If your business provides a product or service, acquiring more reviews should be a top priority. Reviews from your customers are important…really important, they can make or break a company in today’s world. Your personal feelings aside about certain review websites, you need to embrace them and be proactive about gathering more customer reviews. Look at all the money, time and effort that is put into marketing your brand, this can all be washed away if you’re not protecting your reputation online. Negative reviews can and will deter those hard earned potential customers. With very little time and effort, you can develop a process to acquire more positive reviews.
More positive reviews = More customers.
Why are customer reviews so important? You can sum this up into one word, Trust. In today’s fast paced digital world, it is very hard to build trust with potential customers online. Consumers expect you to put glowing reviews on your website, why would you put a negative review on your own website? These reviews aren’t as effective as they once were, consumers now rely on social site such as Google Plus, Yelp, Yahoo, City Search, Kudzu to name a few. These sites are viewed as third party unbiased reviews, they know these reviews are from customers. These sites help build trust.
Here are some tips for gather more reviews:
- Ask for them
- Provide links directly to review websites
- If you notice your customer has a @gmail.com email address, they already have a Google Account. Refer to #2.
- Follow up, don’t expect to get a review on the initial request.
- Train your staff to ask for reviews, create an incentive
- Be patient, just like search engine optimization., this is a long term strategy (yes, reviews help SEO)
Keep in mind that there are more and more “customer review companies” popping up each day. The problem with the majority of these companies is while they help get many reviews for you, they are often driving reviewers to a profile page on their website versus driving your reviewers to Google, Yelp and various other sites. The problem is when you stop using their service, your reviews go with them. If you are going to hire a company to help acquire customer reviews, make sure they are driving your reviews to review websites and not themselves. This is where you’ll find true value with these companies.
Bottom line is more customer reviews not only helps build trust and loyalty, but you will see a direct correlation to your marketing efforts and leads generated. Remember to always protect your brand.