Why You Need Reviews and How to Get Them

Business Marketing

Here are some questions to get you started in the review marketing and management process:

  • Do you currently have reviews? More than 10?
  • Where are your reviews posted? Your own website? Yelp?
  • Do you ask customers/clients for reviews?
  • What’s your average review rating on a scale of 1 to 5?

Here’s why I’m asking:

  • 90 to 95% of consumers read reviews before buying, and 90% are influenced by those reviews. 92% of consumers read 10 or more reviews to form their opinion.
  • Testimonials and reviews on your site are great, but in order to establish trust and credibility, you must have reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook, followed by review aggregators specific to your business offering (Amazon, TripAdvisor, etc.).
  • You should always ask for reviews – 68% of consumers will leave a review if asked.
  • If your rating is 3.3 or lower, you’re in trouble, and 4.6 is the most desirable average rating.

Reviews are no longer an optional part of your business strategy. If you need more convincing, do a Google search for “online review stats 2019” and you’ll be inundated with compelling information.

The hard part: how do you get more reviews?

Follow up after a purchase – reach out directly and ask

If you get 10 to 30 customers/clients/patients each month, you can reach out to them yourself (if you get more, see suggestion 2). After the customer has purchased or used your services, send them an email asking for an honest review and provide a link to your Yelp or Google business listing. This doesn’t just apply to new customers! If you have a list of past customers, send them individual emails asking for reviews. Just make sure you don’t ask people who may have had a negative experience.

Create an email marketing system that automatically asks customers for feedback

This one is pretty easy! In your email marketing platform (MailChimp, HubSpot, etc.) create an automation to send a review request email template to each user after a certain period of time. For example, send the email a few days after using your service, or a few days after their purchased product has arrived. Keep the template simple and straightforward. This article from CoSchedule has some great review request email examples and tips to organize your email marketing.

Make sure it’s easy for the user

If you want a review on Yelp, provide a link to your Yelp listing. If you want a product review, link to the product page and show where to leave the review. Let them know they can email you back directly with feedback as well.  If you’re ready to go next-level with it, this HubSpot article has some great pro-tips for meeting the customer where they are. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/get-customer-reviews

Respond to EVERY review

If it’s a positive review:

  • Respond to the customer by name
  • Be gracious and grateful 
  • Be specific. For example, “I’m so glad you loved the novelty toilet paper!”
  • You’re dealing with an engaged, happy user, so it’s a great opportunity to ask for further feedback. What else could you do to make the experience even better?
  • Say who you are. End the response with your name and position. Not “customer associate #36.”

If it’s a negative review:

  • WAIT! Don’t respond when you’re upset or angry. Draft a response when you’re feeling calm and proactive, and maybe run it past a teammate first. You want to deescalate.
  • Apologize. Even if you don’t believe you’re at fault, you have an unhappy customer. We never want that.
  • Keep it short and sweet, and leave no room for interpretation.
  • IF appropriate, offer a return, refund, or some kind of compensation.
  • Offer to talk over the phone or via email, rather than message back and forth on a review platform. 

Scared of negative reviews?

I get it. It’s scary, and negative reviews can hurt. But remember that all businesses will get one eventually, maybe even a few, and there’s not much you can do about it. Some things to keep in mind:

  • The more positive reviews you have, the less each negative review will impact you. 
  • Respond to each one. This may repair the negative relationship, and it reflects well upon you to new prospective customers.
  • Negative reviews can build a little credibility – this is exactly why 4.6 stars is better than 5 to the average online customer.

Be Careful with incentives

I’ve seen many articles online suggesting you offer incentives to customers in exchange for reviews. In short, this is against the rules and isn’t a great idea. It works sometimes, but if you get caught by Google or Yelp, you could get hit with a MAJOR penalty. It’s NOT worth it.  Google’s policy states not to offer or accept money in exchange for reviews. Yelp has a similar policy around solicitation and incentives. 

Why Intuitive Digital is here to help!  We love talking shop so reach out if you want to chat about your review strategy and digital marketing in general.  

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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