It’s Spooky Season, Treat Your Business with These Customer Review Tricks
This Halloween officially kicks off the 2022 holiday season and there’s nothing spookier than going into the holiday season without positive customer reviews surrounding your business. You might have heard how valuable word-of-mouth is for business, and if you’re thinking about increasing sales to hit your yearly goals, there’s no better time to promote it than during the holidays. This “social proof,” or the psychological effect where the majority’s actions are reflected in a given situation, will propel your brand toward success.
Word-of-mouth happens when your customers take it upon themselves to recommend others to your brand. Through face-to-face conversations, online reviews, blogs, and forums, customers have the chance to share what they think about you and your products. 90% of people said that positive reviews influenced buying decisions. With the right approach, gathering positive reviews to showcase is easier than you might think.
Trick #1: Expand Customer Options
Don’t limit your opportunities to get a review by only using one or two channels for review purposes. As nice as it would be for your customers to hop on and browse your website for hours each day, expecting as much would be unrealistic, and that’s perfectly fine. Linking reviews to channels outside of your website is a great way to get more reviews to boast.
You should have links to review pages for your products on all social media platforms, in each email you send, across industry-specific sites such as Trip Advisor if applicable, and on review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List to maximize your potential reviews.
Facebook has over two billion monthly active users, with 66% of them active daily. The platform is also a leading source for positive reviews, meaning there is a higher chance of good reviews about your brand being left on Facebook compared to your website for example. These reviews not only benefit your brand image but also increase click rates on your pages.
Aside from the digital world, you can place QR codes linked to review sites on postcards and other printed marketing materials sent out to your customer base that we specialize in! With a personalized mailer and a QR code from Kessler Creative, your audience will be interested and engage with your brand. A link to a review would be perfect to boost your brand immediately.
Trick #2: Identify Moments to Ask for Reviews
So, you have plenty of options for customers to leave reviews but aren’t sure when the right time to ask is. Simply asking customers directly for reviews is effective, but timing is everything in many instances, and when asking for a review, the same is true. The buyer journal naturally flows up and down. Some could be satisfied the whole way, while others might encounter a hiccup along the journey. Asking at the wrong moment could result in a negative review.
Here are the best times during the buyer journey to ask for reviews:
- Immediately after they experience your product/service first-hand
- After a re-purchase of a product/service
- When a customer tags you in a social media post
- When a customer refers you to someone
- If a customer returns to your site browsing other products after a purchase
Other instances can be an appropriate time to ask for a review such as when a customer complaint or bad experience is resolved, but sticking to the above guidelines will align your request with a recent positive experience. These recent positive memories will encourage customers to leave thoughtful reviews.
It is important to note that for some products and services, asking for reviews immediately won’t work because they might not have used them yet. If selling products for upcoming events or that take a while to be received, for example, you will want to wait and be sure the event has passed, or the item has arrived before asking. The process can be viewed as spammy from the customer’s perspective otherwise.
Trick #3: Ask for Reviews with Open-Ended Questions
We’ve identified appropriate moments in the buyer journey to ask customers for reviews, but how do you go about asking customers? You shouldn’t always directly ask customers for reviews, instead, try to start a conversation with an open-ended question to begin a smooth transition.
Starting a conversation can ease your customer into the process of writing a review while letting you know what experience they had before they do so. This allows you to correct a bad experience before the customer writes a nasty review. Start by asking customers “Are you enjoying your new product?” or “How was your customer service experience with us?” These questions help gauge customers’ satisfaction levels before you directly ask them for a review.
Asking these open-ended questions helps avoid the mistake of asking a customer for a review at the wrong moment and doubles as another method for gathering customer feedback. Conversation-starting questions feel genuine to customers and allow you to sneakily ensure a customer is happy before asking for a review. Even if they aren’t, you now have the opportunity to bring a solution to the table before a review is written by an upset customer.
Trick #4: Incentivize Customers to Leave Reviews
Giving your customers motivation to leave a review is another trick to increase the number of reviews your brand gets. When we say “incentivize” we don’t mean bribe customers either. That can easily be viewed negatively by customers, and things could get messy quickly if you take that route. That is why you should incentivize customers to simply leave a review. Not necessarily a great review, but a review that could benefit your brand nonetheless.
Don’t worry, we know you only want positive reviews, and you’ll get them with the appropriate wording that should go into this strategy. An example of this would be sending an email to a customer who has tried one of your products asking “Hey John, had a chance to try out your new product? Enjoying it? Not meeting your expectations? Leave a review about us and be entered into a contest for a $1,000 pre-paid Visa.” Notice how it even says to leave a review if the product fell below expectations. This wording is perfectly ethical, and the options won’t be viewed as deceptive by a customer.
If you say “leave a good review and be entered…” it can be viewed as misleading, resulting in negative responses from customers. Incentivizing customers act as a lead magnet for your brand, but instead of gathering emails or leads, you gather reviews to boost your brand.
Trick #5: Tell Your Customers Thank You
This one might seem obvious but saying “thank you” to customers that leave a review can have multiple benefits for your brand. You probably know those words are essential for good customer service, which alone can increase revenue, but applying this concept to reviews improves SEO and the satisfaction customers have with your brand. Customers will feel a higher level of value when you thank them as it simply makes them feel good.
Reviews left on your website give you a chance to include more keywords for google algorithms to pick up. Say Todd leaves a good review of your newest release. You could respond with “Hey Todd, thanks for your feedback on (company/product name). Our goal has always been to be the best (industry of business) in (location).”
This kind of response of course helps your brand retain a positive image to other individuals, but also builds SEO because when someone types “best plumber in Jacksonville,” your brand has a higher chance of topping out on search engines.
Overall, thanking customers for reviews establishes a deeper personal connection between your customers and your brand.