To say that customer reviews are powerful is an understatement. A few sentences in a review can have more influence on consumers than an entire website. A difference of one star—or even a half-star—can be all it takes for a shopper to choose a competitor over you.
But in order to get those sentences or that extra star, you need to ask your customers for reviews. Asking for reviews can feel awkward or self-serving, but the truth is that people generally love to share their opinions; they just don’t know the opportunity is there.
In this post, I’m going to cover the importance of online customer reviews and various scenarios that you can turn into opportunities to ask for reviews. Plus, I’ll share some great examples of how to ask that you can adapt to your own business.
The importance of asking customers for reviews
Chances are, you can already attest to the power of customer reviews from your own shopping experiences. Think about the number of times you’ve been on the fence about making a purchase and only followed through because other customers’ glowing Google reviews gave you the confidence to do so. Or maybe you were never on the fence at all, because you knew exactly what you wanted to buy because you heard great things about it from someone you know.
The fact of the matter is, what other people have to say about your business carries more weight than what you have to say about your business, even if they are complete strangers. In fact, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
If that is not enough to get you to leave your comfort zone and start collecting reviews for your own business, here are some more stats that might give you the boost you need:
Consumers are willing.
In December of 2019, a BrightLocal study showed that 76% of those who are asked to leave reviews go on to do so, and that this was a 70% increase from the prior year.
Consumers find reviews to be helpful.
In a study conducted by Podium, 93% of consumers said that online reviews for local businesses are as helpful as product reviews on sites like Amazon.
Consumers seek out reviews.
According to Google, mobile searches for “reviews” have increased by 35%, and searches for “best” have increased by 80%.
So what is the best way to ask customers for reviews?
There are many ways to ask for reviews, but the most effective method and/or platform will be different for each business. As mentioned above, your best bet is to have a few strategies in place at once, and to experiment within particular methods to find out which one(s) work best for you! Just remember these key takeaways:
Reviews aren’t selfish; they empower your customers to help other consumers make smart and confident decisions.
Be genuine and don’t force it.
Make it as easy as possible for the customer to leave a review (including using short, easy-to-remember links for printed materials).
Remember that customers are willing to leave reviews.
Respond to reviews, good and bad!
A steady stream of good-quality reviews is essential for your reputation, ranking, and ultimately even your revenue. So follow these tips and get a review strategy in place asap!
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