Reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing. They are the buzz you generate when you create happy customers, and they are the reputation you build that sticks with your brand over years of good service. For local businesses, it determines the number of visiting customers and delivery orders you receive each day – and how confidently new customers choose your venue. For retail brands – local and e-commerce – product reviews determine which products customers choose to buy and how competitive your brand is on the open marketplace.
Getting more positive customer reviews matters. Depending on your business model, it can matter quite a lot. However, the correct strategy to build reviews and win more positive reviews is not always clear.
Today, we’re taking a deep dive into how to get more positive customer reviews for your business and online products.
The Importance of Social Proof
Social proof is why reviews are so powerful. This little term represents all the trust that people put into fellow shoppers over the promises made by companies. We know that other customers have every reason to tell the truth if they say a fruit drink tastes like real fruit, or if new sneakers are comfy or stiff. Social proof has shown us time and time again that real quality wins out while poor quality gets close-up shots of fraying thread.
The key to winning more positive customer reviews and thriving, as a result, is understanding – and nurturing – the value of social proof.
How to Win More Positive Reviews for a Local Business
You have an online business and you need more positive reviews to win those Google Maps or Shopping search results. The more positive and frequent reviews you receive, the better. But how do you boost your online Google or Yelp reviews without breaking terms or bothering your customers? Let’s dive in.
Cultivate Your Online Presence
First, make sure your online presence is complete and ready to receive reviews. Fill out your entire Google Business Profile (which used to be GMB). Make sure your Yelp profile is not just complete, but also fully linked to a menu, website, online ordering forms, prices, hours, and everything a Yelp searcher needs. If you offer a local service like roof repair or fence construction, get on Angie (used to be Angie’s List) as well. And don’t forget to spruce up your social media suite.
- Angie(‘s List)
- Social Media
When You Get Positive Reviews, Say “Thank You”
When you receive a positive or even neutral-good review on any platform, post a “thank you.” Google is especially good about showing company replies. Warmly thank the reviewer. Mention something specific you are happy they liked or said and offer to reward anyone they mentioned.
When You Get Negative Reviews, Provide Customer Service
Negative reviews are opportunities to show off your customer service and diplomacy skills. Check your records. If it’s not a real customer, politely say so. If it is, then this negative review is a cry for help that you could boldly answer in the public eye.
Spotlight Your Favorite Reviews
Did someone leave you an especially awesome review? Quote it on your website’s home page, testimonial page, or even your extended description, and include the person’s screen name (or first name and last initial). Not only will the reviewer be flattered, but others who want to be spotlighted may be motivated to leave a nice comment of their own.
Photos That Inspire New Photos
Don’t forget the photography. Not only do you want an appealing photo tour and close-ups on products or dishes – but you should also seed a few experience photos. Make others want to snap and post their experiences in your venue to share as part of a review.
Provide Review QR Codes on Menus and Checkout Counters
Make reviewing quick and easy for in-venue guests with QR codes on the menus or on little printed stands on the checkout counter. Takeout menus with a review QR code can also inspire reviews right after a satisfactory experience.
Include a Review Card in Every Order or Delivery
If you send out orders or deliveries, include a little card (business card sized) that thanks the customer and invites them to leave a review with an easy link or QR code.
Invite Guests to Tell Their Story
Find avenues like social media or marketing campaign copy to invite guests to tell their stories. Emphasize that every review is a personal experience, a story shared after enjoying something about your venue or delivery service. Invite food selfies, people selfies, pet photos, and personal journey reviews.
Invite Guests to Reward Their Server/Technician
Some are motivated to review in order to help others. mention in your descriptions that servers or service technicians who are mentioned in reviews are rewarded. Those who want to give more than a cash tip will sometimes be eager to share the love.
What if you have a product or selection of products in need of positive reviews? Modern retail brands both with or without a brick-and-mortar storefront now rely on product reviews for shoppers to make confident choices.
Include In-Use Photography
Show the product in use, not just images from every angle. Show how others might use the product and inspire your buyers to share their own “How I used it” photos along with a story in their product reviews.
Use Review Quotes in the Product Description
Pull the best, most flattering, and efficiently worded reviews and quote them in your item description or extended description content. You can even rebuild your image content to include a few of the best customer reviews and example images to inspire others who may want to be in the spotlight.
Send a QR Review/Service Card in Every Box
Make reviewing easy with every package delivered (or boxed at the shop). Slip a small review/service card on the side. On one side, the review/service card says “Happy? Leave us a review!” with a QR code to the shopping platform’s review link. On the other hand, the card might say “Problems? Customer service is a click away!” with a QR code to your customer service chat.
This directs happy customers to review, and sends unhappy customers to support before they have a chance to leave a bad review – and often in time to save the sale.
New Product? Genuinely Ask for Reviews
If you have posted a brand new product that doesn’t have any reviews at all, be honest. In the product description, mention that you know the product needs them, invite first-time customers to be your first reviewers, and say (truthfully) that you will read and respond to them including questions or even requests for designs and colors. Those who like to be a part of something new may choose to review, and feel good that they are helping you out.
Building Positive Reviews for Your Business or Online Brand
Positive reviews are an essential part of building your brand, whether you run a local business or sell products online (or both, as many do today). These techniques can help you get a leg up on the competition by generating reviews at a friendly and steady pace. For more advanced ways to build reviews, create social proof, and drive traffic to your brand, Winslow Ranch Marketing has the expertise you need. Contact us today to consult on your brand’s marketing needs.