These days, no matter how much tweeting, pinning, Facebook posting or Instagramming you do in order to promote your business (and these are all great promotional tools when done the right way) a glowing customer review can trump all of the former in terms of influencing another customer’s buying decisions. This is because what you have to say about your business is far less important than what others do.
According to a recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research, a whopping 90% of respondents said that positive reviews had affected their buying decisions in the past and 86% said that negative reviews had done the same thing. Those are pretty persuasive figures, and certainly a case for any business to begin actively trying to find ways to have customers review them.
For some businesses, especially smaller ones, they do not have a problem with negative reviews, they have a problem getting them at all. It may feel awkward or perhaps you feel the customer may perceive the review request as an annoyance. Here are a few ideas for generating more reviews for your business without becoming a pain about it:
Make Leaving a Review as Easy as Possible
In most cases the only time an average customer is actually going to spend time seeking out a way to leave your business a review is if they have something negative to say. Therefore you need to make it as easy as possible for people to review you. Add links to your review site profiles to your site in prominent places (you can always add a link to a graphic for aesthetic purposes) and add them to any emails you send out to customers as well.
Think Out of the Box
Social media fans have embraced both Vine and Instagram video in a big way as they both offer fast and easy ways to get a short video online. A video testimonial can be even more compelling then a written one, and making a quick 6 to 30 second video takes even less time than writing a review. So, if you don’t have them already (which you really should) create profiles at these sites too and add those links to your ‘review us’ section as well. Videos from both sites are also embeddable, so you can make great use out of any reviews gained in this way all of the web as well.
Be Careful with Incentives
Some experts argue that offering an incentive to leave a review of any kind is wrong, and that doing so corrupts the process for everyone. On the other hand, any business owner will appreciate the fact that a customer took a little time out of their busy day to do so and offering a reward of some kind seems only seems like the polite thing to do. In reality there is no real harm in offering a discount to reviewers as long as you make it clear that it is in return for any review, not just a good one.
Alternately, you could choose to send a small reward to people, as a surprise, after they have written a review, to ensure that your incentive really did not affect their opinions.
Deal with Negative Reviews
If you are going to start actively soliciting reviews for your business at some point a negative or two is going to show up. These do not have to hurt your business though, as long as you deal with them in the right way. Rather than ignore such things address them directly, in a professional and helpful manner, even if the reviewer does not respond in kind.
Accepting of Multiple Review Sites
Everyone has their own particular favorite go to review site (it may be how they found your business in the first place) and so while it would be nice, and much easier for you to keep track of, if your customers would all leave a review in the same place, demanding that they do so will only put your customers off.
Rather than having to spend all of your time scouring the many review sites that have become popular (Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TrustLink and many more) set up a once daily Google Alert for your company’s name and any mentions, and any reviews, should show up in these emails.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.