The number one question we field at GetFiveStars is “How can I get more online reviews?”. A business might have 0 reviews, 10 reviews or even 100 reviews and they all are after gaining more positive reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and many other review sites.
It’s a fair question to ask and it’s some of the reason GetFiveStars was created, but I wanted to address this question in two parts. As with many aspects of digital marketing, we often look to optimize the very last steps of a funnel to affect the outcome and often leave the biggest and main starting points alone.
So part one of this answer is focused on the biggest and best thing you can do to get more reviews … deliver a GREAT customer experience.
Optimize Your Customer Experience To Get More Online Reviews
Providing a great customer experience to earn more positive online reviews seems like a no-brainer, but I find it to be incredibly overlooked. Why? Because it can be hard work to improve the fundamentals and mind-set of a business and staff.
Without a great customer experience, there is less a platform, system or process can do to produce customers that want to rave about your business to others online.
Let’s look at 5 things you can do to optimize your customer experience and drastically increase your chances of getting customers to write you 4-star and 5-star reviews.
1- It Takes A Team To Provide Great Customer Service
Having your entire staff on board, wether it’s a team of 1 or 100, with delighting your customers is a must. Find ways to educate and set expectations of your team to deliver a customer experience that will want to make customers write a great review as a thank you for the service they received.
Making staff aware of the impact of online reviews, sharing the ones you get, especially ones that mention a staff member by name. Create pride in the customer service experience and keep it on the forefront of your company communication.
2- Make Customers Happy With ALL Of Your Touch Points
While the human interaction is the biggest factor of a customers experience, don’t forget about all of your customer touch points. Do your emails help, guide, inform and make working with you easier? Does your website offer the answers and functions/features to make buying or working with you easy? Do you offer all of the payment options your customers wants to use?
All of these things contribute to the customer experience with your brand. Do NOT underestimate the value of all of these being in-sync and exceeding your customers expectations.
3- Show Your Customers That Their Feedback Matters
All along the process, make sure you are communicating the value of feedback to your business. If you let your customers know their voice and opinion matter from start to finish, you are creating a culture with your customers to share their thoughts. Here are three ideas to show your business is “feedback focused”:
A. Display signage in store and on your website that asks for feedback at any time. Window clings, stickers, posters and more all work. My local Wells Fargo Bank location does a great job with this lobby sign and business card.
B. Ask for feedback in the pre-sale process. Find out if you are doing a good job answering questions, providing quick turns on requests and make sure your website has helpful content. You can ASK for feedback on many more actions than just a post-sale.
C. In your support or FAQ section on your website, allow users to rate the content or select if it was helpful or not. This will help the credibility of the content and also clue you into if it’s truly effective content and answers.
Utilizing these elements early and often will start conditioning your customers to interact with you on your customer experience and to give you feedback because you ask for it and show it’s what your business values. You can learn more on being feedback and complaint friendly by checking out our 7 article series on Customer Complaints.
4- Capture and Evaluate Customer Feedback
Getting honest feedback from your customers is the most valuable exchange you can have with them. While online reviews are great and help you win new business, customer feedback is essential to retaining customers and knowing where to improve.
Far more customers will give you private feedback than write you online reviews, we typically see 10 to 20 times the amount of customer feedback than online reviews. Put all of that information to work, see where you can improve and make it happen.
5- Respond To ALL Reviews And Feedback
While most businesses are conditioned to respond to a negative review, you should be responding to all reviews and feedback your business receives. A simple “thank you” again establishes you are listening and that you care.
In addition to the online review sites, we encourage GetFiveStars customers to respond to customer feedback in our Testimonial Widget. This displays your response in the widget and also emails your customer the response. That’s a great touch point!
Barbara Oliver Jewelry does a fantastic job of this on her Testimonial Page.
A Great Customer Experience
Do you execute on these or have other ideas for our readers and customers? We’d love to hear how you have optimized your customer experience to produce more customer feedback and online reviews. Please share them in the comments.
Read the 2nd part of this post on review tactics: How To Get More Online Reviews – Part Two