Today, very few people purchase a product or hire a service without researching online. Even if they’re in a rush, they’ll use their trusty smart phones to perform a quick search online. In prospective customers want to purchase an expensive or important product, they’re going to look at all possible sources of information before they shell out the money. Online reviews are one of the most trusted sources available to your customers.
In a recent survey, about 88% of the customers admitted to being influenced by online reviews to make their buying decision. Naturally, you want the convincing power of online reviews on your side. But how can you do it. After all, writing a review depends entirely on the customer. There are some ways you can encourage your customers to leave reviews. Here’s how you can do it.
Spread the Word
The first thing you need to do is register with online review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and with Google MyBusiness. That would allow reviewers to find you easily. Once you’ve done that, you need to let people know that you’re there. If your customers are satisfied with your services, they’re most likely not going to seek your business on review sites. You need to direct them.
For your online visitors, you can place tags that these websites provide. All your customers will have to do is click on the tag and follow the link to the review websites before submitting the review.
For your off-line visitors, you can incorporate mentions of your presence on the review websites in your promotional materials. For example, you can include a Yelp tag on your letterheads, newsletters, brochures, etc. You can also apply stickers on your windows and add a small note encouraging review on your receipts.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the best platforms to engage with your customer and magnify your presence online. If you already have a very strong presence in the social networking sites, you can encourage them to review on the review websites. That would give you the traction you need to attract more customers and therefore, more reviews.
Incentivize – with Freebies
Who doesn’t love free things? It’s a good idea to surprise your customers every now and then. You can offer them a hefty discount on a product they already intend to buy. You can upgrade them to a better service with no additional cost. You don’t really have to go out of your way. Small gestures that are really useful would impress your customers. Impressed customers are usually very vocal online. They’ll share their pleasant surprise with their social media circle and before you know it, several other customers are visiting your business.
Links in Emails
If you send email newsletters to your clients, you can easily include links to review websites in them. You don’t need to do much here. Just end the newsletter with a reminder to review your company on the websites. Most people wouldn’t bother, but even a single review is worth the effort.
You can use these tools to increase the number of reviews online. That would lead to higher rankings in search results pages as well.