As a business owner or service provider, online reviews can make or break your reputation. Positive reviews can boost customer trust and attract new clients, while negative reviews can deflect potential customers. For this reason, it's crucial to actively seek and encourage customer reviews to maintain a strong online reputation.
While there are numerous ways how you can collect online reviews, doing so haphazardly can affect customer experience, which may be detrimental to your business. In this blog, we'll explore clever strategies to collect more client reviews without affecting your customer relationship.
Why should you ask for more online reviews?
Before diving into the clever ways to ask for reviews, let's understand why it's essential to seek feedback from your customers actively:
- Build Trust: Positive reviews act as social proof, establishing trust among potential customers and making them more likely to choose your business over competitors. It also fosters customer loyalty, giving you a solid customer base who can organically spread the word about your business. To learn more about online reputation's importance, read the complete article.
- SEO Benefits: Reviews play a significant role in local search rankings. The more reviews your business has, the more likely it is to appear higher in search results. Recent surveys suggest that 53% of consumers Google a business before purchasing. Read the complete article here to learn more about how reviews influence SEO.
- Feedback for Improvement: Reviews provide valuable insights into your customers' experiences, enabling you to identify areas for improvement and enhance your products or services. Aside from this, it also generates customer data which can be used in optimizing your marketing efforts. To learn more about leveraging online reviews for customer insights, click here.
- Customer Engagement: Customer Engagement: Asking for reviews encourages customer engagement and shows that you value their opinions, fostering stronger customer relationships, which can ultimately lead to improved brand loyalty and repeat business.
Why is it important to be creative in gathering reviews?
Using clever strategies when asking for online reviews is crucial because they enhance the likelihood of receiving genuine and positive customer feedback. Well-thought-out approaches can make the request feel personalized, non-intrusive, and valuable to the customer, increasing their willingness to participate.
Moreover, creative strategies also minimize the risk of being pushy or insincere, fostering a positive customer experience and maintaining the business's reputation. These tactics can help to gather a more diverse and representative range of reviews, leading to a more accurate overall reflection of the product or service, which in turn aids potential customers in making informed decisions.
How do I get better customer reviews?
Now that we understand the importance of online reviews, let's explore some creative and effective ways to ask for them:
Request for video reviews.
Visual content is engaging and memorable. Recent surveys suggest that 9 out of 10 consumers want to see more videos from brands and businesses. In fact, as of 2022, an average person is estimated to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos.
Business owners can harness this trend to encourage satisfied customers to record short video testimonials about their experiences. Video reviews add a personal touch and authenticity to your testimonials, making them more compelling for potential customers.
Here's an example of an interesting video testimonial.
How to request video testimonials from customers?
Here's how you can request video testimonials from customers:
- Reach out to customers through your digital platforms, such as your email list and social media channels.
- When approaching your customers, explain the value of their feedback.
- Keep the process simple by providing clear guidelines and examples, emphasizing benefits like potential features or incentives.
- Offer assistance recording and submitting videos, and follow up gently if needed.
- Express gratitude for their contribution, and once collected, showcase the video testimonials on various platforms to enhance your brand's credibility and encourage further participation.
Boost your social media engagement.
In 2023, the number of social media users worldwide has swelled to a record 4.9 billion people globally.
Leverage the power of social media to request reviews. Share positive customer feedback on your social platforms, and kindly ask your followers to share their experiences. Engage with customers who leave reviews to show appreciation for their support.
How to boost social media engagement?
Don't know where to start? Here are some strategies for growing your social media engagement:
- Consistent Posting: Maintain a regular posting schedule with diverse content types.
- High-Quality Content: Create visually appealing, relevant content to engage your audience.
- User-Generated Content: Encourage customers to share their experiences and repost their content.
- Contests and Giveaways: Host interactive contests requiring reviews for participation.
- Engage Actively: Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions to foster a connection.
- Direct Review Requests: Ask satisfied customers directly to leave reviews on your platforms.
- Ads, Hashtags, and Influencers: Use targeted ads, relevant hashtags, and influencer collaborations to extend reach and credibility.
Check out how this business creatively highlights customer reviews, enticing previous customers to share their experiences, too.
Place QR codes within your store.
People have become more adept at QR codes. Dynamic QR codes generated by users accumulated 6,825,842 scans from global users—a 433% increase over 2021 figures. Place QR codes on product packaging, receipts, or promotional materials that lead customers to your review page. This provides a quick and convenient way for customers to share their thoughts without manually searching for your review platform.
Here's how Wendy incorporated QR codes for their data collection process in 2019.
Where to place review requests in a physical store?
To help you in leveraging QR codes for your review collection process, here are some of the most strategic areas where you can place your review request card:
- Entrance/Exit: Placing review request cards near the entrance or exit can catch the attention of customers as they enter or leave the store. This is a high-traffic area where customers are likely to notice the cards.
- Checkout Counter: The checkout counter is a prime location to place review request cards. Customers are already interacting with your staff and have completed their purchases, making it convenient for them to leave a review.
- Product Displays: Position review request cards near relevant product displays. This is especially effective for stores where customers can interact with or try out products before purchasing.
- Waiting Area: If your store has a waiting area, such as a service-based business, consider placing review request cards here. Customers waiting for appointments may have time to fill out a review.
- Reception/Information Desk: For businesses with a reception or information desk, consider placing review request cards here. This is especially applicable to larger stores or venues.
- Cafeteria or Seating Area: If your store has a seating area or cafeteria, customers might be more inclined to leave a review while relaxing or enjoying a meal.
- Near Popular Products or Services: If you have certain products or services that are particularly popular or unique, place review request cards near them to target customers who have shown strong interest.
- In-Store Events or Workshops: During special events or workshops held in your store, take the opportunity to distribute review request cards. Participants who have a positive experience might be more inclined to leave feedback.
- Bulletin Boards: If your store has bulletin boards for announcements or promotions, consider placing review request cards here. Customers who are interested in your store's offerings may notice the cards.
- Shopping Cart or Basket: If your store uses shopping carts or baskets, attaching review request cards to them can be a unique way to encourage feedback as customers shop.
Embed review reminders throughout your website.
Recent surveys suggest that most customers don't leave reviews not because they don't want to but because they weren't reminded at all.
When customers purchase or complete a service on your website, send them a follow-up email expressing gratitude for their business. Politely request feedback and provide a direct link to your review platform to streamline the process.
Aside from this, you can also place a review widget on your website. Aside from providing social proof to potential customers, it also encourages other customers to leave reviews so they can be featured on your website. To learn more about this, read Boost Credibility and Trust: Adding Google Reviews to Your Website.
Check out how Eison Triple Thread incorporates customer reviews aesthetically on their website.
Do on-site requests.
Train your front-line staff to ask for reviews during in-person interactions with customers. A friendly and personalized request can significantly increase the likelihood of customers leaving reviews. Most online booking platforms have their own review collection process, which you can leverage. To learn more about each process, read our article Discover the Best Customer Review Sites for Your Business.
Considering this, it wouldn't hurt to ask your concierge to add this to their script:
"We hope you had a fantastic time shopping at our store. We're always looking to hear from our awesome customers, and your feedback means a lot. If you have a moment to spare, would you consider leaving us an online review? No pressure, of course!"
In a recent report from CouponFollow, 96% of the 1,300 people surveyed said they actively search for online coupons before purchasing.
Consider offering a small incentive for customers who leave reviews, such as a discount or a chance to enter a prize draw. While this method requires caution (to avoid manipulation of reviews), it can be an effective way to motivate customers to share their experiences.
Here's how LG Global collected customer reviews through an online promo:
However, remember never to offer incentives to customers solely in exchange for positive reviews. Some review websites could flag this as fraudulent. To learn how to avoid this, read Why Buying Google Reviews Hurts Your Business.
Write engaging responses to online reviews.
Responding to reviewers demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and encourages others to leave feedback. Showing that you value feedback by responding to both positive and negative reviews entices customers to help your business by posting their own online reviews.
We know that responding to each review is easier said than done, especially if you're receiving hundreds of reviews daily. For this reason, it's highly recommended to boost the efficiency of your online review management by using an AI review reply generator.
MARA AI Review Reply Generator significantly reduces response times and costs by generating human-like responses, which your team can easily adjust if needed. Moreover, MARA AI boosts your business's overall star rating by ensuring every review receives a prompt and industry-optimized response.
By leveraging the power of MARA AI, your business can effortlessly achieve a 100% response rate, amplifying customer engagement and allowing you to collect more online reviews without affecting customer relationships. Most importantly, since it generates personalized responses instead of response templates, you can show your potential clients that you value each feedback you receive.
Want to learn more about MARA? Register for a free account today.
Asking for reviews is essential to managing your online reputation and fostering customer trust. Implementing clever strategies, such as video review requests, leveraging social media, using QR codes, and consistently responding to online reviews, can help you collect more reviews and gain valuable insights into your business. Remember, customer feedback is a powerful tool for continuous improvement and growth. So, don't be afraid to ask for reviews and embrace the opportunity to learn from your customers' experiences.
This post is part of our hero content series on “Online Reputation Management for Hotels - All You Need to Know".
Frequently Asked Questions:
Customer reviews are effective in offering genuine feedback and social proof, aiding potential customers in making informed decisions. Positive reviews establish trust, while negative ones highlight improvement areas, making them vital for business growth.
To prompt clients for Google reviews, ensure exceptional service, then send a personalized thank-you message with a review request and a direct Google My Business link. Incentives like discounts can work, following Google's rules.
Collecting reviews involves an active online presence, easy review links, and customer engagement via social media and emails. A periodic feedback requests also help.
When reminding someone to leave a review, timing is key. Send a polite message soon after their purchase, expressing gratitude and providing a direct review platform link. Avoid excessive pushiness to maintain a positive rapport.