For any business owner, online reviews are a valuable tool that shows them what their clients are thinking: what they like, what they don’t like, and how their business compares to others in the marketplace. But what many people don’t realize is that online reviews can also be an effective marketing tool. Studies have shown that majority of potential clients read online reviews before they invest in a product or service–and having a pool of positive reviews can mean the difference between a sale and a loss. How can you encourage customers to leave positive reviews without offering an incentive?
End All Emails with a Link to Review Websites
When you’re in contact with your customers through email, whether you’re answering their questions, promoting a new deal, or sending an online newsletter, always end the email with a call to action. Link to popular review websites (or the reviews page on your business’s website, if it has one), and ask your clients to leave a review if they enjoyed your services. This simple reminder can produce a lot of results.
Post Reminders on Social Media Websites
Social media is one of the most effective ways for businesses to stay in touch with their clients. As you queue up your social media posts for the day, remember to include a post or two reminding your clients to leave a review. You’ll be able to reach a much wider audience, and there’s always the chance that someone will take you up on your offer. Some websites like Facebook even allow your clients to leave a review right on your page.
Integrate Review Links Into Your Website
Don’t forget to include links on your website as well. Make sure the links are clearly visible, not tucked away on the footer or hidden at the bottom of a sidebar. Offering a clear link to your reviews page also builds trust with your customers–they know if you had a lot of bad reviews, you’d probably try to hide it! If your reviews page is easy to find, people will be that much more likely to review your product or service.
Pass Out Printed Materials
Whenever you order a set of printed materials–pamphlets, posters, stickers, etc.–include a call to action printed somewhere on the sheet. This might be a bit less convenient than an online link, but it never hurts to remind your customers to leave a review.
Encourage Your Clients Verbally
If you’re interacting with your customers through the phone or face-to-face, let them know where they can leave customer reviews. People are more likely to accept when they’re speaking to you directly, meaning that they’ll be more likely to remember to leave a review when they get home. Just make sure that you’re always professional and courteous, or they might decide to leave a negative review instead.
What to Do if You Get Bad Online Reviews
If you get a bad online review, don’t panic! With a little knowledge, you’ll know how to turn bad reviews into good reviews and improve your brand and your customers’ trust at the same time. First of all, don’t delete negative reviews. If you remove bad reviews from your website, the reviewers will notice–and they’ll be sure to tell their friends. Removing bad reviews makes your business look suspicious and untrustworthy. If you leave the bad reviews up, at least you’re promoting transparency.
Second, read the review and see how you can use the feedback to improve your product or service. If possible, work with the client to make sure they have a better experience next time. Don’t dismiss the client or get angry, as that reflects badly on your business. Learning from negative reviews is a great way to improve your service in the future.
And third, don’t withdraw your review links. Keep promoting your review page and encouraging people to leave their thoughts. If you’re dedicated to providing a high-quality product or service, the reviews will be mainly positive.
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Working with customer reviews is great, but nothing compares to truly knowing your customers. If you’re ready to take the next step in the world of online marketing, Lucid Advertising offers expert marketing and SEO services to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings. Get in touch today, and we’ll help you take your business to the next level.