Getting good quality online reviews for your business is crucial if you want to give the right selling signals to your prospective customers. These prospects will be researching different solutions as part of their Inbound journey and information about your company is readily available at your target audience’s fingertips, so what people have to say about you is a big deal.
Unless they’ve got something really negative to say, most customers won’t spend ages trying to figure out how to leave a review, so it’s your job to make it easy for them. Make sure you’re available on a few different review platforms in order to meet your customers where they are.
Here are the best platforms for customer reviews:
Most people will already have a Gmail, YouTube or Google Drive account meaning they won’t need to set up an account to leave you a review. Your Google reviews will show up on your Google My Business profile (so make sure you’ve set this up!)
If you have a business profile on Facebook and an active Facebook presence, you'll want to encourage your clients and customers to leave reviews on your Facebook profile.
As one of the largest customer review platforms you really should list your business on Yelp.
You can get a basic plan for free, however, if you want to showcase reviews on your website you need to pay an annual fee of £1980.
As a google licensed review partner, reviews.co.uk is another good option to use as a review platform.
Supplier / Partner Websites
If you have a partnership with another company, or you have a good relationship with a supplier, try to solicit reviews on their website. We’re a HubSpot Partner and ours looks like this.
2. Put your reviews where people can see them
If you work in an ecommerce business then put the relevant product reviews on the product page. For a B2B business you can add quotes from customers to your home page or have a page dedicated to reviews.
Glowing customer reviews can also be repurposed for social media content. You could post a screenshot of a review or take it further and ask a loyal customer to record a short video review which you can then post on your various platforms. No fancy video editing needed, a short video taken on a phone shows it’s from a real person, and not an actor you’ve hired!
These methods show people exactly where their feedback will be published, and they know that it will be seen by other buyers. I don’t know about you, but I am a lot more likely to give a glowing review if I know that people are actually going to read it.
3. Ask your customers for reviews
It might sound silly but most of the time the best way to get something is to ask for it. Reach out to your customers and ask them to leave feedback on your product or services.
In the B2C sector, email is one of the most popular methods of contacting customers and it can be used to source reviews about a specific transaction.
Working in the B2B sector, we find phone calls are another way to receive good quality feedback on your company, but bear in mind that most people don’t like receiving unexpected calls that interrupt their day. The solution: get your account managers to ask for feedback at the end of a prearranged call, or ask the question at the end of a support call.
4. Keep your survey short
Whether you’re sending your customer a survey or asking them questions over the phone, keep it short and sweet! A long survey will likely do one of two things:
Frustrate people and result in them giving low quality, uninterested answers towards the end.
So make sure you have a good look at the policy of whatever review sites you are using, or you could have all the reviews you worked so hard to get, removed completely.
6. Respond to your reviews
By responding to reviews you let your customers know that their opinion is valued and it gives your company a more human touch. Knowing that someone is actually going to take the time to read their feedback makes your customers more likely to leave a review.
The best thing about responding to all reviews is that when you respond to a bad review, it doesn’t make it stand out as different from all the good reviews. Talking of which...
7. Don’t be afraid of bad reviews
Bad reviews aren’t the end of the world as long as they are dealt with correctly. It might sound counter-intuitive but they can actually benefit your company. A company with only glowing 5-star reviews can make a user suspicious that the reviews are all fake. The odd bad review dotted in reassures your customer that your reviews are from real customers of your company, and that if they leave a negative review it will be acknowledged and dealt with in an appropriate way.
8. Automate the request
You don’t have to spend ages manually sending out emails asking for reviews. If you use marketing automation software like HubSpot, you can set up workflows which trigger an email to send after a desired action is taken out via your website
For example, if you own a software company you could send an automated email asking for a review the day after a support ticket has been closed. Or, if you manage an e-commerce site, you can send an email requesting a review for your product a few days after a purchase has been made.
9. Give out review handouts
In an increasingly digital world, sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics and rely on good old printed paper. Why not create little cards with some fun copy on them asking your customer to leave a review on your website? This method works well for e-commerce businesses.
For example, if you have a physical store you can give these out with the receipt, or with an online store you can include them in the packaging. You can also use this opportunity to advertise your social media channels.
Use these strategies to create genuine conversation about your products or services and build your organisation’s online reputation. Your online reviews can give you valuable insight into how your customers think, giving you the opportunity to tailor your processes to meet the needs of your customers, and help grow your business as a result.