Getting customer feedback often feels like a losing battle.
On the one hand, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and 74% will trust a business more if it has positive reviews.
Clearly, positive customer feedback is valuable.
But, on the other hand, negative experiences are more likely to motivate customers to post reviews than positive ones. People are more likely to complain about the negative than praise the positive. This means the reviews you receive may be unfairly skewed negatively.
So how can you motivate those many customers who have enjoyed their experience share their feedback instead of just the negative minority?
This article will give you some tips to encourage satisfied customers to spread the word.
A Quick Note on Asking for Reviews
Depending on the websites that your business is featured on, there may be rules governing directly asking customers for reviews.
Yelp, for example, discourages directly asking customers for reviews without outright banning it. Their reasoning is that since business owners will only ask happy customers for reviews, it will skew your listing and will lower consumer trust in your business’ Yelp page.
Therefore, before you begin using these tips, make sure that you know the terms and conditions for each of the websites hosting your business listing.
Set Up Profiles On Multiple Review Websites
While some review services, such as Google, automatically create listings for businesses, they don’t necessarily populate them with the correct data. If your listing is missing your website or has an old phone number, not only will customers have difficulty getting in touch, but it also makes your business seem less trustworthy.
Check to see if profiles for your business exist on any review websites. If so, you can claim them, which will allow you to take control of the page.
At the very least, ensure your profiles on Yelp and Google are complete. Then, consider making profiles on other less common but still popular websites, such as Angie’s List, Bing Places, City Search, and Tripadvisor.
By ensuring you’ve got coverage on a variety of review websites, you lessen the chance that when your customers come looking their search will come up empty.
Plus, 59% of customers look at multiple review sites when assessing a company. If you’ve only got a profile on one or two pages, these customers may move on.
Get Customer Feedback From Major Touchpoints
The people best positioned to ask for reviews are those who interact directly with your customers.
When salespeople, for example, interact with customers and answer their questions, they’re essentially building a relationship.
Through this interaction, the customer essentially has a face to put to the company. When this salesperson asks them for a review and explains how it can positively affect the business, the customer is more likely to want to make the effort to write a review. This is because they feel like they’re helping an individual rather than a faceless business.
You can also ask for reviews via your email newsletters. This is a useful tactic because it is efficient, and people who have signed up for your newsletter have already proven their interest in the company.
Unfortunately, this method does not provide a personal touch, but being able to reach many people at once increases the chance that some will leave reviews.
Check out more tips for growing your email lists to improve your reach.
Incorporate Review Notices Within Your Business
There are many ways that you can leave reminders to your customers to review your business without directly asking.
Mention your major review pages on business cards, flyers, or in-store signage. Add links to your review pages on your website, in email newsletters, and in your email signatures.
The great thing about linking directly to your page rather than simply writing a prompt is that it reduces the effort it takes to post. The less effort it takes to write a review, the more likely it is that users will complete the task.
Make Gaining Customer Feedback A Company-wide Goal
We already said that your employees are the best way to encourage reviews since they are in direct contact with your customers.
Therefore, your employees should be aware of the important role they play. Executives should communicate the need for good reviews, and how each individual employee can contribute.
Then, back up your words by providing resources. Train employees at key touchpoints in how to properly ask for customer feedback, and familiarize your employees with the review website profiles your company has.
Consider implementing an incentive program to encourage employee requests for customer feedback. For example, the employee who is able to gain the most reviews each month wins a small prize, or if targets are reached for the month the entire team gets a reward.
Of course, with incentivizing the only concern is that employees may be tempted to post fraudulent reviews to up their numbers. Sites such as Yelp as becoming more skilled at finding fake reviews and if your page appears to have been bumped up with any you could risk consequences.
Show Your Appreciation
Finally, let your customers know that you value the time they have taken to write reviews by reaching out to them.
This can be as simple as responding to reviews with a “Thank you.” It shows the poster that you have read their review and appreciate the effort that they took to post it.
You can also consider giving some top reviewers small rewards, such as discount codes for your services. Since top reviewers already have proven they have a powerful voice among your customers, showing your appreciation through a small reward will make them more likely to keep talking about your business positively.
Take Negative Feedback As a Chance to Grow
It can be tempting to simply discount any negative customer feedback that you receive; it isn’t easy to take criticism, especially when often it seems that negative reviews are unfair or over the top.
However, you shouldn’t simply ignore negative feedback. While it isn’t pleasant to read, it is immensely valuable in pointing out issues within your organization and opportunities for you to improve.
Respond to the concerns given and suggest how you will work to solve the problem in the future; this shows that you value your customers’ opinions and genuinely regret a negative experience.
Now you know how to get customer feedback on your review pages. By reaching out to customers through major touchpoints and incorporating review requests within all aspects of your business, in-store and online, you can get the word out to your customers.
Encouraging your employees to seek reviews will ensure that the effort to gain feedback is company-wide. Showing your appreciation for reviews and learning from criticism will help build a loyal follower base and strengthen your business.
Do you want help managing your business’ online presence, including review pages? Reach out to see how you can take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.