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Online reputation management is integral to online marketing for any business today. What customers have to say about your business can spread like fire due to the way internet works. One of the vital components of your brand’s online reputation is the customer reviews. If you want potential customers to prefer you over your competitors, you need to take advantage of reviews.

The Importance of Reviews

When customers search for your business on Google, Facebook or Yelp, they can’t help but notice the reviews that show up in the results. Here are some findings from a 2016 BrightLocal survey that revolved around the importance of reviews for customers before they purchase something.

  • The businesses that customers read the reviews of the most before doing business are cafes and restaurants.
  • Additionally, 40% customers said they always read hotel reviews before making their bookings.
  • Nearly 32% of customers would read at least one review before deciding to buy the products/services of a business.
  • About 90% customers wouldn’t purchase a business’ services/products unless they have read at least 10 or fewer reviews.
  • Some customers i.e. 4%, would go to the extent of reading more than 20 reviews before forming an opinion.

While these stats tell a lot of percentages, the most noticeable factor in them is that customers DO read reviews.

Secondly, reviews are one of the best ways to rank your business on Google, Yelp, and other major review and listing sites. Reviews will provide a lot of juice for your Local SEO presence overtime and more people will be able to find you easily when they search for keywords that represent your business.

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How to Get Customers Reviews

As a business owner, you have to be quick at realizing the importance of reviews for your business. In the light of the statistics above, hotel and restaurant owners should be seriously thinking about a strategy to get customer reviews and use them to their advantage. The most important part in getting reviews is obtaining your customers’ contact details.

Once you have the contact details, you can always request them to review your business, product, service, event, etc. Emails, and text messages are the best ways to obtain these reviews. HOWEVER, the two big challenges are:

  1. HOW do you get your contact details?
  2. HOW do you motivate your customers to review you?

There are several best practices to obtaining customer details and getting reviews from satisfied customers:

Create Opportunities to Collect Their Contact Details

Whenever you can, ask customers to give you their phone number, email or social media account. You can do this with the help of short surveys on your website. Better yet, you can ask them when they come to your store/restaurant. Rewarding them for sharing their contact details is one of the best ways get customer contact information. Once you have their contact details, you can always use emails and SMS for requesting reviews.

With our clients, we create an offer program that easily distributes special and unique promotions to customers for their email and/or phone numbers on any device. By building a custom and optimized landing page with strategic offers, we build customer trust and encourage them to share their contact info. And in return, we instantly deliver the offer to their email and text message so they can easily redeem it right away or the next time they decide to visit your business.

All you have to do is ASK!

You can’t be passive and expect your satisfied customers to review your business. You have to remind them to do it. Do not miss any opportunities of asking them for a review. The worst thing that can happen is you ask for a review and you don’t get one.

According to multiple studies, about 65% to 70% of consumers will leave a review if you ask for one, so don’t be shy, and ask as many customers as possible for a review. Here are some opportunities:

  • When they visit your business, ask them in person for a review.
  • Send an email blast or personally text your customers for a review.
  • Take advantage of email and phone numbers to target them using exclusive social media advertisements for review requests.

With our clients, we create an automated email and text messaging system that encourages customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and their business Website. We also run targeted review request campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to generate customer reviews.

Reward Them for Reviews

One of the best ways to encourage your customers to leave a review is rewarding them for this effort. You have to understand your customers to offer them something that is appealing to them. Your data analytics should help you with that. The best method is to offer them discounts on their next purchases. Reward them with a coupon code and make your discounts attractive. However, if you can’t afford discounts, give them a shout-out on social media.

Be Consistent with Your Requests

Personalize your requests whether you send them on SMS or email. Design your emails to be easily viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Address them at the start of your emails and text messages. And don’t stop after one attempt. Consumers are busy, busy, busy, just because they don’t leave a review the first time, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to. Consumers need reminders.

Our review generation system makes it easy for customers to leave reviews, without the need of jumping through hoops and manually opening apps.

The Major Benefits of Reviews

So, why should you put so much effort to get reviews from your customers? Let’s take a look at some benefits of reviews.

Increase Your Business’ Online Visibility

Your online visibility matters critically to give your business exposure to the local audience. Websites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp are vital to your online visibility. When a lot of customers search your business and leave lots of reviews, your business’ visibility increases. It is noteworthy here that these websites rank businesses based on their “popularity” as well. The more reviews and views your business has, the more searchable you are in popular businesses.

Boost Your Business’ Online Ranking

While popularity matters too, the most important metric for Yelp, Facebook, and Google to rank your website is the positive reviews and ratings. You will have to give your customers the best of your services and products to get positive reviews. Positive reviews combined with high ratings means a surefire way to appear on top in business searches on Yelp, Google, and Facebook.

Concluding Thoughts

If there is anything to get out of this article, it’s ASK for reviews and “personalization”.

Always ask, remember 65 – 70% of consumers will leave a review if you ask them to.

You must make sure you personalize your offerings according to what your customers want, even if it is a promotional SMS or email. The rule of thumb here is to test which offers work best to acquire reviews from customers. TEST, TEST, TEST.


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