In an ever more competitive world, customer reviews and testimonials, as well as word of mouth referrals, can mean the difference between a prospect choosing your business or visiting your competitor next door, in the next street or in the next town. In fact this is the subject of Googles latest advertising campaign encouraging us to shop local and leave a review.
According to Feefo’s Online Reviews survey, a whopping 96% of consumers read or use online reviews and BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey last year found that the average consumer says they read 10 reviews before feeling that they can trust a business.
At Ryan’s, we use Feefo reviews to great effect and, as well as providing the reassurance our customers need for their buying decision making, it boosts our morale to know we’ve earned our Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award, too.
So, how do you go about getting online reviews? At Ryan’s, responsibility for customer service spans our entire business and here, members from the whole team give their top tips for gaining that all important positive feedback:
Ask your customers
While it may seem cheeky asking for a review, if you don’t ask you probably won’t get. As well as mentioning that you’re collecting reviews when customers come into your shop, restaurant or office, you could pop a card detailing ‘how to review’ in with their purchase. You could also send an email to all your customers, allowing you to link them straight through to the review site.
Make it easy
Time is precious, so make leaving a review as simple as possible. Allow your customers to link straight through to your review portal and make sure they know how much time it takes to leave a review. The quicker the process, the more people will take part.
Offer an incentive
More often than not, offering an incentive to complete an action will get better results. You could offer a discount code for anyone completing a review, or a voucher for a free gift or some element of your service. Your options are open, so you can test what works best as you go. Do be aware, though, that not all review sites allow incentives to be offered.
Train your staff
Incentives work best when the whole team is behind them and the same is true for collecting reviews. Make sure staff are aware of your review programme. You could even ask your customers to highlight who they receive particularly good service from, and reward your staff for positive reviews that they’re mentioned in.
Once you’ve got your reviews, you’ll need to respond to them and share them.
Share good reviews
You’ll be tempted to shout from the rooftops if you’re receiving super reviews, and you certainly should share them. Remember, though, that subtly placed testimonials at natural points through your customers’ purchasing journeys are also powerful.
Respond to negative comment
Less positive reviews are disappointing but they’re also a great opportunity to spot ways to improve. Make sure you respond courteously to any negative reviews and try to resolve any issues. While it’s important to be discreet, showing you have responded will also help other customers see that you’re always willing to help customers with problems.
Learn from all reviews
Reviews are a great way of finding out what your customers think and why they choose to place their business with you. This should help you shape your marketing strategy, too, helping you to grow your business further.