What are customer reviews? When a customer purchases a product or invests in an offering, they generally do so because they plan to use it to meet a need. Customers will then share their experience using this product through a review.
Customer reviews are a powerful form of feedback. They are influential and enhance company credibility (much like incorporating or forming an LLC does for a business). Let’s look at a few ways small businesses can encourage customers to write and share reviews.
1. Establish a Business Presence on Review Platforms
It’s going to be difficult for customers to review your business if you are not readily visible online. The best way to resolve this issue is to establish a business presence on review platforms. Some popular sites include Trustpilot and Yelp. Here, customers can write reviews, add photos from their visit or experience, and rate through a five-star system.
What all do you need to establish a business presence on these sites? Here are a few aspects to consider as you begin.
- Business bio. This is a few sentences about what your business does and offers customers.
- Category. Some review platforms give you the chance to pick the category, or industry, which best reflects your company’s offerings.
- Location. Include your business street address, city, and state so customers know where to find you.
- Hours. Share your hours of operation.
- Contact information. This includes your phone number and website.
2. Start a Customer Review CTA
Find subtle ways to encourage a call to action (CTA) which enables customers to take initiative.
Try out some of these approaches:
After a positive shopping experience or visit with your storefront, call or email guests.
Follow up about their experience and see if they need any help moving forward, whether it means scheduling in another visit or purchasing another item which may act as an accompaniment to their initial purchase. Wrap it up with a mention about how you appreciate feedback and link to the platforms where your customers may leave reviews.
Regularly Highlight Reviews
If you receive a positive review, you may include it in an upcoming e-newsletter or give it a shout out on social platforms.
Customers feel special when they receive a kind mention from a business they like and trust. They may share the good news with their existing networks, allowing more people to discover your business and potentially become customers.
Spotlight Team Members
Small businesses are often run by tight-knit teams. These team members get to know a lot of different customers and often become quite well-known for their hard work and dedication.
Highlight your team members on social platforms. Customers which have had positive interactions working with them will be more likely to call out their favorite team member by name when leaving a review. This is a win for both your business and its team, which is going above and beyond in doing incredible work!
3. Encourage Reviewers To Follow Up
How does this work? If you were pleased with a visit or experience you had with a business a few years ago and a recent return was just as wonderful, write about it on social media or review platforms.
Doing this gives reviewers the chance to tell a story. They may begin by talking about their initial experience with the business from some time ago and how it has continued to go above and beyond. Sharing these types of legacy reviews allows further cements trust in a brand. If someone you look up to swears by it, then there’s a good chance you may have a similar, positive experience of your own.