Do you have thousands of happy customers but few online reviews? Prepare to get star-studded! Today we're showing you some how to get more reviews for your business and develop a sparkling online reputation, the easy way.

If you're wondering why none of your customers seem to be reviewing you, you're not alone. When it comes to leaving customer feedback, customers can be pretty passive, with many more reading reviews that writing them.

This means leaving customers to their own devices will often yield the same results: no reviews for your business. And additionally, unless you're proactive, the few that do come in are likely to be negative as customers who've had a bad experience feel much more compelled to leave feedback that content customers.

Why is this?

Well, consider your own attitude when it comes to buying. If you're satisfied with your purchase and the service you receive, the buying journey ends pretty quickly. If you're happy, there's no real reason to think back to the buying process and how streamlined it was, or the customer service you received. Unless a company made a hugely positive impact on you by going above and beyond, it's unlikely to prompt you to go out of your way to leave you a review.

If you're unhappy, however, then this adds more 'work' on to the buying journey for you. You may have to sort out a wrong size or complain about a damaged product. Basically, you have to keep dealing with the company which means they're at the front of your mind for much longer. Gradually you become more and more frustrated, and, as these emotions build, more compelled to do something - to write a review.

The answer, then, for both the quantity and quality of your reviews, is to encourage those happy customers to review.

But how do we do this?

1. DO ask for your customers for reviews

77% of customers say they'd leave a company a review if they were asked, yet just 15% leave them regularly.

The key to improving your collection rate? Ask - ask and you shall receive.

Let's go back to the buying journey: the product's been received, the customer's happy, they forget about you. But what if we were to add another step here? If after the receipt of the product, the customer was asked to leave a review?

Asking for reviews serves as a sort of "Hi, remember us!" for the customer and momentarily puts you back in their mind. Now they'll actually take some time to evaluate your performance and, hopefully, leave you a review.

When it comes to asking for reviews, you have options.

  • With a Review Platform such as Reviews.io, there are a plethora of features to use including SMS Review Requests, Email Requests, In-Email Forms and even In-Store Review Collection so you can tailor your request to the habits of your customers.
  • It's also worth considering asking customers across your social channels, as, if they're a fan of you on Facebook, chances are there's already some brand loyalty there. They're likely to be willing to give you some feedback, and positive feedback at that.
  • Another nice idea are physical reminders such as cards attached to shipping notes or receipts.

2. DO collect reviews on multiple platforms

We'd recommend asking customers for reviews, as it dramatically increases your collection rate and also percentage of positive reviews. However, if you're keen to collect reviews organically, it's really important to enable this in as many places as possible.

Along with your own site, consider collecting in other places such as:

  • TripAdvisor
  • Yell
  • Facebook
  • Etsy
  • Yelp
  • Houzz
  • Google My Business

Not only will this lead to more online reviews, but it will enable you to keep a consistent reputation for your business across the web.

3. DO make it easy for customers

Remember: by leaving a review, your customers are doing you a favour. Even if you've provided them with the best products and services in the world, there are only so many hoops they'll be willing to jump through.

The key to a really high-collection rate? Keep it simple.

This means:

  • Using a form that customers can complete on the go.
  • No long answers - multiple-choice questions that require little typing are best.
  • not requiring them to log in or enter personal details.

The longer you make your review form, the more obstacles there are for customers to navigate - at every obstacle they meet, they might give up and leave without completing the review.

4. DO showcase reviews to encourage reviews

Do your customers even know you collect reviews? You can encourage them to start thinking about leaving you a review from the moment they begin browsing your site, by placing reviews on your website.

92% of customers now read online reviews, so if you have them on your site, potential customers are more than likely to take note. If it was a review that helped them make their purchase decision, they'll likely to be more willing 'return the favour' and help other future customers by leaving one of their own.

5. DO get your timing right

Just as with a lot of things in business, when it comes to getting more reviews for your business, timing is everything.

Whilst past customers are often still willing to review you, this is usually more for services than products. Asking customers to review a product they purchased from you a long time ago may lead to confusion and even annoyance - as opposed to customer aftercare, this could come across as clumsy.

If you're asking current customers to review you, it's important to consider your timing - there's no point requesting a product review before it's even been received. A good time is normally when delivery has been confirmed, or even slightly after this so the customer gets a chance to properly inspect the product before leaving feedback. Business reviews are slightly different, as they contain content such as delivery time and customer service speed which can usually be gathered earlier.

The moral of the story? If you want to encourage customers to leave reviews, always consider the buying process first.

6. DO be personable

Your customer's time is precious and their inbox is full - why should they take the time out to leave you a review?

Mass-sent marketing emails can leave a sour taste in your customers' mouths. In order to get them on side, you'll have to put some work in.

An email showing your appreciation for them and understanding of their time restraints will do wonders. When asking for a review, you should be friendly and personable - tell them how much a review would mean to you and how customer feedback helps both you and other customers. Make them feel like their opinion and view really matters.

Quite simply, use your charm to win them over.

7. DO ask past customers

One of the most obvious ways to get more reviews is to ask past customers.

It's important to go about this with care - as we've mentioned, asking customers to review things they can't even remember anymore is unlikely to be fruitful. However, there is a place for requesting company reviews from past customers and, providing you are friendly and explain why you're asking for feedback, it will usually be well received.

Now we've looked at the best tactics to use to get more reviews, let's turn out attention to the strategies to avoid if you want to keep your online reputation squeaky clean.

1. DON'T offer incentives

"How was your visit today? Review us for a chance to win a £200 Gift Card!" - we've all been witness to companies offering incentives to encourage reviews. Whether it's an entry into a competition or a discount, this tactic is, in essence, bribery.

The truth is, if you do a good enough job of making your customers happy, they really shouldn't need too much encouragement to leave you online feedback.

Reviews.io strongly discourages offering rewards in exchange for reviews. They can backfire in many ways by becoming something customers expect and some would even say they skew feedback and make it less honest.

Focus on doing a great job and requesting feedback in a personable and professional way, and those online reviews will come streaming in.

2. DON'T buy reviews

You probably don't need us to tell you that buying reviews is not a good idea. The thing is, customer feedback is meant to be reliable and trustworthy, and that means it needs to be genuine.

Purchased reviews can get companies in quite a lot of trouble, and although they say 'all press is good press' when it comes to getting caught out for having fake reviews, your reputation can be seriously damaged.

3. DON'T write fake reviews

Reviews don't have to be written by a bot in order to be fake.

Asking your staff to review you, leaving yourself reviews or asking your Facebook friends to 'leave you a cheeky 5*s' are all no-nos if you want long-term success online. Restaurants are particular culprits of this, but businesses in other industries have done their fair share of review manipulation too.

Customers are not stupid and as online reviews become increasingly popular, it's getting more difficult to cheat the system. So, don't bother. Play by the rules, be proactive and those genuine reviews will come in no time.

In Summary

Collecting more reviews doesn't have to be hard, really. Engage with past and existing customers, be proactive, play fair, and your review collection rate will be through the roof!