Is your business running customer review campaigns? If not, you should be.
Your customers are your biggest fans and your biggest opportunity to make significant improvements to your business. Listening to their feedback can help you improve your local search result rankings and even attract new customers.
Running a customer feedback campaign is not easy, however, as many review platforms don’t allow you to directly solicit customer reviews on their platforms. Instead, you have to be intentional with how you ask for feedback and promote your profiles on review sites.
We are going to explore the ins and outs of how to ask for customer reviews in a marketing campaign setting and what you can do to earn the highest quality reviews for your business.
Getting Reviews is Easy, But Getting Positive Reviews is Hard
It can be hard to earn positive reviews, even if you are known for great customer service. Sometimes businesses struggle to even generate reviews at all.
A lot of this has to do with the consumer mindset. People expect everything at their doctor’s office or their local gym to go well and don’t feel the same need to point out great customer service like they do when they go to a new restaurant. The bar for success is set much lower for restaurants than it is for a cardiologist.
Instead, maybe people decide to leave a review only when things go catastrophically wrong. This can often lead to businesses that are actually providing great customer service having more negative reviews than positive ones. That’s demoralizing for any business owner.
So what can you do to improve your online reviews?
The answer isn’t revolutionary, but it is effective: focus on getting happy customers to take the time to leave reviews.
Asking for Reviews in Person
If you have happy customers in your store or practice, it’s ok to ask them to leave a review on their review directory of choice. What isn’t OK is to offer to pay them for a good review. That will erode their trust in you and also violates many ethics rules for online directories.
We recommend having the person who has the most contact with the customer ask for the review. They usually are the people on the front lines who have had the easiest time having the deepest relationship with your customer.
At a medical practice, for example, this may be the nurse practitioner or the doctor themselves.
You can also post signs in your establishment reminding customers that their opinions matter and that you’d love to get their feedback in an online review.
Try to figure out all the customer touch points in your company and where it makes sense to ask for a review. Chances are, if you really do have outstanding customer service, you will get that valuable review.
Asking for a Review via Email
E-mail is a great way to ask for customer reviews. Chances are, if they are a patient or a paying customer, they provided their email during their visit. This means you probably have all the information you need to ask them about how your customer service was.
Having a contact database of former customers is a great way to generate quality reviews, but it can also be a bit more complicated to pull off than just asking in person.
Here are some guidelines for asking for customer reviews via email:
- Have a clear call to action button (link to your Facebook page) so users can easily see where you want them to leave the review. Remove as many steps as possible.
- Do not promise them anything for leaving a review!
- Test multiple variations of an email to see which one customers respond to best.
- Segment your email list to target only recent customers. Unengaged customers are less likely to respond to emails and may not even be customers anymore. We recommend editing your list down to people who have visited your establishment within the last 3 months.
- Make the reviews about them and not about your online reputation. Don’t say “Leave a review so we can improve our online reputation.” Instead say “Leave a review so people like you can enjoy the benefits of working out at our gym,” or whatever your service may be.
Asking for a Review via Text Message
Did you know that text messages have an average open rate of 82 percent? That’s nearly 8 times the total of email response rates.
Imagine what your business could do if your messaging was read consistently by almost your entire audience?
Companies can now use automated text messages to expand their influence directly to their audiences’ mobile devices. Within hours or minutes of an interaction with a customer, a business can send out a customized request asking for a review of the experience. This is not only timely messaging, but it helps your brand stay top of mind while the customer replies.
Text messages have an open rate of 98 percent, all but ensuring that someone will see your review request pop up on their phone.
Prioritize the Customer Experience
Getting quality reviews shouldn’t be the focus of only your marketing and brand management teams–it should an organizational priority. From the “front of house” to your c-suite executives, your organization should prioritize the customer experience as a KPI for the health of your business.
How people talk about your business online is how others will perceive your business. Remember, when it comes to online reviews, perception is reality.
Interested in Learning More? Here are some Related Topics:
- Infographic: How Can Text Messaging Grow My Business?
- How Reviews Can Help or Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings
- What is Review Generation?
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