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Online reviews are crucial marketing components and a reliable source of unstructured feedback. Not only it helps businesses a chance to transform into brands, but also serve as the most credible first-hand information that can help you identify and resolve any issues in product/services.

Now, we all know pretty well that online reviews are a big deal. According to one survey by Digital Gravity, over 95% of online shoppers make their choices by reading reviews. In another study conducted by Digital Express, online business reviews are one of the most important factors that influence the purchasing decisions. 

Online business reviews serve as an influential marketing tools for businesses, the more they have, and the easier it is for them to make sales, uncover hidden patterns and improve product/services.

Now, if you are struggling to get positive online business reviews, continue to read as we bring some best techniques to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews.

How to get online businesses reviews in 2020

  1. Gives users a reason to care
  2. Make is easy for people to share reviews
  3. Enable Anonymity
  4. Claim listing on maximum channels
  5. Ask for reviews
  6. Make the “Ask” at the right time
  7. Respond to Reviews
  8. It’s your turn to make the decision

1. Gives users a reason to care

Think about any service which you recently avail, is there anything special they have done to encourage you to write a positive review? 

Writing reviews take time, which is a high-value commodity in today’s world. Users aren’t moved with normal gestures and you will need to offer them something that shows your care and appreciation of them. This could be anything like discount codes or promotional coupons, or even offer them a chance to qualify for a giveaway in exchange of an online review.

Ok, having said that, giving away something in exchange of getting reviews isn’t the only option. You could also subtly ask them for a review as a favor to improve user experience. In fact, according to a 2019 research by Digital Gravity, users tend to give more positive reviews when they are asked about user experience and how they want it to be improved.

Lastly, an important point you should always consider is that never over-sell favors in exchange of reviews. It’s simply unethical and unfair to bargain favors against reviews, thereby make your offer carefully.

2. Make is easy for people to share reviews

As mentioned above, the foremost aspect users are looking in any product service is convenience. So, when you are looking for an online (positive) review, the first thing that you need to offer users is convenience in every aspect of user experience.

A prime example here can be of Amazon. Have you ever noticed that how almost each one of the million products listed on Amazon got reviewed and rates? It’s because Amazon has made is simple for users to rate the products with unstructured feedback, as well as, giving the option to filter comments by sentiment or by specific keywords.

Ok, we understand that you don’t have all the resources in your bad to replicate everything that Amazon does, you can still implement few things to increase your baggage of online reviews:

  • Include compelling call-to-actions (CTAs) on product pages, emails, as well as, check-out pages
  • Give users an easy rating function
  • Give them multiple platforms to share the feedback

3. Enable Anonymity

According to one study by Digital Express, as much as 30% users avoid giving reviews because of their lack of willingness to publish them under their real name.

This means that by letting customers know that they will remain anonymous for publishing their opinion, you are actually giving them a solid reason to come up with truest reviews. So, yes while the “Trust network” idea is great, but not everyone wants to come in limelight for their thoughts.

Also, you can offer users the anonymity to share their reviews on your site using custom user name through email, and not let them be at the mercy of third-party review sites.

While reviewers are at the mercy of the third-party platforms they use, you might want to make a point of allowing customers to post directly on your site with a custom user name or ask for feedback via email.

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4. Claim listing on maximum channels

Remember, the whole idea about getting more (positive) reviews from users revolved around offering user’s convenience. Now, to achieve this you will need to be present on every platform, where you may have slightest of chance to get reviews.

For this, you should register yourself at all platforms where you have a chance to get users’ reviews; this includes social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter etc.) as well as, other platforms like Yelp, Trustpilot, Google My Business, etc. in case you are a seller on Amazon, make sure to claim your page there, too.

Also, don’t forget to claim platforms relevant to your business niche.

Additionally, it’s important to let your users know about your presence on all channels. You can simple announce it like “we are now present on Twitter”, etc. this will motivate users to visit your page and may be leave a review or two.

5. Ask for reviews

Honestly, this is tricky. I mean, you just can’t beg or manipulate users to give reviews (that’s bad marketing). 

According to one study by Digital Gravity, nearly 70% users are ready to give reviews, just after making a purchase. However, being “ready” doesn’t mean that they will be “proactive” about writing reviews.

This means that you need to subtly push “ask” them to write the reviews.

Just make sure the message is subtly, polite and relevant to the business’s image.

Here are few nice ideas subtle message that you can sent your users once they have made a purchase:

  • How did you find our services? Please give us your feedback
  • We love when you share your thoughts about our services
  • Please share your experience, so we can make improvements in our services
  • Did you like your purchase?

Now, if you are using email as the preferred channel to “Ask” for reviews, here’re some great practices:

  • Always send emails from a real person. This means emails from bilal.digitalgravity@gmail.com is more likely to get reviews than email from support@digitalgravity.com
  • Your email tone should be personal and as a request
  • Email must include a strong CTA, clearly visible and linked to review site
  • Don’t send images, rather go with plain text
  • Send follow-up emails (not too frequently) to improve review completion rate

6. Make the “Ask” at the right time

As we discussed above, asking for reviews is a tricky task. One aspect to consider in here is the timing.

Asking for a feedback or review at the wrong time can backfire big time and you might actually end up with a bad review or in worst case scenario; lost customer.  

Your “Ask” for reviews should be precisely made at touchpoints when the customer is highly satisfied with the service. 

But how do you know those touchpoints?

Well, here are some touchpoints when you can make the “Ask” for reviews:

  • When they have referred your business 
  • When they make repeat purchase
  • When they start following you on social media pages
  • When they spend time on multiple pages

All of these actions can be taken as strategic touchpoints, where you can interact with the users and ask for the reviews; and rest assured that it will be a positive review.

Again, too many requests aren’t the answer. It will simply irritate the customers; making you vulnerable to lost customer or a bad review.

7. Respond to Reviews

According to a 2019 study by Digital Express, over 80% of online shoppers like to read business’s response to online reviews, as a way to assess its responsiveness. 

This simply means that your potential customers are keeping a close watch on your attributes and unresponsive comments are a bad signal to them; simply yelling that you don’t care.

Here’s what you need to understand; your users aren’t just another number but actual people with feelings. They like to be acknowledged, even for a negative review. In fact, with the right response to the negative review, you can actually gain a lifelong customer.

So, irrespective of the type of review (positive or negative), never leave any review unattended; especially the negative ones. 

8. It’s your turn to make the decision

So, with these tips implemented you are sure to encourage online business reviews and stand out amongst the competition. Remember, while you need customers to sustain and grow the business, you need consistent supply of positive reviews to attract customers. Today, online shoppers like to read lots of online reviews before committing a purchase, thereby, your best bet to grow is to persuade existing customers to leave nice glowing review, which can act as free marketing tool for your business.

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