How to Get Customer Reviews and Why Every Business Must Have Them
Customer reviews are a powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool that brands can leverage to grow their business. While the quantity and quality of customer reviews might seem out of your hands as a business owner, you can actually take steps to grow the number of reviews and your digital presence online.
Once you have these reviews, you can share them on social media, post them on your website, and use them to drive new traffic to your locations.
Keep reading to discover the value of online customer reviews and how you can start curating them for your business.
Why Should You Curate Customer Reviews?
After decades of advertising exposure, customers have grown weary of brands trying to sell them something. Most buyers increasingly distrust messages from companies and are convinced that brands exaggerate and even lie about the quality of their products or services.
As of 2017, 69% of consumers distrust brand advertising, and 84% of millennials distrust traditional marketing messages.
As consumers grow wary of brand messaging, they turn to alternatives to learn about the various businesses they plan to visit. Online reviews have skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade as customers voice their opinions about the places they visit -- and voice them loudly. Here are four eye-opening statistics on the power of reviews:
- 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business for the first time.
- 72% of customers say positive reviews make them trust a business more.
- 31% of customers say they will spend more on a business with excellent reviews.
- 56% of customers make their buying decisions after reading 2-6 reviews.
Brands clearly have two choices: they can encourage customers to leave online reviews and use these comments to market their business or they can focus on traditional marketing models and hope the reviews associated with their brand are positive. Successful brands won’t risk choosing the latter.
6 Tactics to Get More Customer Reviews
There are multiple ways you can generate more customer reviews for your company that will boost your sales and increase your brand exposure. Some of these might work wonders for your business, while other tactics might flounder if they’re not right for your brand. Try a variety of these steps to see what improves your sales and brand lead generation efforts.
#1) Enable Reviews on Your Social Pages
Some social media sites like Facebook require brands to take an extra step to enable reviews on their pages. It’s possible that when you set up your social profiles you turned reviews off just until your business and website were fully launched. It only takes a few seconds to make sure your review option is on, and then you can start encouraging your social follows to share how they feel about your business.
Also, consider developing a few social posts per month encouraging fans to leave reviews or sharing the positive reviews of others.
#2) Verify Your Business on Google
You can increase the number of reviews for your business and boost your SEO with Google My Business services. Make sure you verify your business and regularly update your hours, photos, and contact numbers with recent information. This process makes it easier for people to find your business via organic brand search and can also increase your number of reviews.
People can easily leave a review or answer a question when they search for your brand online. Then, when new people encounter your brand, they can see its reputation and take action based on the information provided. Soon, your business will start to show up in non-brand organic search results because of its high reviews and value to customers, making reviews a valuable local business marketing option for your SEO strategy.
#3) Rank Positive Reviews as Helpful
There’s one more step you can take to make sure your top reviews are featured on Google so you have your best foot forward in the SERPs: mark positive reviews as helpful. Google will take this feedback into consideration when it displays reviews related to your brand, meaning your top reviews will show up first.
#4) Place Review Calls-to-Action in Your Business
While some customers might actively take steps to leave reviews for your business, others need a little push. If the people who visit your business don’t know that you want reviews, why should they take extra steps to leave them? Set up call-to-actions around your business to encourage people to share their thoughts about your brand. You can place this information in your store window, at your front desk, and even in the receipts you hand customers on the way out the door.
Also, take a few minutes to train your staff to ask for reviews. It only takes a few seconds for your team members to ask for a review, but those actions can pay off as customers take that extra step.
#5) Develop Incentives or Contests to Generate Reviews
If your customers aren’t leaving reviews organically, then try to incentivize them through rewards and contests related to your business. A few examples of this include:
- A monthly drawing with a gift for customers who leave reviews.
- A discount or free option for customers who show that they checked-in and left a review on various business pages.
- A contest for the best photos of your business or the wittiest response to a question or statement.
You can develop your own incentives based on your brand and business model. Find what works for you and gets customers to take action.
#6) Make Sure You Have Active Business Profile Pages
It’s not enough to manage reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp. Internet users check a variety of websites to learn about brands before they make their final decisions. Some consumers even check four or five business directory websites to make sure they can find honest reviews.
Curate a list of the top review sites in your area or the top traffic drivers to your website or business. There are some sites, like MyArea Network’s business profiles, that can drive more traffic than you expect based on the positive reviews left by a few customers.
Start Getting More Customer Reviews
Online customer reviews can help your business flourish. Contact MyArea Network today for a free consultation if you want to grow your online presence and encourage your customers to review your pages.