There are significant reasons why your company should actively request online reviews from customers through a formal Online Review Acquisition Strategy.
Statistics indicate that consumers want to buy from companies with the best and most reviews. They believe online reviews and are doing a lot of online research on a company before they decide to pick up the phone. So, online reviews are helping consumers determine where to spend their money, and that makes online reviews very powerful.
But just having a lot of reviews isn’t enough to keep your business relevant in the marketplace. You want to continuously collect new online reviews to illustrate that you consistently do good work. Fresh online reviews establish your online reputation and give you credibility in the marketplace. Without fresh reviews, you look like a has-been.
Even more importantly, a continuous flow of positive customer reviews improve your Google search rankings. The higher your website ranks, the more traffic your website gets, and this translates into more leads and more sales. So, an online review acquisition strategy should be a key component of your marketing and SEO strategy.
Also, having a lot of reviews helps protect you against bad reviews. When you have 100 good reviews and 2 bad reviews, you are essentially a 5 star provider. If you have 5 reviews and 2 are bad, you may be a three star provider, and passed by when consumers are looking for products or services.
Being proactive by asking customers for reviews can help you build your online reputation and your rankings more quickly. But don’t be hasty in your efforts.
Developing Your Online Review Acquisition Strategy
Before you start asking customers for online reviews, creating a review acquisition strategy that works best for you and your business is key. You have to understand your customer and your business. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Which customers do you reach out to? All of them? Those who spend over a certain amount or whose project lasted more than a certain duration?
- When do you reach out to them? Within two days or two weeks?
- What is the best way to ask for an online review? Will email work?
- When do you follow up if the customer does not respond?
- How many times do you follow up? You don’t want to be a pest.
- What do you say? How do you make consumers want to write a review for you?
- How will you manage and collect reviews?
- Where do you want reviews posted? Where will they most help you?
You also need buy-in from staff with direct contact to customers. They are your company’s front line and reaching out to their customers will be key in implementing a successful strategy. Train them to request a review from customers upon completion of service.
How to Request Online Reviews
Is it enough to send an email or should you first request an online review during a follow-up phone call? You ultimately want to send an email to make collecting reviews easy.
Once you decide the best way to proceed, be direct. Thank customers for choosing your business and ask them to write a review. Don’t appear apprehensive. You’re not bothering your customers. You’re asking them for honest opinions about the way you treated them and handled their business.
You can also tell customers why you want reviews. Mention how much you value their business and their opinion. Tell them how reviews help your business and differentiate you from your competition.
Implementing an Online Review Acquisition Strategy
Once you determine the “who, what, where, when and why” of your program, you need to figure out how you will implement and manage an online review acquisition strategy.
Any program will have various moving parts. You have to track dates and follow up. You need a personalized email for every client, and you need to track responses then locate emails later to follow up.
Include a link to your review collection site so all your customer has to do is click through. This makes it as easy as possible for your customer.
While you can implement a plan manually, using a web-based tool to request and collect online reviews makes the process simple and significantly reduces the time it will take to implement and manage an online review acquisition strategy.
Remember, you plan to be in business for a long time. Take the time to acquire online reviews over the months and years ahead so you can build an outstanding online record of the consistently great products and services your business provides its customers.
RepUvue’s web-based suite of online reputation management tools includes the ability to implement and manage an online review acquisition strategy. Contact us today to find out just how easy it can be.