Online reviews have become a major influencer in customer decisions in recent years, and in many cases can make or break a business depending on the quality and quantity of their online feedback. According to a recent infographic from STL Training, 73% of consumers are more likely to choose a business that has online reviews compared to one that doesn’t, and 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Of course, the reviews need to be good in order for them to have a positive impact on your business. 60% of consumers say that negative reviews make them not want to use a business, and a single negative review could cost a business around 30 customers.
So, how can you encourage happy customers to leave online reviews of your business? Here are five simple ways to encourage online reviews:
68% of consumers will leave a review when they’re asked to, yet only half report actually being asked. So, if you want your happy customers to leave you an online review, simply asking them to do so should be your first step.
Don’t fake the reviews
Many businesses are tempted to purchase positive reviews, but often people can tell and if they think you’re faking it, the whole exercise will become pointless. According to recent research, 27% of people will trust a review only if they’re sure it is authentic.
Make it as easy as possible
If you want a customer to leave a review of your business, you need to try and make it as easy as possible. Use emails, social media and modern technology (for example, in-store tablets) to make it as straight-forward as you can.
The hugely popular online store Zappos hands out store credit to those who write a review (whether they’re positive or negative), and incentives have been shown to increase the frequency of consumer reviews.
Don’t be afraid of negative reviews
While it’s true that 95% of people will share bad experiences online, this only means that you need to work harder to encourage those who have had a positive experience. Don’t assume that encouraging reviews will mean more negative reviews, as the statistics show that these are the people who are likely to leave you a review either way.