You can review almost anything in today’s era of e-commerce and social proof, from handbags to hamburgers. You can even review colleges, prisons, your hairdresser and your dog walker.
Reviews are everywhere – and for good reason. With 9 out of 10 consumers reading reviews before they make a purchase, reviews have become an integral part of the buying journey for any business.
So how do you get more reviews?
Create products & services people love
This one may be obvious, but it’s a crucial starting point. If your business creates products and services that people use and love, your customers will be eager to tell everyone they know. The products and services we love the most go a long way in shaping our own identities.
Think about your favorite restaurant or an awesome vacation rental you stayed at with your family – you were probably more than happy to leave a review and spread the word.
Be easily accessible for your customers
In order to receive reviews, you have to be able to collect them from your customers. That means meeting them where they are. It could mean creating a company Twitter account and posting about news and sales, sharing photos, and asking for reviews.
Maybe you should have a profile on Yelp, or a Facebook business page? Or to meet people when they’re searching, consider creating, updating, and remaining active on Google My Business, where people can find and contact your business; and leave a review as well.
Follow up on purchases
Creating an email campaign that triggers after your customers make a purchase is a great way to collect reviews from people that have chosen your brand. In many cases, after just buying a product from your store, people will be excited about their purchase and willing to share a review. It’s the perfect time to ask.
And if they’re unsatisfied with the product for whatever reason, you also have an opportunity to briskly address their concern and make things right while it’s still top of mind.
Shout out your reviewers
Another fun technique for encouraging more online reviews is giving people shout outs on social media. As we see on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms, people are more than willing to share what they’re eating or drinking, what music they’re listening to, or what clothes they’re wearing.
For brands, this is a great opportunity to recognize loyal customers and fans by re-sharing their photos and accompanying reviews. Best of all? It’s free – you won’t have to spend a dime to amplify the nice things people are saying about your brand.
Ultimately, this will help your brand earn even more reviews. When people notice that a brand recognizes and listens to its customers, they could be more comfortable sharing their experiences.
Go above & beyond
Another way to attract glowing reviews is to make a lasting impression on a customer. By going above and beyond for a customer, you can create an experience they’ll never forget and will be overjoyed to tell their friends about.
One way to go about it is to produce a highly personal experience for a customer. Maybe you can remember some small detail from a conversation with a previous customer. You could ask them about the last thing they bought from you, or about their spouse or pet.
A hand-written note thrown into their bag (so they open it in private) is another great way to create a highly personalized experience for that customer.
Embed review buttons onto your site
In order to collect reviews from your customer, you have to be front and center. If you don’t have an easy way for people to leave reviews from your own website, then you’re missing out.
Luckily, it’s not that complicated. You can embed a Facebook, Google, Yelp or any other type of review button onto your site in a natural way (your footer is a great spot).
Attend in-person events
Showing up to a university campus, a community market or a sports tournament is an excellent way to meet your customers where they are. Pitch your tent, set up your tables, and talk to the people face-to-face.
Not only is this a great way to meet prospective customers that have never heard of you, but it’s a convenient place to ask current customers for reviews. Make sure you bring some free samples, stickers, pens or other swag – it’ll make popping the question easier and a little more natural.
Make it simple
Finally, make it easy for your customers to leave a review in the first place. Not everyone is technologically advanced, and most people don’t have years of experience buying and selling on the internet.
Leaving a review should be satisfying and frictionless. If your customer has to jump through hoops in any way to leave you a review, you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. People do not have the patience for a clunky review process, let alone a clunky anything online.
Your customers should not have to fill out an 8-field form, create an account, sign their rights away, or click through a gauntlet of web pages just to write something nice about you. Make it simple!
We hope these tips have provided some insight for you and your business, and can help you earn some more glowing reviews of your own. Remember, your happy customers are out there – it’s up to you to find them, ask them, and make it simple for them to share their experience.