Recently, I’ve found I encounter more and more clients who are afraid of asking their customers for reviews. There is a lot of value in having online reviews and being proactive about it. An online poll we did showed that most customers do not write online reviews. While that was in 2012, if we were to do the same kind of poll today, I doubt that would change much. And you don’t want to wait for customers to leave a review without asking because you’re leaving it up to those with exceptional experiences–good or bad (mostly bad)–to write reviews for you. My advice?
Just ask. Customers expect to be asked for their feedback for a public forum, i.e., an online review. Just make it easy for them.
On BrightLocal, Thomas Bellantyne wrote a post on the best way to get 5-star reviews. The points to take from this piece are timing and making the reviews steps simple. Besides post-service thank you emails, you can be calling your customers. I was a call agent for a year before working as an account manager here at Customer Lobby and I can tell you that the majority of customers I called a day were happily surprised to get a phone call asking for feedback. These are not cold calls from people they do not know. This is a follow up to a service to help out a business they are familiar with. Many will even return our messages to give their review! There’s nothing more simple or convenient than giving a review without having to write it yourself.
Bellantyne also mentions giving employees incentives to request reviews and I could not agree more. Some business owners I’ve talked to think they should incentive the customer to give a review and I have to tell them that is generally frowned upon in the industry. For reviews to have value, they have to be credible and to have credibility, they have to come without bias. Your reviews strategy will also affect customer loyalty and having a rewards program to drive review acquisition will look…unseemly. Finding a way to encourage your employees to care about reviews and getting the best reviews they can will not only increase your number of reviews but will also benefit their work performance in the long run.
Customer Lobby can help you with email marketing and calling your customers for your reviews as well as a toolbox of review management not offered elsewhere. Sign up for a free trial of our package of tools to help you craft your own reviews strategy.