82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses as part of their purchase decisions (BrightLocal).
In order to succeed in today’s online-powered world, you need detailed (positive) reviews.
BrightLocal’s research found that, on average, consumers require a business to have 40 online reviews before they believe its average star rating. Don’t stress though, this is actually a good thing for new businesses, because it means that a few bad reviews are unlikely to influence consumers’ purchase decisions.
So how do you encourage customers to leave you reviews?
Before we get to the easy part, let’s talk about the complex part.
Create great products and service
I’m making the assumption with this post that you want positive reviews. To do that, you need to create positive experiences for your customers. Your product needs to be high value otherwise, when you implement this simple technique to get reviews, those reviews will not be positive.
High value doesn’t necessarily mean expensive or cheap. Value is about the utility that your product provides to the user. If it has more benefits than costs, then it has value. The higher the benefits (perceived by the user) to the costs (again, as per the user’s perspective) the higher the perceived value of your product. When products have value then users are satisfied. Without that, no strategy for getting reviews is going to help.
So, assuming you have a great product or service let’s move on to how to get reviews.
The simplest way to get product reviews for your new business: Ask for reviews
We often forget about the simple things. If you want reviews, then ask for them. How you go about asking will depend on your brand/company vibe. You could be really direct and say, “As a new company, customer reviews are vital to our continued success. If you are happy with our product please consider leaving us a review on _____(Google/Facebook etc.).” Or you can be more formal and just include “Leave us a review on ______.”
Some ideas to spark your creativity:
· Ask on Instagram Stories – from you (the founder). Use video and look straight into the camera while you ask.
· Add a ‘business card’ that asks for a review with their order
· Ask on the bottom of your receipts/invoices
· Run a giveaway/random draw from those who submit an honest review*
· Privately reply to social media complements and ask if they would mind leaving the same feedback on Google/Facebook etc. Send them a link to the place to submit their review.
· Add links to review in the order follow up email
· Add a link to review in your newsletter (segment to only include it to those who have purchased)
· Send those who review a discount code or freebie or social media shout out*
Remember that most humans like to help out so explain that you are a start up and that honest reviews help your company.
*Never offer discounts or rewards for only positive reviews. Not only is it dishonest, many 3rd party review sites are very strict about this and you can lose all your reviews and even get fined. Each platform has different rules, make sure you pay particular attention to any clauses around ‘incentivizing’ reviews.