Reviews are critical to your success; according to a recent survey by Zendesk, 90% of respondents claimed that their buying decisions were influenced by online reviews. While you can’t control what others post about your business, offering the best possible service and taking steps to increase the number of reviews you receive can tip the odds in your favor. These strategies are designed to help you increase the number of reviews you receive and to handle even less than perfect reviews in the right way.
Claim your Profiles
Make sure you set up or claim your business on all the sites that offer a place for customers to review your work. Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor and even LinkedIn all offer review capabilities and claiming your profile allows you to respond swiftly to the reviews and interaction you receive.
Stay up to Date
Many HVAC and remodeling businesses were caught unprepared when Angie’s List shifted from a paid model to a free one earlier this year. While consumers used to have to fork over some cash to read reviews, the site is now free, resulting in an increase in the number of reviews left and in the relevancy of the site for consumers.
Learn from the Reviews You Have
You can’t increase your number of reviews unless you have happy customers; carefully reading your current reviews and reviewing realtime feedback to learn why the customers were happy – or what they were troubled by—allows you to create an optimal customer experience that will pay off over time.
Set up your own Private Review Station
Your own on-site surveys can be a valuable resource and allow you to spot not only potential problems but the things your customers respond to positively as well. Look at real-time feedback to get an early glimpse of what your eventual online reviews will look like.
Ask for Reviews
You can’t ask for positive reviews, but asking your happy customers to leave an honest review can boost your numbers. If you’re confident in your product or service and receive a customer compliment, ask them to take a moment to leave a review about your business. Simply asking can yield a surprising number of helpful results.
Time it Right
The best time to ask for a review is right after the purchase or right after the customer has received the merchandise. The experience will still be fresh in the mind and the buyer will still be excited about their latest find. Kiosk surveys make it easy to leave a review right after the buying experience and can provide valuable insight into your business.
Respond Promptly to Bad Reviews
Negative reviews are painful, but responding right away in a professional manner can help you turn that bad review around. Reviews are more visible than ever, so your social media followers will see both the review and your response, for better or for worse. Some customers will even correct a bad review after a successful resolution, so addressing issues quickly can help turn things around.
Ask, but don’t Nag
Asking is a great way to get reviews, provided you are not actually annoying your customer with your requests. Avoid bombarding buyers with a steady stream of requests; a soft sell approach is best.
Don’t Overlook Social Media
Not all reviews turn up on “official” sites; Facebook allows visitors to leave starred reviews right on your page, while a Tweet about your company will live on Twitter forever. Include social media in your review strategy and regularly check for new reviews, engagement or opportunities to interact with customers.
Make it Easy
A negative experience will motivate customers to leave a review far more readily than a positive one. Make it super easy for customers to leave reviews by including a link to your iPad survey app or the review site of your choice; the customer can just click and go.
Offering an incentive for those who take the time to leave a review can help boost your numbers. You don’t have to buy reviews, but be prepared to reward those who take that crucial extra step.
Also published on Medium.