Online reviews are more important than ever for brand reputation. Studies show that more than 85% of U.S. adults trust customer reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
Positive online reviews can drive more leads, convert more sales, and increase your search engine ranking. Invesp even found that people will actually spend more if your business is well-reviewed — 31% more to be exact.
Unfortunately, according to The Balance, only 23% of customers actually leave a review. And a single negative review could immediately drop your sales anywhere from 5% to 8%, according to TechCrunch.
Get better online reviews today and reap the benefits with these tips,
- Make It Personal
HubSpot tested a number of channels to find which ones netted them the most reviews. They tried:
- Asking for reviews in email.
- Asking for reviews in their app after a purchase.
- Asking for reviews at in-person events.
They found the best return came from the in-person events. In fact, after their INBOUND conference in Boston, they received a whopping 125 positive reviews in three days. They collected them in-person using iPads and noting responses in real time.
a) Personal asks tend to have the most resonance — the more personal, the better (i.e. in-person vs. a personalized email).
b) Provide the customer with a way to leave a review right then and there.
c) Ask for reviews when customers are in a good mood or after a particularly great experience. Again, this is easier to gauge in person.
- Offer Rewards
HubSpot also found that offering incentives sweetened the deal for reviewers. They did an A/B test where Group A was offered no reward and Group B was offered a $10 gift card for the first 10 people to leave a review. Besides the reward offer, the rest of the design and content was the same.
Group B, where a reward was offered, beat out Group A by 733%. HubSpot says their conversion rate for email review asks is normally 3%, but for Group B it jumped up to 25%. All for the price of $100.
If you want to take advantage of this tactic, think about what kind of reward your customers might appreciate. And be sure to check the guidelines of the review site you use as some don’t allow rewards.
- Make It Easy
As we mentioned in item #1, the method of review collection matters. The easier it is for customers to leave a review, the better. Even having one extra step in between can send reviewers away.
If you have an in-store location, for example, you might set up a laptop for users to leave a review while they are there.
If you are collecting reviews online, consider the tool you are using and user test the experience. If you can make it smoother, do so. You might even consider creating a one-sheet or how-to tutorial that educates clients on how to leave feedback.
If you are hoping to get reviews on social sites, such as Facebook, Google, or Yelp, specify that to your customers and link directly to your company’s page.
- Respond to Reviews – Especially the Negative Ones
While it’s tempting to think you’ll only get positive reviews, unfortunately that’s likely not the case. And on public sites like Facebook and Google, you can’t delete negative reviews.
Take the time to respond to every review, both positive and negative. On the negative reviews, try to understand where the reviewer is coming from and offer them a chance to connect in person or over the phone with your company.
In some cases, depending on your audience demographic, users might accidentally leave a negative review, not realizing how it affects you. For instance, we have seen users leave a three-star review saying, “Great service.” In that instance, you might consider direct messaging the user to ask if they would consider increasing their rating. Again, this can depend on your audience.
Ultimately, the more positive reviews you have, the less the negative ones will affect your overall ranking.
- No Reviews Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing
You might think that having no reviews is better than having negative reviews. Unfortunately, this can be almost as harmful.
A staggering 93% of users look at online reviews before making their purchase and a positive review can greatly sway whether they end up buying. But that’s not all.
Online reviews are used by search engines to determine your ranking. No or low reviews could affect what search results actually get surfaced and ultimately clicked on.
If your online reputation is a blank slate, start by asking your current clients for reviews — and be direct in your ask. If you’re looking for five-star reviews, ask them for that, particularly if you have a good relationship. You could also offer to return the favour if you are a B2B company.
At DigiForce Marketing, we understand just how important managing online reviews is to your digital marketing strategy. We’re your ally in getting more feedback, responding to reviewers, and crafting your digital brand reputation.
Get in contact with us today. Call 1-888-701-4441 or visit www.digiforcemarketing.ca.