Originally published August 20, 2018 – UPDATED July 23, 2019
Let’s start with the latest statistics in 2019 when it comes to online reviews for businesses.
97% of people read reviews for local businesses.Bia/Kelsey
93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.Podium
89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.Qualtrics
Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.Invesp
Today, online reputation management is integral to online marketing for any business today. 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 on all the review platforms including: Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Home Advisor, etc..
Not only are reviews a critical factor when it comes to customers making decisions on where to spend their money, reviews are one of the best ways to rank your business on Google. 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.
How to Get Customers Reviews
The most important part in getting reviews is obtaining your customers’ contact details, meaning you need a valuable customer list!
If you don’t have a customer list, it doesn’t matter what type of review service or marketing company you work with. Without a customer list, it’s impossible to run a review generation campaign, where you ask previous customers to leave reviews about your business.
Once you have a customer list, you can use text & email marketing to request reviews for your business, product, service, event, etc.. HOWEVER, the two big challenges are:
- HOW do you get your contact details to grow your customer list?
- 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, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yelp, their business Website, etc.. We also run targeted review request campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to generate customer reviews.
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.v
The Major Benefits of Reviews
If you’re still feeling a little bashful to as for reviews… 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.
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.