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How to Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

reviewsHaving great reviews is one of the fastest ways to increase business. After all, one study found that 73 percent of people said they trust businesses that have positive reviews. And the more people trust your company, the more your sales will increase, probably by at least 18 percent. So if you’re looking for a simple, free way to boost your business, check out these tips on getting great reviews.

All You Have To Do Is Ask

It really is simple. Many satisfied customers just need a quick reminder that they can leave a review to show how happy they are with your company. Emphasis on the word “satisfied.” Asking unsatisfied customers to leave a review for your company is a good way to get negative reviews, at least until you solve their problem to their satisfaction.

Luckily, you have a few ways to ask. If you talk to your customers in person, you can mention that you appreciate reviews on your business while you’re handing them the receipt or saying goodbye as they walk out the door. If your business is conducted online only, you can send customers an email reminding them to leave a review once their purchase is complete. You can also leave reminders for reviews on your social media pages and your website.

Give Some Incentive

While some customers are happy to leave a review after just a reminder, others need a good reason to do so. A reward for a review can provide the push they need. Of course, it’s very important that you not lead customers to believe that you’ll only reward them for a positive review. In order to stay ethical, you’ll need to give them an incentive for any review they write.

That reward could be a discount on future products, or it could be an entry to a contest so they can win a free product or some other prize. You can also let customers know that their review will be posted on your website or social media pages, which is an incentive that some customers appreciate. You can even make a contest for the most creative or entertaining review – whether it’s on video or in the written word – and then feature it on your site.

Make It Easy for People to Leave Reviews

People appreciate easy processes that don’t require too much of their time, so the simpler it is to write a review, the higher your chance of getting one. You can start by linking to your company’s review pages in your email signature, allowing customers to easily click some links if they happen to be in a reviewing mood.

Before you send any links, make sure you have pages on all the main review sites, such as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local, and Facebook. There are also some industry-specific sites you should have review pages on, such as TripAdvisor for travel-related businesses, or Angie’s List for services. And if you see your customers face to face, consider setting up a kiosk in your office or store where they can quickly log on to review sites and leave their thoughts on your business.

Respond to Reviews

You’ll find that no matter how great of a business you run, not all of your reviews will be positive. But instead of pretending the negative ones don’t exist, focus your efforts on responding to them quickly and politely. Most likely, if you resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction, he or she will update the bad review with a positive one, or at least a more neutral rating that explains how you tried to help.

But don’t stop there. Respond to the good reviews, too! A simple “thanks for the review” or a “like” on Facebook is all you need to make reviewers feel appreciated for giving their two cents about your business. And when customers who are reading your reviews see this, they might be more inclined to leave their own review once they give your business a try.

Do you have a lot of reviews on your company? How do you encourage customers to leave reviews?

Image credit: Flickr