Getting more reviews may sometimes feel like an uphill battle, and you may find yourself thinking "Why won't people just take 2 minutes of their day to help me out!?"
Have you considered your collection process may need a little revamp? Not only that, there may be steps you're not taking advantage of to make leaving reviews easier and more enjoyable.
Our lives are so complicated these days that more often than not the first port of call goes completely out the window: Make sure it's possible for customers to actually leave reviews.
Can your customers leave reviews on your site easily, and are you directing them review sites to leave Local Reviews as well?
People leave reviews where they like, on their terms, so it's likely you're getting reviews on sites such as Yelp and Facebook, even though you're not collecting there. You don't own these reviews and they're unverified, leaving your reputation open to threats.
By offering your customers multiple review channels to leave their Local Reviews, you not only increase the chances of getting more reviews, you spread your brand image and awareness to potentially harness new customers, and thus the prospect of more reviews.
Collecting Local Reviews also helps improve your online reputation as you're able to monitor the reviews you collect on those channels, and a consistent reputation improves trust in your company, driving customers and increasing reviews.
Google licensed Review Partners such as ourselves get your Seller Ratings in Google search results, by enabling Google to aggregate your review score.
By joining a review platform, you can optimise the reviews you currently have by getting your Seller Ratings in your Google Ads, as well as stars in organic searches.
By using your current reviews you help improve your rankings through purchase-affirming stars in the SERPS, which helps increase click-through rates and conversion, and with more browsers becoming buyers, this helps towards getting more reviews.
Google themselves even highlight the need for reviews to increase your visibility in your Ads, and as we are aware with better visibility comes greater click-through rates, conversion, and thus reviewers. They state:
"Your ads aren't as prominent as they could be if you used seller ratings. Seller ratings are automated extensions that help highly rated advertisers stand out. Gathered from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews, seller ratings show with Search Network and Google Shopping ads. You can get reviews to build your seller rating by signing up with Seller Ratings services." - Google
Don't be reactive and sit silently waiting for reviews to trickle in. Asking for reviews isn't customer repelling, as so many are led to believe. Some will respond, and others won't, but a grand 77% are happy and willing to leave reviews if actually asked.
This can be done after dispatch or service use, or after a customer service resolution. So rigorously ask your customers via invitations for reviews, and increase your chances of receiving them.
It's all well and good asking, but a shoddy invitation isn't going to cut it. Creating optimum invitation templates can be tricky, but here are the guidelines to follow to get more reviews from them.
Don't go in stating you need a review. You should encompass the attitude that you would like your customer's voice on your product or services in order to improve:
"Hi (name), thank you for choosing to use (name of company), would you mind sharing your experience by leaving a review? We'd love to hear your thoughts."
It also needs to be short and sweet, with an easy to access link. Take the work out of leaving a review and not only will your review conversions improve, but returning reviewers will be more likely leave one in the future too.
With Reviews.io you can fully customise your invitation templates to match your brand, giving it that personal touch, which brings us onto our next tip.
No-one wants to read an email that oozes sales overtones. People aren't stupid, they know you're a business trying to make money and boost your brand image at its core, but they don't want it rubbed in their faces.
The above example by the Biscuiteers keeps it personal to their business using their branding, but puts the customer front and centre. Make the review about them and their thoughts in order to help you improve, and ultimately do better. The review benefits them, and it benefits you.
Again, if you come across salesy or at all imply urgency, you're going in the spam. You're not doing them a favour, they're doing you a favour. Even though reviews benefit customers, if you tell them there's only a short time to do it and its imperative they do, its going to go down like bad milk.
Don't tell, ask. Asking a question with your company name in the subject line works nicely, such as:
"Did you enjoy your purchase from (name of company)?"
It opens up inquiry and comes across as interest rather than a demand.
That's right, date after dispatch should also be taken into account if you want to get more reviews. Are you sending requests within an hour of purchase? Or are you waiting for them to have worn out those trainers before asking their thoughts?
Research has found the best time to send a review request is 3-5 days after dispatch. It's not urgent enough before the customer has even used your product, and its not too long that your services have completely slipped their mind.
Another way to acquire more reviews down the line could be to offer a voucher for your products or services, or to be entered into a prize draw when a customer completes the review - a thank you, or form of appreciation for their time in leaving a review.
This does not incentivise reviews, it just rewards customers for actually leaving a review whatever its nature. A non-specifed discount can work better than openly offering 10% off. The allure of a coupon alone removes room for hesitation over the offer, as well as reduces any incentivising effects.
Lastly, the best way to make sure you're optimising your invitations to collect more reviews is to test them. Make different variations and test which ones work the best. It's a good idea to A/B test regularly so your invitations don't become stale, as this may be a cause of slow review rates.
So we know what needs to go into your invitation to help boost those reviews, but the content of your review collector page is also important.
A major cause for lack of conversion is down to long, convoluted, question pages. Survey Monkey found that the more questions a survey contains, the quicker people begin to whizz through it, leaving their answers sub-par.
(Survey Monkey Data)
Keep it short, keep it simple. This will increase your review conversion, and the feedback will be more reliable. Our review collection customiser makes creating your collector page quick and simple, with streamlined editing options to really optimise collection, including multiple choice questions.
By giving your customers the opportunity to include photos with their review, you give their voice greater emphasis. It shows you're interested in how they as an individual are benefitting from custom with you, and it showcases your great products and services.
This small extra step once again puts the customer's experience front and centre, which helps towards getting more reviews.
Let your customers easily post their reviews to their favourite social media sites for all to see. Not only does this allow your customer to create dialogue with their social group, it increases your exposure, promoting greater click-through rates and conversion, in order to see more reviews.
With Reviews.io your customers can share their experiences on both Facebook and Twitter, and with Facebook having over 1 million active daily users, engaging with a wide brand community will help towards boosting reviews.
So we know we can collect Local Reviews and post reviews on social media sites such as Facebook, but you can take individual steps to boost collection on Facebook and Google.
Similarly to sharing your reviews to Facebook, you can turn your reviews into Facebook campaigns. This not only promotes your company, but it demonstrates to users that others similar to themselves are leaving reviews.
We're social creatures and like to belong to groups, and the Facebook community is a large group. If users see those in their circle are potentially reviewing your company, through group cohesion from exposure, they're more likely to want to visit your business and leave a review as well.
As we know, to boost your Google review conversion you can get your Seller Ratings and stars in Google SERPs using a licensed Review Partner. These stars - for both your company and product listings - improve your rankings increasing click-through rates and conversion, turning browsers into buyers to get more reviews.
All of these tips are great if your customers are searching for your business, viewing invitations and the collector page, and then sharing said reviews via desktop. But have you considered whether this is possible via mobile?
As of 2016 mobile usage surpassed desktop, with nearly double the amount of respondents favouring their mobile device.
Not only that, mobile preference varies for certain industries.
You need to make sure your invitations, review collector page, and website are all mobile friendly to align with mobile's increased usage, to help towards getting more reviews.
Collecting isn't the end of the story, displaying your reviews helps with conversion. Both positive and negative reviews displayed on your website for others to easily see promotes transparency, customers can see what people think about you, warts and all.
If you take this open approach, shoppers will feel you're likely to be equally transparent and open with your products and services, helping to strengthen trust in your brand, increasing conversion and gaining more reviews.
Lastly, negative reviews are actually your conversion friend. They offer you dialogue in which you can gain feedback on areas of improvement, and allow you to respond to any grievances.
Responding with an apology and hopefully a resolution will more than likely keep that customer happy and continue using your services, with research suggesting 95% of unhappy customers return if their issue is resolved.
Even if the issue cannot be resolved, posting a response for future customers to see lets them know you're active when things go wrong, and look to do better in the future. It paints you in a better light than if you hadn't responded, and once again may turn that browser into a buyer, getting you another review. You can read more on how to respond to your reviews, by clicking the highlighted link.
If you have a completely new product which you have no reviews for, you can ask a handful of your customers if they would like to sample it, and in return leave a review. This is a great way to not only promote your product, but also garner some extra reviews.
Boosting your review rate can be so simple, if a little time and care is put into your review invitations, the review questions themselves, and general website and mobile optimisation.
So try to:
In no time you'll be getting more reviews, which will keep you and your customers smiling. Visit our blog for more great tips on review collection, publishing, and management, or visit our homepage and have a look at our fantastic solutions. Alternatively, you can click the button at the top of this page to sign up to a free trial, and see for yourself today!