7 Tips to Help Increase Your Online Reviews

Contributed by Nick Miller of Podium.

It’s getting harder and harder for retailers to stand out from the competition. Today’s consumer has access to what seems like an unlimited amount of information about products, pricing, and selection to help them make purchase decisions.

You’re already spending thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing to set yourself apart, but it’s not enough anymore. To really differentiate your business, you also need to take the time to build your online reputation on the sites that matter most like Google and Facebook.

That’s because consumers are now turning to online reviews more than to their circle of friends to get help with purchases. And the crazy thing is they trust those recommendations from complete strangers as much as people they actually know.

But even if they know how important online reviews are to the buying journey, many businesses struggle to find ways to get their customers to leave reviews. But lucky for you, we have developed seven steps that have been proven to help businesses significantly increase the number of reviews they have coming in.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

One of the biggest hurdles we see is the fact that businesses have a hard time just asking their customers to review their business. They think they’re asking too much of their customers or that asking their customers to review their business might make them upset. But that isn’t the case. Nearly 80 percent of consumers have said they would be willing to leave a review if asked.

Make It Ridiculously Easy To Leave A Review

Just because your customers are willing to leave a review, doesn’t mean that they will follow through. If you want them to actually leave a review, you need to make it as easy as possible to leave a review. In the past, the process to leave a review was long and cumbersome. Eliminating just one step in the process can increase conversions by as much as 20 percent. Throughout the rest of this blog post, we’ll delve into some things you can do to simplify your review invitation strategy.

Find The Right Time To Ask For A Review

For retail businesses, we’ve found the best time to send the review invitation is after the transaction is complete, but before the customer has left the store. We’ve found the closer the invitation is sent to the transaction, the higher the conversion rates.

Walk Them Through The Process Of Leaving A Review

It’s important for the customer to know what your expectations are. You should let them know:

  • Why reviews are important to your business
  • When they will receive an invite
  • How they will receive the invite
  • What aspect of your business you want feedback on

Focus On The Most Important Review Sites

For the most part, we recommend customers spend most of their time collecting reviews on Google and Facebook. These sites are the most widely used, will help improve your local SEO ranking, and influence purchase decisions. There are also a number of industry specific sites that you can look at like Consumer Affairs, Houzz, The Knot, and many others that consumers will also look at to help them through the customer journey.

Send Invites Via Text Message

If you want your customers to open and click on your review invitations, you should be sending them via text message. Text messages have a 99% open rate with 90 percent of messages opened within three minutes.

Use An Online Review Management Platform

Our final tip is to use a review management solution to streamline the review invitation process. An online review management platform makes it easy for you to collect, manage, and respond to reviews in real time all from a single location. Consolidating your online reputation will save valuable time that was previously spent logging in and checking on all of your business’ online review sites, while also ensuring timely responses to new reviews. Additionally, it will help you gain valuable insights into your customer experience to help drive new business and improve operations.

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