Testimonials matter. As much as your brand can talk about the quality and usefulness of its product or service, the same message will become much more credible if it comes not from you but from your existing customers. So how can you kindly ask your happy customers to leave your business a positive review?
In fact, 88 per cent of consumers trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations from friends. As a result, encouraging reviews can lead to an increase in sales that's as high as 18 per cent.
Through both external review opportunities such as Google, and the ability to post testimonials on your site, your potential customers have more access to their peers' opinions about your business than ever before. But how can you make sure that they actually read positive comments about you?
Here are 5 steps you can take to encourage your customers to leave a positive review about you.
- Don't Be Afraid to Ask
- Make the Review Process Simple
- Offer Incentives
- Engage with Existing Reviews
- Highlight Your Reviews
1. Don't Be Afraid to Ask
The first step might be the most obvious, but is also the most crucial. To get reviews, you have to ask for them. Shortly after you gain a new customer, reach out to ask about their product or service, and give them the opportunity to leave a comment about it. A quick post-purchase email can be enough to accomplish this goal.
2. Make the Review Process Simple
The less friction your customers experience when looking to review your product, the better. Whether you sell products through your own website or an external vendor, you should always give your audience the ability to leave a comment about it by only adding their name and comment on the website in question. Another option is to let your customers know in the email mentioned above that they can comment about their experience simply by responding to your email, at which point you can publish it.
3. Offer Incentives
Discounts can go a long way toward encouraging reviews. From offering future discounts to publicising a monthly reward drawn from all reviews that month, you can take a number of steps to make sure your audience actually follows through. Just make sure you clarify that the incentives are for all reviews, not just positive ones - you don't want to appear like you're bribing your customers into dishonest statements.
4. Engage with Existing Reviews
Your customers will become a lot more likely to review their experience with you if they see that you will actually respond. Comment on both positive and negative reviews that are published about your business, answering questions and offering next steps if a problem exists. By showing that you are willing and happy to engage, you implicitly encourage your customers to engage with you as well.
5. Highlight Your Reviews
Finally, be sure that when you get reviews, they actually get published. All of your digital marketing outlets, from email to social media, are opportunities to publish reviews about your company. When existing and potential customers see these reviews, they not only become more likely to buy from you as well, but also feel more encouraged to write their own reviews and receive the same type of spotlight.
In short, online reviews can and should play a major role in your digital marketing strategy. They add third-party credibility to your message, making it more convincing and more likely to convert your target audience.
Of course, that is only possible if you actually generate a good number of positive reviews. The above steps can get you started in that process, but it also makes sense to work with a partner who can help you both get these reviews, and highlight them effectively throughout your digital presence. To learn more about Pixel Fish, and how we can help you accomplish that goal, contact us.
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