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Customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other kind of online marketing and advertising, making solid online reviews more important than ever.

According to HubSpot, 60% of consumers believe customer reviews are either trustworthy or highly trustworthy. This means that businesses with a high number of good reviews have a greater chance of influencing a client’s purchasing choice. Though, Google may disagree. Recent changes to the Google review system mean that too much glowing feedback and way too many 5 star reviews can harm your ranking. The idea is that no one is perfect, so bad reviews are a good marker that the business is authentic and hasn’t bought positive reviews.

Regardless, getting your loyal customers to give feedback about your products will:

  • persuade others to follow their lead
  • supply other consumers with reliable information about your brand
  • boost your company’s Google rating
  • increase website traffic.

Here’s how you get the correct kind of feedback…

Ask your customers

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Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and don’t sit around waiting for them to come to you!

After a purchase, automated emails can be used to invite customers to review, and paid adverts can target customers and ask for feedback. Social media posts that feature reviews from other customers can go live to demonstrate that your firm values and promotes customer feedback.

Make things simple for them.

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Getting to know your customers is the first step in making it easy to post reviews. Which method of communication do they prefer? Is it more appropriate to send them an email, a text message, or a link to your Facebook review section? You should ask for the evaluation in the method that they prefer. Consumers are unlikely to go out of their way to discover a location to post a review. Make sure the link is provided so they may quickly tell the world about their outstanding experience with you.

Set the time correctly.

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It is vital to solicit reviews from clients at the appropriate time, preferably shortly after receiving the goods. Contacting clients too late or too early is a significant blunder. Experiment with timing, cadence, and messaging to find what works best for your audience. Then, build an automated programme based on the results.

Provide incentives

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Encourage customers to leave evaluations by offering incentives that encourage them to act and pay them after they do.

Positive reviews should be highlighted on social media and be available on your website. This may boost the reviewer’s ego and inspire others to want to be in the same spotlight. You can reward customers who post reviews with points, coupons, or discounts if you have a customer loyalty programme.

Customer appreciation is not the same as paying for reviews, which is highly unethical. When consumers notice a high number of five-star ratings, they may feel suspicious.

Respond to ALL of the reviews

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Some businesses avoid soliciting input because they are afraid of receiving unfavourable comments. On the other hand, negative feedback isn’t the end of the world; customers want brands to listen to their problems and respond with solutions when appropriate.

Responding to all reviews, good and negative, encourages individuals to leave reviews by showing that your firm reads and considers the feedback. Customers will realise that their feedback is not lost in cyberspace. Your firm is aware of the issue and is trying to resolve it.

Reviews can be scary.

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If you’ve not opened your business to the world of reviews and ratings, it’s ok to be a little hesitant. It can be frightening to open yourself up to the public’s judgment. We’ve all seen the horror stories of businesses being review-bombed by activists who are looking to name and shame you for not catering to their every whim.

The reality is that you can’t stop the public from reviewing you. Likely, your happy and not-so-happy customers are already doing it on Google, Facebook and other forums without your consent.

So dive in, open yourself up a little and get some feedback that you can work with, learn from and improve because of.

Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Facebook Australia, a digital advisor with Business Station, an accredited ASBAS Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.