How to get consistent customer reviews
If you’ve ever done a little online research before buying something, you can attest to the value of reviews. You might use them before buying products online, scoping out restaurants, or deciding if you want to reach out to service providers.
That said, many entrepreneurs don’t have a process for collecting their own reviews. As with anything that isn’t prioritized and systemized, it often falls to the wayside. You’re then left with sporadic reviews that don’t represent your full customer base’s experience.
You work hard to provide an amazing service or product! Make sure that commitment is paying off in the form of customer reviews.
Why are customer reviews important?
No matter what type of business you own, customer reviews are important for a couple of primary reasons.
For one, they can do wonders for SEO, especially if you’re a local business. Google provides search results that provide the biggest benefit to the user (AKA your customer). Reviews prove that benefit. When a customer reviews your business and you display it online, it tells Google that your business is real and trustworthy. Positive reviews also encourage higher click-through rates and can improve your rankings for targeted keywords, which Google loves.
Beyond all the SEO benefits, reviews play a big role in your credibility. More and more, consumers rely on self-guided research. When you have a healthy stack of positive reviews available at your prospects’ fingertips, you’re making it much easier for them to say “yes.”
Decide where you want customers to leave reviews
You can request reviews on a variety of websites, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Yelp. You may even be able to display them on your own website. Which one you choose depends on your overall marketing strategy.
For many businesses, Google is an excellent choice. Google is often one of the first places consumers will look at to learn more about your business. Plus, it’s easy to set up.
That said, you can certainly request reviews on other platforms if they fit your business’s strategy. You may even decide it’s worth requesting reviews on multiple platforms (by either segmenting your customers or giving them a choice). Just make sure you’re being intentional with your decision. You don’t want to send people to a platform your prospects won’t look at.
Plan your process
The key to getting consistent, positive customer reviews is having a solid process you can repeat after each purchase or project. The process doesn’t have to be complicated; it can consist of four simple steps.
- Prepare the customer to give a review
- Ask for a customer review when the job is done
- Follow up
Step 1: Prepare the customer to give a review
If you prime your customers for giving a review, you increase the chances that they’ll make the time when the purchase is complete. You might mention that you prioritize top-notch service during the quoting phase and refer them to existing reviews.
You might also highlight that you are always striving to improve and that you value customer feedback. You could include a link to your reviews in your proposal template, automated emails, or chat about this part of the process when you’re onboarding a client.
The goal isn’t to ask them for a review yet. It’s to make sure they’re aware you accept them so they’re especially ready when the time comes.
Step 2: Deliver
The second (and most important) step is delivering great work that fosters a great review! The more “wow moments” you can work into your process, from onboarding to delivery, the better. The goal is to create specific, memorable moments you want to highlight. If you go above and beyond throughout the process, there’s a good chance that will be reflected in your reviews.
Step 3: Ask for a customer review when the job is done
Get into the habit of asking your customers for a review right after your transaction is done when they are still excited about it. Ask them if they mind taking a couple of minutes to share their experience online. You can provide a few prompts or simply ask whether they’re happy with what you’ve provided. When you do this, make sure you provide a link to the platform you’d like their review to live.
Once you integrate this into your process, you’ll create a regular stream of feedback. This is an important habit for a healthy digital reputation.
Step 4: If needed, follow up
People are busy. Sometimes, even when you follow steps 1-3, they don’t provide a review right away. They usually just need a reminder, so build follow-ups into your process too. You might send a simple email asking them how the job went, how things have improved since working together, or how they’re enjoying the product. If things have gone well, they’ll often respond with a thank you. You can then use that opportunity to send a link to your review page again and tell them you appreciate their feedback.
Step 5: Interact with your reviews
Once those reviews go live, your job’s not quite done!
As a business owner, you should take a personal interest in responding to all your online reviews. This shows your investment in the customer experience and provides a nice personal touch. For positive reviews, a simple “Thank you for your feedback!” is all that’s needed. Of course, you can always add a more detailed response if you’d like. For negative reviews, it’s important to try to correct the complaint and offer a solution.
Responding to your reviews also helps with SEO. Google loves to see that you actually interact with your customers. It shows that you’re building trust with your customers and, hence, you’re building trust with Google too.
Customer reviews are critical for improving trust with both your prospects and search engines. To make the most out of your reviews, you need a solid process so you’re collecting them consistently.
Get your online review process in order
If you need a hand deciding on which review platform you should focus on or streamlining the whole digital process, Drio can help.
Schedule a free 15-minute call to learn how we can help your business.