Tips for Getting Customers to Leave Online Reviews

Karl Verbenec

Karl Verbenec About The Author

Jan 19, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Tips for Getting Customers to Leave Online Reviews

It's essential to understand how people are talking about your brand online, which can significantly affect sales. Online reviews are among the most powerful influencers of people's buying decisions, potentially making or breaking a sale. Ninety-one percent of consumers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making them integral to any online marketing campaign. Positive reviews can also help boost search engine rankings as Google prefers to rank popular businesses. Even if you receive occasional negative reviews, you can put a positive spin on them by responding to customer issues and showing that you're willing to resolve them, which can encourage prospects to purchase from you even if they encounter a bad review.

For a small business to benefit from reviews, it's essential to know how to get customer reviews. The following are some tips to help you attract more reviews by giving your customers what they want.

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1. Offer an Incentive

One way to encourage more people to leave a review of your business is to offer an incentive. Some potential incentives you may be able to offer include discounts or a cash amount. While incentivized reviews can be beneficial, there are some ways businesses can get into trouble if they don't adhere to specific rules in place. Generally, platforms like Google and Yelp can ban companies from incentivizing reviews under certain conditions, but there are ways to do this the right way without violating any policy.

For example, make sure reviews are purely optional and don't have any mandate. Also, there should be no penalties for not leaving a review. Above all, don't provide incentives on the condition that people must leave a positive review specifically—you have to be willing to accept both good and bad reviews from customers. Suppose you can offer incentives in genuine and sincere ways without coming off as bribes for leaving good reviews. In that case, you can avoid potential issues with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and third-party review platforms.

2. Start a Rewards Program

Tips for Getting Customers to Leave Online ReviewsPeople enjoy rewards programs that encourage them to keep coming back to a business. Consumers can earn points for purchasing your products and services. As those customers are likely to spend more time with your business, you can ask them to leave a review if they haven't. Even if they don't leave a review immediately after trying your products or services, they'll still be more likely to leave a review on one or multiple platforms if they're regularly involved with your business.

One of the advantages of a rewards program is that loyal customers are more likely to leave positive reviews. Suppose any customers initially left a less-than-stellar review of your business, but you wound up satisfying them through subsequent offerings and a rewards program. In that case, they may be more inclined to update their review to reflect that improved experience.

3. Showcase User-Generated Content

User-generated content is another excellent way to get your customers to leave reviews. You can increase people's trust in your brand by allowing customers to do your digital advertising for you. In the process, people will create their content based on your brand and share it with friends and family on social media. Everything from videos and images to testimonials and reviews can be involved in a user-generated campaign. You can showcase people's input, quoting customer reviews, posting testimonials on your social media profiles, or encouraging people to share their content on social media platforms. These efforts can add social proof for your business and effectively show that your brand values your customers' opinions.

You can also work to increase positive reviews indirectly by using the data collected via user-generated content. During these campaigns, you can analyze the data from opinions and feedback to determine what to improve upon or eliminate from your offerings.

4. Enter Reviews into a Giveaway

Tips for Getting Customers to Leave Online ReviewsYou can also encourage more people to leave reviews by offering a giveaway for people who review your business. Like other incentives for leaving a review, you can't require your audience to leave a positive review, but entering reviews into a giveaway can lead to many positive reviews if people enjoy your offerings. Some giveaways may include products or services you usually offer or other accessories or additional services typically limited to premium versions of your offerings.

At the same time, you need to make sure your giveaways are legal to avoid potential legal consequences. It's essential to consider the federal and state laws in place governing giveaways, which are legally termed sweepstakes. For example, some states require businesses to file winners lists at the end of the giveaway. You may also need to report prizes to the IRS if the giveaway’s value is over $5,000 for all prizes or $600 for individual prizes.

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Improve Your Business's Reputation and Performance with More Reviews

Suppose you can implement strategies to encourage more people to review your business. In that case, you'll be able to give potential customers more insight into past customers' opinions, improve SEO, and potentially improve your company's overall reputation. You'll also be able to use the information included in reviews to tweak your offerings if people are dissatisfied in any way. Understanding the importance of online reviews can help you make the most of them and optimize your customer service.

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Topics: Digital Advertising​