8 Proven Techniques to Boost Customer Reviews for Your Local Business
In today’s digital landscape, few things wield as much influence over consumer choices as online reviews. They offer genuine and unfiltered insights that no marketing campaign can replicate.
Compared to modern-day word-of-mouth, customer reviews hold the power to shape a local business’s reputation and significantly impact its sales figures.
Still sceptical about the significance of reviews for small businesses? Consider these critical statistics:
Over 99.9% of online shoppers read reviews occasionally.
Positive reviews sway 91% of consumers to support a business.
A staggering 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
A mere 13% of individuals would consider engaging with a business rated two stars or lower.
Online reviews furnish indisputable proof of your product or service quality, establish your authority, and foster trust. This makes accumulating positive reviews a mission-critical endeavour for local businesses.
Here are 8 tried-and-tested techniques to encourage reviews for your local business:
Gather Email Addresses During Checkout
Requesting customers’ email addresses and phone numbers at the point of purchase marks a significant stride toward securing reviews. When customers willingly share this information, it often signifies their satisfaction, making them more inclined to share their experiences.
Once you have their email addresses, send a friendly follow-up message after a week, inviting them to share an honest review of their interaction with your business.
Use In-Store Signage to Prompt Reviews
Local businesses with physical stores can employ in-store signage to prompt reviews. This can take the form of banners, flyers, brochures, or even including a review request on bill receipts. Consider setting up an in-store kiosk with an app directing customers to a dedicated review page on your website. Alternatively, a QR code can lead them to a selection of review platforms, allowing them to choose their preferred avenue for leaving feedback.
These visual cues demonstrate your commitment to customer feedback, signalling that you value their opinions and continuously strive to enhance your services.
Encourage Honest Feedback Verbally
Train your staff to express how much they would appreciate honest feedback, especially when customers appear satisfied. This approach works best when there’s a genuine opportunity to engage with customers rather than delivering a scripted message repeatedly.
Whether in-store or during online/phone interactions, a personalised request for a review feels heartfelt, not pushy.
Offer Incentives for Future Purchases
While loyal customers may already be advocating for your brand, others may need a gentle nudge to share their thoughts. Offering discounts, coupons, or incentives in exchange for a review can be effective. It’s essential to note that Google frowns upon incentivising positive reviews. Ensure that the incentives offered are uniform, irrespective of the review’s rating.
Streamline Review Processes on Your Website
Simplify the review-writing process for customers by providing easy access to review platforms. Employ call-to-action buttons and non-intrusive pop-ups on your website, guiding them to your Yelp or Google Business Profile review page. Tools like Supple’s direct link generator can create a unique Google review link, emailed directly to customers. This user-friendly approach minimises the effort required to leave reviews, increasing the likelihood of customer feedback.
Leverage Social Media Engagement
Harness social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to engage your audience with specific questions about your business’s performance. Encourage followers to leave reviews on their preferred platforms by fostering interactive conversations. For instance, in the restaurant industry, inquire about discontinued menu items that customers miss, prompting them to mention this in their reviews.
This technique not only inspires customers to share engaging stories but also elevates your brand’s social media presence.
Thoughtfully Respond to All Reviews
Responding to every review, whether positive or negative, is an essential practice. Timely and personalised responses, even a simple “thank you,” demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Negative reviews, when addressed professionally, provide opportunities for improvement and authenticity. They also prevent an overly positive review landscape from raising suspicions.
Prioritise Exceptional Customer Experiences
Delivering exceptional in-store experiences directly correlates with the quantity and quality of reviews you receive. Satisfied customers are more inclined to leave reviews. Strive to exceed expectations and provide memorable interactions to encourage customers to share their positive experiences.
In sum, online reviews serve as a vital barometer of your business’s performance, a feedback source, and a means to expand your customer base. They offer both accolades and constructive critiques that are invaluable for business growth.
Whether favourable or unfavourable, online reviews are instrumental in shaping your business’s trajectory. Embrace them, use them to your advantage, and always strive to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Remember, the path to garnering reviews starts by understanding what your customers are already saying about your business on top review platforms such as Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Facebook. Take proactive steps to manage and encourage reviews, as they hold the power to transform your business’s online presence and reputation.