There's a subconscious sentiment that results from seeing this rating attached to your business. If you have thousands of happy customers, but only a few reviews featured, people won't trust you to provide exceptional service or value. Conversely, if they see hundreds of positive reviews with a 4.8 overall rating, they're encouraged to reach out and buy from your company. That first impression is critical, and it's quite difficult to measure the opportunity that's lost from a negative online reputation.
There are still businesses that fail to recognize the value of positive feedback, so they don't implement a process to obtain more reviews. These companies are missing opportunities to acquire new customers and leverage positive reviews as virtual salespeople.
For example, when a customer says your software is the best tax service she's ever used—and goes into detail why—other potential buyers who have faced similar challenges gain a stronger interest in your services. That's because you've presented how your product or service provides a relevant solution to their needs using an unbiased case study. And, testimonials like these have proven to be more effective than a traditional sales pitch.
This is just one way you can use customer reviews to your advantage. Let's discuss a few more strategies in the section below.
How to Get More From Your Customer Reviews
1. Develop a customer review collection process.
If you want to get more from your customer reviews, you need to have plenty of data to work with. This means you need to create a collection process that continuously obtains reviews. Doing so will ensure that your information is accurate and up to date.
Collecting feedback can be as simple as asking for it at the end of a service interaction. After you solve a problem, ask customers something like, "If our service met your expectations, would you be open to providing a quick review?"
Or, you can send the customer a text message or email with a direct link to your review page. Remind them that it won't take much time to complete, and let them know that you would greatly appreciate their help.
When reaching out after an interaction, ask about specific aspects of your product or service. Consider asking questions like, "How are they using your product? Is it better than what they used before? In what ways?"
Then ask if they've submitted a review. Remember, not everyone is comfortable writing and some customers need a gentle nudge or guidance on what to say. But, when you present their favorite feature as a topic, it's easy for them to elaborate.
2. Encourage every customer-facing employee to collect feedback.
To keep review collection top of mind, consider incentivizing staff to request reviews from every customer they interact with. What gets measured, gets done, and regular measurement of customer feedback will keep your team focused on the process of asking for it.
Consider posting a leaderboard in an in-house newsletter recapping employees who received the most positive reviews. Or, you can provide a tangible bonus or thank you card to employees who obtained the highest NPS.
You can also reward teams that collect the most reviews, creating collaboration across your entire department. For instance, one person asks the customer for a review, another follows up via email, and a third reaches out to walk them through the process over the phone if they still have not left the review. Ensuring this is done regularly goes a long way towards sustained success.
3. Reward customers who leave reviews.
This can be a bit tricky because you don't want to come across as if you're offering a bribe for a positive review. But, acknowledgment could be as simple as a handwritten thank-you letter or email sent to the customer. Some companies send coupons for savings on a future order as a way of saying thank you to loyal customers who continuously leave reviews.
This initiates the Law of Reciprocity: When you do something nice for someone, they feel obligated to reciprocate.
4. Post positive feedback to your website.
Some people look for multiple customer reviews before they consider making a purchase. This means the more positive reviews present your site, the more likely these customers are to find something that hits their specific hot buttons.
If your clients are leaving reviews on third-party sites like Google, Yelp, or Facebook, transcribe their feedback to your website so that it's accessible to your entire customer base. Remember, your online reputation is everything for a potential customer and these reviews can be the turning point in closing a deal.
If you're not sure how to format customer reviews, here's how we did it on our site.
5. Add your business to third-party review sites.
To maximize where customers can submit reviews, add your business to third-party review sites. Unless you market to a very unique demographic, potential customers can come from anywhere and the wider your company's exposure the better chance you'll have of collecting valuable feedback.