Biz Tips: How to generate positive reviews for your business

Biz Tips: How to generate positive reviews for your business

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How to generate positive reviews for your business

How to generate reviews for your business

Reviews have changed the face of online marketing. For businesses looking to remain competitive, build up trust, boost their credibility and increase sales, they’re a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Companies like Amazon and TripAdvisor are all nailing their reviews. But you don’t have to be a big review focused company to start doing things right.

Here’s a quick rundown on why reviews matter and to generate them for your business.

Why do reviews matter?

Let’s look at the stats. According to a survey by Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers said that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions. Another recent survey by BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Stats aside, there is also plenty of hard data that further proves why reviews matter. For example, eCommerce company Express Watches split test all of its product pages, changing the “why buy from section” to a “reviews from Trustpilot” section — a simple action that boosted their sales by 58.29%.

Review sites are also becoming channels in their own right, with consumers using them to find products and services, not the other around (using the sites to assess the product and services). On top of this, getting reviews online will boost your ranking and visibility.

Convinced that reviews matter? Now let’s look at ways to generate them.

How to generate reviews

I approach review generation as a four-step process:

1. Time it right

When it comes to getting a customer to write a review, timing is everything. This means pinpointing the moment when customers are most excited and happy. This is usually right after:

  • Buying your product or service
  • Getting the product or service
  • Experiencing the benefit your product or service promised.

Having trouble identity the last one? You could split test times to work out which one works best, use surveys and polls, check out what your competitors are doing, or even chat to your customers directly.

If you’re having trouble in general, it can’t hurt to use industry or generic stats from review sites. They often detail the best times to ask for a review.

2. Ask properly

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Lots of studies have shown that actually asking for reviews will give you higher ratings than not asking. But how should you ask? Here are a few important tips:

  • Be specific — simply ask for a review and star rating.
  • Personalise the review with the product or service they bought.
  • Make sure you’re writing in your brand’s voice — boring templates won’t cut it.

There are many ways of reaching out, but the most common methods are:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Push notifications
  • Facebook and Google Ads (remarketing to very specific segments)
  • Offline
  • Phone calls/In person.

Once you’ve deciding on timing and mediums, it’s worth looking at ways to automate the review requests — through email sequences or tools like Yotpo. You can do it manually, but this way will save you time and ensure sending review requests always happens not just when you have free hours.

3. Push it

Where do you want your customers to leave reviews? Unless you’re a review collation site, it’s best to avoid pushing reviews onto your website.

Rather, set up a “Reviews Page” on your site that offers customers multiple websites they can leave you a review (where all your requests send people). Which could look something like this:

But which sites should you add to your reviews page? Well that completely depends on the country and industry you’re in. Generally, the best worldwide sites are:

  • Facebook Reviews
  • Google My Business
  • Business directories such as Yelp
  • Amazon/eBay

Then on top of that there will be a lot of specialist/niche review sites dedicated to your niche such as Zomato (restaurants), TripAdvisor (hotels) or plenty of smaller ones — to find them simply use Google and look for industry reviews + where competitors are reviewed.

4. Use hacks to supercharge your review generation

Without going into too much detail (which you can find here), there are a few simple hacks will take your review generation game to a whole new level, such as:

  • Before asking for a review ask the person to rate their satisfaction out of 10 then push them to either your own feedback site or the review sites if happy.
  • Ask for reviews on areas which you’re giving value on but which aren’t your main service — ie. Free Training Courses, eBooks, Consultation Calls.
  • Incentivise your reviewers (and your team to get reviews) — e.g. you could give a prize, discount, or make a charity donation on their behalf.
  • Ask staff, friends and family for reviews (just make sure it’s disclosed).
  • Monitor your social networks to find people talking up your business and ask them for reviews in the places you want them.
  • Copy your competitors who are successfully generating reviews — how they ask, when they ask and where they push reviews.
  • Track and report on your reviews through a tool such as Reviewtrackers.com or Podium.com to ensure your team continually work on increasing the number of reviews and the star ratings you’re receiving.

There’s plenty more hacks out there to increase both the number of reviews and star ratings you’re getting so make sure you get creative and test them out!

What next?

Reviews are invaluable to your business success. But generating them is only half the battle.

Once you’ve built up a library of glowing reviews, the fun doesn’t stop there. It’s important to then utilise the reviews and maximise the return they generate you. For example, by:

  • Responding quickly and proactively to negative reviews.
  • Thanking positive reviewers and get them enrolled in a referral program.
  • Using the reviews throughout your website and in your online and offline marketing efforts.
  • Learning about your customers and your business from the reviews.

Although all this work to generate then promote the reviews seems extensive most of it can be automated and the positive impact on your overall digital marketing results will be well worth your investment.

Have any other review generation tips? Would love to hear them in the comments.

Want to find out more about reviews? Check out my 8,000+ word guide to review generation, which covers all of the above & more which you can read here.

About the author

Duncan Jones leads growth marketing at digital agency, Web Profits, and has seen first hand across businesses in all industries the impact that positive reviews can have when generated in the right way, placed on the right sites and then used on the website & in marketing correctly.

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How to generate positive reviews for your business was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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