5 Proven Methods To Generate Reviews For Small Business
The most challenging part of a small business is to stand out from the crowd. And, one of the most effective ways to do that is by establishing your brand as an authority. But only 9% of consumers would consider engaging with a business that had a 1- or 2-star average rating. While there are so many ways to do that - leveraging online reviews from your customers is the first step.
Here’s how you can generate authentic reviews for your business:
1. Keep it easy to ask directly
It happens to be one of the most underrated strategies that’s used right now. Among all the complexities, what you miss out often is, to ask. Yes, sometimes, just asking your audience for reviews is all it takes. Here’s how to ask your customers right:
Understand how to ask: If you have a physical store, it’s important to train your staff to have a friendly tone and smiley face. For a remote office, besides having a friendly tone, prompt actions and effective management is also important.
Personalize your request: While generic requests have a higher chance of getting ignored, personalizing them by addressing using their name, or recalling their last interaction with you, can strike a chord for them.
Always follow-up: Your customers get bombarded every day with so many emails and messages that your request might get lost in the crowd. After a week or so, don’t hesitate from sending a simple follow-up email.
2. Set up email campaigns
If emails work for your customers, then setting up an email campaign to ask for original reviews can be very effective. The key is to keep it short, simple and effective. Here’s how you can do that:
Settle on the timing: Timing matters the most when it comes to emails because your audience won’t remain hooked to their inbox 24/7. You can integrate the Google review management software with your email marketing tools to streamline the process, run some A/B tests, check the metrics and settle for the ideal time.
Optimize emails for mobile: Make sure everything you are including in the email is mobile-friendly because a majority of your audience will be accessing it from their mobiles.
Keep it short: Keep the emails short as you tell them what it is and what you’re expecting - and, end it with how they can do it.
3. Collaborate with micro-influencers
Presently, micro-influencers are the heart of marketing and it’s no different for your reviews. The most ethical way to get it is by collaborating with the micro-influencers on social media. Here’s how you can do that:
Identify the right influencers: While choosing influencers, don't get tempted by the number of followers but focus on the engagement. Micro influencers, even with just 10k or 20k followers can drive huge engagement and help you reach your goals faster. You can also use agency marketing tools like Upfluence and more to find the right influencers suited for your goals.
Promote honest reviews: If you are sure about your product or service, there's no reason to aim for salesy reviews. Encourage honest reviews from them and accept the cons as a step towards improvement. In fact, try to reply to negative reviews because businesses that respond to reviews are 1.7X more trustworthy than businesses that don't.
Offer special incentives to their audience: Suppose if you are offering 5% discounts. You can give an additional 5% discount specifically for the audience who comes by their referral code.
4. Leverage social media
Nowadays, social media is used for anything and everything - so, why not for getting some reviews? There may be customers who purchased from you and forgot to leave a review. Social media can give you a great opportunity to engage with such an audience and win them over a review again. Here’s how you can do that:
Organize giveaways: Giveaways can be a very exciting opportunity for your audience. After all, they can get a chance to win something of value just by sharing an honest review. However, the key is to plan the gift strategically as it should be something that your audience actually needs.
Feature reviews on social channels: Take a moment to feature the reviews given by your audience on your social channels. This could be in stories or as a carousel post or a video. However, do not forget to tag those individuals. After all, the want to get featured on social media might encourage reviews from your customers.
Run social media ads: Social media ads are great alternatives to reach the audience who already engaged with your brand but never left a review. Don’t forget to link the CTA button with your reviews which can help them share reviews in a tap.
5. Train your staff
When you have implemented all the above strategies and nothing seems to be working, training your staff to ask for reviews manually, can work to a certain extent. Here’s how you can execute it:
Give regular training sessions: Offer training regularly to your staff. Educate them about how reviews can directly impact your brand and take its reputation to the next level.
Use role-playing scenarios: Engage your staff in role-playing activities. Here one individual acts like a staff member and another one acts like a customer. It will help them prepare for real-life scenarios when they have to ask for reviews from real customers.
Equip them with necessary tools: If you are using any tool to collect reviews or monitor review patterns, then give training to your staff regarding them.
Now that we have discussed how to get original reviews online from your customers, it's time to start working on your strategy. These reviews are not only opportunities to showcase your brand as an authority but also ensure the quality of your product or service.