you have ever tried taking surveys online you may have come across some that illustrate this point. There are some surveys where you get so bogged down in questions that you simply leave without completing the process.
What you need to do is to make the process of leaving a review as painless as is possible. That means making it as short as you can. A person doesn’t have to spend hours answering questions just to tell you that you business is good or bad.
In fact, you should give an estimate when requesting for reviews of the time that is needed in order to complete the process. Perhaps it’s 3 minutes or something else. Giving an honest estimation of the time needed reduces the chances that people will abandon the process half way through.
8. Reward your customers for reviews
You need to work hard to remain within the bounds of ethics on this one. Many businesses out there reward customers who take the time to leave feedback. But isn’t that the same as paying people to give you positive reviews?
Well, it depends on how you handle the issue. If you are an established business, you will probably already be running a rewards program. Why not give reward points to customers who leave reviews after purchases? This should apply whether the customer leaves a positive or negative review.
And there are many ways of rewarding your customers. Perhaps you can offer them a discount on the next purchase if they choose to review your business. Do remember, however, to remain ethical as you looking to get positive reviews from your customers.
9. Thank the customer following a purchase
Saying thank you after a purchase can go a long way in helping your business get positive reviews from it’s customers. You can thank them via email. Or you can make a call.
Whatever the method that you choose, this is a great way of cementing your brand in the mind of the customer.
And you can also include a request for a review in your thank you message. Because the customer is satisfied, they are likely to give you a positive review. The trick lies in making the customer feel appreciated.
10. Train your staff to recognize the best moments to get positive reviews
Getting positive reviews from your customers begins with the way in which they interact with your staff. That’s something that I have already mentioned at the top. Customer service is the key to getting positive feedback.
Another key point is that your personnel need to be trained to recognize the best moments for asking for positive feedback from your business’ customers.
Let’s say that you run a plumbing business. Train your staff to ask for reviews as soon as they have completed a job. Maybe you can have them carry business cards bearing links to the platforms on which people can write reviews.
What if I get negative reviews?
This article is dedicated to showing you how to get positive reviews. However, fact of the matter is that no business is ever going to be completely insulated from negative reviews, no matter how good it may be. In fact, negative reviews are a part of life.
And they are not necessarily bad. I have previously written a post on how you can respond to negative reviews. Of note here is the fact that customers actually expect a sprinkling of negative reviews for any business. Only having positive reviews can be viewed with suspicion by some customers.
If you are only getting positive reviews, your customers will think all your reviews are fake. So, you need not panic when you get negative reviews. These can easily be turned into a positive, by engaging the customer and resolving their issue. Most people will be willing to modify their reviews when they are satisfied.
Share positive reviews as widely as is possible
Now, we come to the conclusion of this post. Hopefully I have shown you how to get positive reviews from your customers. In this article, I noted that positive reviews start with a great customer experience. If your customer service is lacking, you will have a hard time convincing anyone to review your business.
I also noted that your staff needs to be prepared to ask for reviews at the right time in their interaction with your business’ customers. As an example, a good time to ask for a review would be when a job has been successfully completed.
Hopefully these tips will help you going forward. Please sign up for our newsletter to get notifications when new tips digital marketing tips are released.