Customer trust in brands and companies has been on the decline over the years. Quite simply, customers are savvier than ever before and they can often sniff out a sales pitch. Meanwhile, people are bombarded by more than 5,000 ads per day that many customers have become all bit immune to them.
So where does that leave the modern marketer? Many of yesterday’s tactics simply don’t work in an era of savvy, well-informed customers. As many as 88 percent of customers now conduct research before making a purchase. However, by tapping into customer reviews, you can use the customer’s own research process to your advantage.
This works because when a customer wants to evaluate a product or brand, they often turn to customer reviews. In fact, 86 percent of customers read reviews for local businesses. This number jumps to 95 percent for 18-34 year-olds.
Many people won’t simply trust the first customer review they see. Instead, they will evaluate an average of 10 reviews before pulling the trigger. So while customer reviews offer a great way to cut through the noise, you’re going to need a lot of them.
That’s why I’m going to go over four strategies you can use to garner reviews.
1. Make Sure You’re in All the Right Places
Customers will turn to a variety of sources, including Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp, to find reviews. Make sure you are active on all of these websites. On most sites, you can create a business listing where you can list your product offering (i.e. a menu), opening hours, contact information and other details.
Social media platforms, and especially Facebook, are often the first place customers turn to when they want to find reviews. Facebook makes it easy for customers to rate a company. So you can start by setting up active social media profiles.
2. Be Social: Use Social Media Platforms to Ask for Reviews
A lot of people try to use Facebook to directly drum up sales, say through offering promotions. Actually, the main crux of your social media platform should be relationship building and one of your primary goals should be to secure positive reviews.
You can publish a post asking people to leave feedback, good or bad. However, you should also say something like “if you had a bad experience, reach out to us and let us know how we can make it better.”
3. A Review Deserves a Response
You should respond to every review that customers leave, good or bad, rain or shine. Responding to reviews has a positive overall effect on your brand reputation. Don’t take my word for it, that’s what the Harvard Business Review has found.
When someone leaves a positive review, simply leave a warm message that demonstrates your gratitude. Doing so demonstrates how much you respect your customers.
On the other hand, when someone leaves a negative review, respond immediately with a message that conveys understanding and a desire to resolve the issue. Also, try to get their contact information so you can try to move the conversation to a private channel.
4. Hook Your Customers At the Point of Sale
You’re going to come into contact with your customers at some point or another. This might mean at the sales counter in your brick and mortar store, or perhaps the confirmation email for your online store. Whenever you come into contact with a customer, you’ll have an opportunity to ask them for a review.
Do it! Especially, if the customer is a regular or seems happy with your service. You could also post up a small note at your cash register (or in your online shopping cart), asking customers to leave reviews.
You could even offer customers a discount if they leave a review. A simple “hey, we’re offering 10 percent off today to any customers who leave a review” could do wonders. And there you have it. By using these four tactics, you’ll be able to increase your customer reviews and improve your brand.