Great atmosphere, friendly and responsive staff, desirable product — you’ve pretty much perfected the customer experience. Or so you think.
After purchasing your product, using your service or exiting your doors, only a handful of your customers take to the internet to share their review.
This is a problem. Reviews help you know how your business is succeeding — and, equally as important — how your business can improve. If you receive a negative review, you have a chance to respond and maybe even win a customer back. What’s more, reviews provide free word-of-mouth advertising. If someone reviews you on Facebook, for example, it’s likely at least a friend or two will see their review and check out your page.
In short, online reviews are essential to gaining and engaging customers.
So why don’t many (or any) of your customers share their thoughts online? And how can you get them to start?
Top Four Reasons Your Customers Aren’t Leaving Online Reviews
- Your business doesn’t seem that reviewable.
If your business isn’t in an industry seen as customer service oriented (e.g. a hardware store vs. a restaurant) people may not think about leaving reviews — especially if they wouldn’t normally follow your type of business on social media. As long as the customer finds the tools they’re looking for, they’ll be satisfied — but they may not be jumping up and down to share their experience with others.
However, reviews are helpful across industries. 9 out of 10 customers consult online reviews before making a purchase or deciding on a service — and that includes industries that aren’t blowing up your social media feed.
- It’s not easy enough.
We’re all busy. Unless the staff (or products) at your hardware store absolutely blow a customer away — or make a terrible impression — reviewing you may be the last thing on their mind. If a customer can’t leave a review on their favorite platform — and if they aren’t directly asked to — they probably won’t leave one anywhere.
- Your customer thinks theirs is the only voice in the (virtual) room.
Social proof (what everyone else is doing or saying) encourages customers to choose your product or service in the first place. For example, a customer might choose the company they see lots of ads for — and plenty of reviews for — vs. the one with an unfamiliar name and just a few reviews.
The same goes for leaving reviews themselves. If only a few people are talking about you (or one of your locations) on Facebook or Google, customers may feel like they’ll stick out too much if they share. Worse, if your Facebook page is silent on your end or your Google Business profile isn’t even set up, customers may think there’s no point in sharing their opinion because you won’t read it.
And yes, if your business has more than just a couple of locations, customers will want easily findable social media pages and Google business profiles for each one!
- Customers just don’t feel passionate about your business.
This goes beyond running a less-than-flashy business like a hardware store (and plenty of hardware franchises do great at soliciting reviews!). No matter the industry, sometimes people need to be wowed (for better or worse) before they’ll make an effort to go out of their way to share their input.
Remember, even if you’re providing extraordinary service, not everyone will write reviews. But at least a few here and there can be a game changer for your business.
How To Encourage Customers To Leave Reviews
Now that we understand why customers won’t leave reviews, here are a few ways you could encourage them to start.
- Amaze your customers.
As a business owner, you’re certainly aware that having a great product or service is the key component to happy (and repeat) customers. Telling you to “just perfect it” is easier said than done. But there are always ways your business can improve — whether that’s dialing your customer service up to 100 or hiring customer focus groups to evaluate your product.
You know your business better than us, but no matter your industry, wowed customers equal passionate customers — ones who may even be willing to jump through a few hoops in order to write engaging, influential online reviews.
- Make leaving reviews as easy as possible.
Ensure your social media pages are set up, your products or services are reviewable on your site and your Google Business profile is ready to go.
Once that’s done, consider asking customers directly for reviews. This could be through email or SMS text message requests — complete with templates your customers could use as a jumping off point. 70% of customers are willing to leave reviews if you just ask!
Here’s an example of how you could request a review via text:
Hi, ____, we really appreciate you stopping by our store today! When you have a minute, could you leave a review by clicking this link: xyzsite.com/leaveareview? Your input will help us know what we’re doing well and how we can do better! Feel free to review us on Facebook or Instagram (@xyzsite) and on Google. We’d love to hear from you.
When you send a request directly, customers may be more likely to leave positive reviews. They’ll feel like they’re communicating directly with you in a way they’ll be heard, instead of just feeling like they’re venting their frustrations into the void.
- Don’t forget to say “thanks.”
You could offer a great incentive when directly requesting reviews (e.g. “everyone who reviews us in February will be entered into a drawing for a $50 coupon!”), but even just a simple “thanks for the review” will help keep your customers thinking of you (and make them more likely to talk about you with their friends).
- Engage with your customers and reply to every review.
Ongoing customer engagement shows potential reviewers that you’re present, you’re listening, you care about what they’re experiencing and — importantly — you want to improve. There are plenty of things to consider when replying to reviews but the main thing is to reply at all.
If you keep yourself in the conversation — whether that’s on Facebook, Yelp, Google or your own website — more customers will want to join in, too.
Engage Your Customers With Let Us Respond!
If you have lots of reviews flooding in, you may find it hard to consistently reply to all of them. That’s where we come in. Let Us Respond is a review management service that ensures your business stays in the conversation all day. Book your free review consultation today!