We are living in the age of the internet where people love to do everything online. The easy availability of the internet and accessing devices such as smartphones has caused a spurt of people preferring to deal online. The younger generation, in particular, is comfortable doing things online. They buy movie tickets online, order food online, do banking online, and socialize online. Under such circumstances, they rely more on the online mode to connect with people. Naturally, they depend on the online reviews of goods and services to decide whether to go with it or not. Hence, online business reviews have become more important than anything else.
Importance of online reviews
- Online reviews are critical because they help you to build up a robust online reputation.
- It makes your business visible to a larger section of people. Online reviews enable you to connect with a broader audience.
- Also, news spreads faster online. It can reach the other end of the world in a blink of an eye.
- Statistics prove that more than 90% of people confess that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
- Online reviews help to improve your communication and customer service.
- When you have more online reviews, it improves your credibility.
- Online reviews can help other customers decide whether to buy your product or not.
Steps to do after getting online reviews
You have played your part in seeking customer reviews. You have invited them, induced them, and even incentivized them to submit their reviews online. Now, the question is, what do you do with these reviews? How can you ensure that you make the most of these reviews? You have to use these reviews for the betterment of your business. The trick is in taking both positive and negative reviews in your stride. You have initiated the conversation by seeking a review. You customer has responded to it. Now, the ball is in your court. You have the responsibility to take the discussion further. The best way to do so is to respond to the reviews, positive or negative.
1. Reply to reviews – Positive or negative
It should not be a challenging task to respond to positive reviews. You can express your gratitude to your customers thanking them for giving the opportunity to serve them. You can also use this opportunity to market other products that might be of interest to them. You might end up improving your sales performance through these interactions.
However, it takes great tact on your part to react and respond to negative reviews. The best way to deal with negative reviews is to not respond to them immediately. Give time for the contents of the review to sink. Responding immediately might force an emotional reply that you could regret later on. Letting such reviews lay for a day or two helps you to take a balanced approach. Your customer is also in a better frame of mind to respond to your replies. It can calm them down and make them realize rationally.
Begin by thanking the customer for giving you an opportunity to improve your product or services. Explain to them that their opinion matters the most to you. It enables you to use their opinions to make a difference in the way you do business. Responding to the customer in positively can induce the customer to patronize your business more than ever. It makes him feel important.
2. Email or SMS campaigns
Probably the best way to get online business reviews is to run email or SMS campaigns. The right time to seek such reviews is immediately after fulfilling the order. It ensures that the customers remember your product or services. Statistics show that customers are more likely to post reviews when you prompt them to do so. Reminding them to leave reviews is a good idea. After all, it is your business, and you are one who needs the reviews.
Make it easy for your customer to place reviews. Never make the customer go through several pages to submit a review. Make it as easy as possible. You do all the hard work. Do not make the customer log into a website to post their review. Initiate an SMS campaign where you provide the readymade answers. The customer has to choose any one among the option and click the ‘Send’ button. The point is that the customer should have it easy. The more comfortable you make it for them, the higher are the positive reviews you receive.
Be careful about the timings of your request. Seek your reviews at the time when you expect the customers to be in the mood to respond to them. An example of the right time is when the customers come back to work after finishing their lunch. They might not be in a mood to rush to their work. You can make then squeeze their reviews in between.
3. Offer incentives
Offering incentives to customers to place their reviews is also an excellent way to earn them. However, some websites penalize businesses for offering incentives to seek reviews. Check up with the websites before offering your incentives to the customers. People are more likely to provide reviews when they get rewards or incentives for doing so. The incentives can be in the form of discounts on their next purchase. It could be an entry into a raffle draw or a coupon they can use anywhere else.
4. Provide links on your website where customers can leave reviews
Another way to induce people to leave reviews is to provide links on your website for your customers to click and submit their reviews. The advantage of seeking reviews in this fashion is that you ensure the customers stay on your site for an extended duration. It is an achievement today because the attention span of customers is reducing day by day. The more you manage to engage them on your website, the more are the chances of conversion. You can induce them to buy some other product in the bargain.
5. Do not ignore the importance of social media reviews
There is a profound connection between eCommerce and social media. The customers use social media more to share their views. The reach of social media is unimaginable. You might not realize that your review might travel halfway around the globe within a fraction of a second on social media. Secondly, social media content has the potential to become viral. Try to get as many reviews on the favorite social media channels like Facebook, Google+, and so on.
Steps to get more online reviews
How do you ensure that your business gets more online reviews? Will providing great services prove enough to get you online reviews? No, they will not, because not all customers leave reviews online, especially if they are positive experiences. On the other hand, people do not waste any time in exchanging negative online reviews. You cannot avoid it. It is normal for people to do that. Let us look at ways to generate more online reviews.
1. Ask customers for providing reviews
The best way to get online reviews is to ask your customers to provide one after experiencing your goods or services. One has to concede that the customer has a very short attention span today. However, it is your responsibility to provide a platform where your customers can submit their reviews. One way to do so is to feature a CTA option.
Another way to do so is to invite your customer to place a review. Encouraging a customer is a more polite way to generate online reviews as compared to asking for them. You have a lot of tools to help you in this regard. You can have a readymade questionnaire with answers that your customer has to click and submit. It saves a lot of time for the customer. However, this system does not let the customer provide their views. They have to click the options available to them. Nevertheless, it is better than not getting any reviews at all.
2. Display positive reviews on your website as widgets with a CTA to generate more reviews
We have seen how to deal with negative reviews and make them work in your favor. You can do the same with your positive reviews as well. One of the best ways to deal with them is to display them on your website as widgets. Add a CTA to these widgets prompting other customers to post their opinions and reviews. Even a simple like or an ‘upvote’ can improve your reputation a lot. Use these positive reviews to generate more reviews. The more reviews you get, the higher is your visibility. Automatically, it results in a better performance on the search engine.
People always prefer to read customer reviews before doing things online. It could be patronizing a restaurant or deciding to go to a movie. They would like to know what others think of the restaurant or the movie. The same logic applies when you venture to buy the latest smartphone. Do you not check out the online reviews, especially the negative ones to know about the shortcomings of the device? It explains the importance of online reviews. Therefore, generating reviews and responding to them is one way of enhancing your online reputation.