We all love to read ‘em and write ‘em, but we’re all terrified to ask for them.
Customer reviews: The unpredictable declarations that can make or break a company. These little things can carry big weight. According to a consumer study by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers report they read online reviews, with 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Dude, that’s massive!
Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, LinkedIn testimonials – the opportunities for customer reviews are plentiful, and it’s up to you as a business to figure out how to make your customer reviews work for you. Let me help.
Use reviews to build trust
Letting customers or clients trust you and your business is crucial to gaining and retaining business. Step one in this process is to get customer reviews and display them proudly on your website and marketing materials. Get permission from some trusted, happy customers and post testimonials, case studies, and quotes. This not only makes your customers feel happy and heard, but also tells potential customers a lot about your company and the people you work with.
Try to have a handful of reviews displayed on your site – at least 5 – and make sure they sound authentic. People can spot a fake, and that’s the last thing you want for a first impression. They don't always need their own page either; you can sprinkle them over your website on pages that are relatable to the testimonial.
Encourage reviews and boost engagement
If you’re confident with your business or service, you should encourage your customers to leave reviews. Have a contest where to enter, all people have to do is leave a Yelp or Google review. Make sure you’re properly set up on Google My Business so people can rate you right from their search engine, Android phone, or Google Maps.
Reviews get people talking and interacting with your company in a different way. Your customers will feel valued and in turn, this will foster a lasting relationship. Plus, you can learn a lot from customers who are hesitant to leave a review. Perhaps they’ve been sort of unhappy with something and haven’t wanted to speak up. You can now prompt conversations and learn from the experience.
Boost engagement across all platforms
Once you start getting reviews, you can use them as content across your social media platforms and boost engagement from there. Share a new review on your social and ask others if they feel the same, tweet out a review and tag the customer as a thank-you. Copy reviews in your newsletter or add one to your e-signature. You’re getting great content and you can repurpose reviews over and over again in so many ways.
Negative reviews play a part here too. You can quickly address negative reviews on social media, especially if you’re noticing a trend. If people are complaining about something, you can address the complaints publicly to show transparency and your dedication to your customers.
While it can be scary to invite opinions and criticism, it’s better to embrace it and handle it directly then run and hide away. Companies that are up front with their customer base thrive, and people are drawn to places where they know they’ll be heard.