Asking for Positive Reviews
In today’s world of digital dominance, reviews can make or break a business. According to the digital media firm, Cox Media Group, 67.7% of consumer purchasing decisions are swayed by what’s revealed on brand review pages. Not only do negative reviews mean a potential loss of business and profitability, but they also result in lower search engine rankings.
Need More Proof?
93% of consumers told a study by Podium that they found online reviews for local businesses as helpful as those on Amazon. Another 84% told Thanx, a CRM and digital engagement platform, that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Google also revealed that online searches for reviews increased 35% while searches for “best” are up 89%. In addition, a BrightLocal study in December 2019 revealed that 76% of consumers who are asked to leave reviews end up doing so, a 70% spike from a year earlier. Isn’t it time for brands to actively encourage satisfied customers to post positive reviews?
Seeking Happy Customers
But before going out and asking for reviews, remember the well-worn phrase, “Be careful what you wish for?” It’s great for a brand when customers leave glowing reviews, but marketers need to be doubly sure they do indeed have happy customers. Speak to customer service staff and review regular summaries of what customers have said. Inspect comments on the brand’s social media platforms and past reviews. Are the brand’s customers deliriously happy, pretty happy or merely satisfied?
If it leans more to the latter, brands need to ensure that whatever is leaving customers just merely satisfied be ramped up so they’re extremely happy with the brand. Mediocre reviews won’t fly with many consumers. Once this is resolved, launch a proactive campaign to secure a flood of glowing reviews.
Use existing venues to begin asking for reviews. These include the brand’s website and social media platforms. Some brands have specially-designated pages just for testimonials and reviews but for starters, simply publish a button near existing reviews inviting customers to leave theirs as well.
Personalized emails can be extremely valuable in seeking reviews, especially after a customer has had the opportunity to use the product for a while. As such, the emails should start off thanking the customers for their business and perhaps contain a loyalty offer, particularly if the last purchase was one like beauty products, or pet or home supplies that might generally result in repeat buys. The email could then invite customers to leave their comments on the chosen site as well as invite them to personally submit any ideas or recommendations. The latter not only empowers them but also serves to make them feel even more appreciated and like part of an inner circle.
For brands with a long history, look for loyal customers who have been around awhile. Now would be an excellent time to call and thank them for their loyalty. Inquire about any ideas and suggestions they might have and then ask them to post a review or testimonial.
One thing that should be constant and not forgotten in all cases where customers are being asked to post testimonials or comments is following up and thanking those that do. It would also be a great gesture to extend a special offer or discount to those who did after the fact. Except for loyal customers, offering something before requesting a comment could be viewed suspiciously and may influence a good review for the wrong reason.