Everybody wants to get positive reviews from customers, but few are proactive about making it happen. Some people just don’t think about it, while others feel kind of funny about soliciting reviews. But it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t encourage your happy customers or clients to let others know about their experiences with your brand.
Positive reviews and ratings are one of the most powerful forms of social proof. But it doesn’t even occur to most consumers to leave them, and few of those who do think about it actually bother to do it. Usually, it’s only people who’ve had an especially positive or negative experience who feel compelled to make the small effort.
There are plenty of ways to get positive reviews from customers with a little prompting, though. And it’s a sure way to build trust in your brand and bring in new business.
How to Encourage Positive Customer Reviews
- Deliver stellar customer service at all times. It all starts with delighting your consumers so they want to rate or review you positively.
- Create a place on your website for customers to read and leave reviews. Include calls to action on your website that lead visitors to write one of their own.
- Keep it fast and simple for site users to leave a review; don’t make them create an account or log in or click through multiple pages.
- Have a presence and claim your business pages on social media sites (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) and user review sites (e.g., Yelp and Angie’s List) where your customers or clients can rate or review your brand.
- Set up and/or claim your business page on other sites that feature reviews, like Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau, and Amazon if you’re a seller there.
- Publicize these accounts by adding their logos to your website and employee email signatures, putting up signs in your brick-and-mortar location, etc.
- Ask your customers (particularly repeat customers) directly to leave a review, mentioning the sites where they can do so.
- Ask people who you’re confident will say good things, and ask at the right times—usually after they’ve completed a pleasant transaction and enjoyed your product or service.
- Before requesting a review, ask a few general questions about the customer’s experience with your brand. It’s a good way to gauge their feelings and get useful feedback from your buyers.
- Include a brief request for reviews in emails, at your store, on thank-you pages, and other places where the opportunity arises.
- Make it as easy as possible for people to give their feedback; in any digital request, provide a link to where you want them to leave their review.
- Offer incentives for positive reviews, like a free item, a discount, a gift card, entry into a drawing for a prize, and so on.
- Encourage on-site customers to check in on Facebook with a sign and/or incentive; Facebook will prompt them to recommend and review your business.
- Respond personally to all reviews—even the negative reviews. The public likes to know you pay attention and take feedback seriously, which makes them more likely to offer their own.
- Occasionally share the positive reviews you get on your social media pages, via email, etc.
- When requesting reviews on specific products or services from people who bought more than one, ask for a review on the most expensive one. The more something costs, the more likely people are to review it—and the more likely others are to read reviews before purchasing.
- Recommend or review your customers’ businesses when possible. Many will reciprocate.
- Use one of the free or low-cost online survey tools to create and distribute a short survey to your customers. They’re quicker and easier than writing a review, so more people respond. You’ll get helpful feedback and hopefully positive results you can publicize.