Digital marketing is in constant development. But despite the advances in technology, the importance of word of mouth is not going away any time soon. Who are you  more likely to trust: a loved one or advertising? The answer is obvious. But in fact, people trust reviews more than the most honest advertising. Positive reviews significantly increase the likelihood of buying a product or service of any local businesses. According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online. And, a survery of local consumers shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members.

On average, a customer reads 10 reviews before deciding on a  purchase. There is no doubt: a large number of high-quality reviews is crucial when making a purchase decision.

However, many business owners shy away from asking for reviews, and therefore end up with a low number of reviews. Collecting reviews about your local company is easier than it seems. Just try to apply these techniques:

1. Collect Email Addresses

Obtaining an email address and phone number from a customer after a purchase is a big step towards a review.

Send a friendly email to your client and ask for an honest review of the work of your local business and your product. In the letter, indicate on which platform it is better to leave a review. This will make the task easier for the client, and he or she will be more willing to share the experience of interacting with your business.

You can use a direct link generator like Supple for Google. Such a link will not appear as spam or a virus, which will help address any concerns that a client may have about clicking on an unfamiliar link. 

2. Use Advertisements to Grab the Attention of Customers

Place banners or flyers in your local store. They will encourage buyers to leave reviews about you. Such information can also be placed on the check that you issue upon purchase. 

Always strive to make things easier for your client. On an advertising banner, flier or receipt, place a qr-code with a link to your profile on Google Maps, Yelp, Apple Maps, or other local directories.

The request for reviews will be served as a positive signal to your buyers. It means that you are interested in their opinion and want to improve the quality of your services.

3. Verbally Tell Customers How Much You Value Honest Feedback

Your employees should regularly mention to customers that your company values their feedback. This is especially true if the client is satisfied. This applies to both store staff and customer support.

Of course, there is a fine balance between being professionally persistent and annoying. If customers are already in line, and the consultant repeats the same message: “Please leave a review about us,” this may be perceived as annoying and cause a negative review instead.

But in a friendly interaction with a client, an employee has the right to ask: “It would be great if you agreed to leave a review about us.” In this case, the request for feedback will sound sincere, not assertive.

4. Set up Review Reminders on Your Site

The easier it is to leave reviews, the higher the chances of getting them. However, many companies do not make this process simple. But the main reason for the lack of reviews is the resistance to extra work..Customers may think that leaving a review requires logging in, verifying their email address or phone number, or other extra steps.

We need to make it as easy as possible to leave reviews. So on your site, place buttons or pop-ups (but not too annoying) with a call to go to the desired page and leave a review. This could be a page on your website or “My Business” on Google.

5. Offer to Fill out a Questionnaire

You can ask for an evaluation of the performance of your business immediately after the purchase. Customers may forget their promise to you to leave a review as soon as they leave your store. Or, they may be not sure what to write.  Therefore, you need to use a short questionnaire. Make up a short questionnaire with 3-5 questions. They can ask your clients to evaluate your work on a scale from  1 to 5 points. And below, leave an optional open field so that the buyer can describe their experience working with you. Then, if you receive a particularly interesting, complimentary, or insightful answer, you can share it on your website.

6. Use Social Media

Social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook make it easy to receive customer feedback and ratings Since it’s the largest social network, Facebook reviews can be a great way for your business to standa out from the competition. Before gathering online reviews on your Facebook business page, it’s important to check out Facebook’s guidelines for business recommendations.

You can also ask an informal question in a post. This move allows customers to share funny stories in the form of testimonials. And at the same time, it helps to increase their engagement on your brand’s social networks.

7. Respond Thoughtfully to Every Review

No matter how busy you are, you need to respond to a customer’s review. Even a short well-timed “thank you” can encourage customers to continue engaging with your business. Of course, it’s very important that your answers don’t look like they’re being answered by a robot. Ideally, your answer should be individual and unique.

The response to every review, good or bad, gives the impression that the company really cares about consumers. It also encourages new customers to take a moment and share their experiences.

Don’t get discouraged by negative reviews. They help make your brand more alive and sincere. If all the reviews are sunlight and rainbows, then there is almost always something fishy behind it. People will begin to question the validity of these reviews.

Use bad reviews as an opportunity to improve your business and show you care about customer satisfaction. But follow the golden rule of responding to reviews – always respond and never respond harshly.

8. Delight Your Customers with Great Service

Serving your in-store shoppers is critical to the quantity and quality of reviews you get. If a customer is delighted with your product or service, they will feel compelled to leave a review.

If you are committed to providing the best possible customer experience, rest assured it will pay off.

So, if you haven’t started working with reviews yet, then now is the time to pay attention to online word of mouth. Customer reviews serve as one of the best social proofs for your business. More often than not, online testimonials are the turning point when prospects turn into customers. Not to mention, reviews affect Google rankings. If you still have some questions, contact Noxster SEO Company for more information.