While you understand how important positive reviews can be for your business, you might struggle with actually getting your satisfied customers to write them. On the other hand, customers that are unhappy with your business always seem more than happy to share.
I’ve engaged with customers firsthand to understand what it takes to get them to leave honest, positive reviews, and I’m here to help you out. I’ve broken down the 10 best ways to get customer reviews. Armed with this knowledge, you can implement a strategy to boost your number of positive reviews which can, in turn, boost your number of happy customers.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important?
Thanks to the rise of scammy websites and low-quality products flooding the online market, customers are more wary than ever. This is why they’re constantly seeking out other peoples’ opinions before engaging with a small business.
While negative reviews are obviously a turnoff for potential customers, having no or very few reviews can also be a red flag, even if the ones you do have are positive. That’s why it's crucial for you to display great reviews from real customers – to instill confidence in others before they buy from you.
10 Ways to Get Customer Reviews
1. Create Company Profiles on Multiple Review Sites
There are so many places customers can review your business and products these days. If you want to get a lot of customer reviews, it’s essential to set up company profiles on all the major review sites, including:
- Better Business Bureau
- Industry-specific sites: ZocDoc, TripAdvisor, etc.
By having reviews on many different sites, you make it easy for customers to review you wherever they feel the most comfortable. This can also help you grow your business, as your business profile will be visible to many more potential customers.
2. Engage in Person
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, there is no better way to get reviews than by engaging with your customers face to face. Whether it’s their first visit or their thirty-first, being cordial and friendly can land you a great review.
While it may be off-putting to ask for a review right away, feel out the situation to time it right. If you run a restaurant, you can ask your customers to review a meal if they enjoyed it. You could even have business cards with links or QR codes to link out to review pages, available at the register for easy access.
You may even want to have a tablet available for customers who want to leave reviews on the spot.
3. Add Review Links to Emails and Web Pages
Whether you’re sending out an order confirmation email, a marketing email, or just revamping your website, make sure you have links to specific review sites easily accessible. Customers may not even think of leaving a review, but if there’s a convenient link right on the page, they’ll be more inclined to do so.
Having links easily accessible takes any guesswork out of the process and ensures they review the right business (a potential problem for companies with names that are similar to other companies).
4. Create Targeted Review Campaigns
The best reviews come from people that know your business and use your products or services regularly. You can create target email campaigns that encourage satisfied customers to write reviews. To target specific customers you know are satisfied, seek out people who have:
- Re-ordered the same product multiple times
- Engaged with your business positively on social media
- Referred a customer to you
- Signed up to a loyalty program
5. Incentivize Reviews
It's never a good idea to buy fake reviews but incentivizing customers to provide their true and honest opinions can be a win-win situation. This might mean offering loyalty points or a discount for a future purchase, or entry into a drawing for a grand prize (like a bundle product deal) in exchange for a review.
The incentives don’t have to be monetary. Depending on your business, you could promote a reviewer on your social media to provide free publicity – a huge benefit in B2B businesses, though it can also work in B2C spaces as well – especially if you share reviews from bloggers or influencers looking to grow their followings.
6. Ask for Reviews on Social Media
Social media is a great way to engage with customers on a more personal level. To get more reviews, you can put a callout on social media to ask customers to share their experiences. This works great if you’ve just launched a new product or service, as it may be fresh in your customers’ minds.
Additionally, you can share positive reviews on your social media profiles. This works to encourage more people to review, especially if you tag and feature the reviewer in your post (bonus if there are images to a visual touch)!
7. Use Surveys to Get Reviews
Short surveys are a great way to aggregate customer reviews. You have the ability to design the questions in a way that is simple, while providing good feedback for you and your business.
The best surveys are short and simple. You can ask two or three multiple-choice questions and have the option for customers to type in additional feedback if they want. Then, you can also ask them if they are okay with you sharing their review online, either anonymously or with their names.
8. Send Follow-Ups to Remind Customers to Leave a Review
Many businesses might stop asking for a review after a single email, but this can be a mistake. It can feel counterintuitive to continue to ask for reviews, as many might think this turns customers off, but it’s actually the opposite.
Consider that people are busy and their inboxes are flooded with dozens of emails every day. A customer may be inclined to post a review, but might’ve missed the first or second email requesting them to do so.
Sometimes, if you send a review request email too soon, a customer may feel like they haven’t had enough time to experience the product. However, a few weeks or months later, they may feel more prepared to provide authentic and helpful feedback.
9. Make It as Easy as Possible
Many customers are happy to write a review – if it’s hassle-free. Any slight inconvenience or frustration may cause a customer to abandon the process or worse, start to view your business in a negative way. When asking for reviews, work to streamline the process to make it quick and painless for your customers.
This may mean ensuring that there are multiple links for places to leave reviews, so they can choose the one most convenient to them. Or if you use a survey tool, don’t require personal information like email or name, as many people may prefer anonymity. Anything you can do to reduce friction can help you boost your number of reviews.
10. Respond to Every Review
Other customers will be more likely to leave reviews if they know the business owners see and appreciate the effort. A simple thanks can go a long way to making a customer feel appreciated when they took the time to review your company.
For bad reviews, also thank them for bringing any issues to your attention. If it’s something that was an error on your part, apologize and offer a line of communication (like an email address) in your response so the customer can follow up. If it’s an issue you can’t solve (a matter of taste, for instance), thank them and add in some help in some way.
What Can You Do If You Get a Negative Review?
If you get a bad review, don’t panic! Bad reviews are, unfortunately, part of owning a business. With the rise of social media and online review sites, you’re almost certainly going to face a negative review at some point. Especially considering that dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave a review than happy ones.
The first thing to do is to digest their response. You want to understand where their frustration is coming from whether it’s an order mixup, bad customer service, or something else. Then, make sure you respond in a professional manner, without getting defensive. You should respond publicly, so that others reading the review are able to see your professional approach.
Some tips for responding:
- Add a personal touch – if they’ve left their name, use it in your response
- Thank them for bringing this issue to your attention
- Apologize for their inconvenience
- Let them know what you’ll do to address the problem
- Offer a way for the reviewer to follow up privately by including an email or phone number
Make sure you are constantly monitoring review sites, so if you do get a negative review, you can address it right away.
The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider
Making the customer experience good from start to finish is the best way to secure good customer reviews. One aspect of this is ensuring your payment system is convenient and straightforward for customers.
Pay.com offers a full service payment infrastructure that you can easily integrate directly into your website, making payments convenient for your customers. Plus, with a variety of payment methods to choose from, you can use Pay.com in a versatile way that works for your business.
It’s easy for you to get started with Pay.com. After signing up, you’ll simply complete a straightforward onboarding form about your business. Once approved, you can start accepting payments in no time. Click here to get started now!
The Bottom Line
With more customers seeking out reviews before making a purchasing decision, they can be crucial to growing a small business. Getting good reviews from busy customers can be a challenge, but it’s well worth the effort.
Remember to make leaving a review as easy as possible for customers. Include links to review sites in emails, on landing pages, and through other means of communication.
You can also create surveys and incentivize customers to leave reviews by offering prizes or discounts in return to writing their opinions. Finally, you should take the time to respond to negative reviews. Don’t forget to thank the customers that provided positive ones as well.
One way to keep your customers happy is to use a frictionless payment system. Pay.com allows your customers to choose their preferred payment methods, while also reducing the chances of their transactions being declined. Click here to create your account!