While The Benefits of Online Reviews for Your Business, the first part of Reviews & Comments trilogy, was an easy peasy introduction, the second part is more insightful and requires more engagement. Today we’re going to talk about how to start it off.
The success in gaining online reviews is an uphill, yet overwhelmingly rewarding struggle. Been there, done that. Absolutely worth doing.
It’s important to bring to your customers’ attention the issue of your business’ online reviews and encourage them to put in a good word for your business. Research conducted by Socialnomics proves that 25% of search results direct customers to user-generated content from review sites, blogs, and social media. See? Reviews matter.
Below you will find some tricks and tips how to start.
1. Create Company Profiles on Various Review Sites, Marketplaces and Social Media.
It’s the first step before reaching out to your customers and asking for reviews. You aim at expanding your company’s online presence through various channels, such as review sites, social media platforms, and marketplaces. To put it simply, you need to widen your online presence to make your company particularly visible. To do so, create your company profiles on social media, marketplaces and review sites, and fill them with all the necessary information.
Below I point out a couple of them:
- Review sites – if you’re an entertainment, restaurant or leisure business, you should focus on reviews sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp or Foursquare. Even though these businesses have hardly anything to do with e-commerce, it’s good to mark your online presence on review sites. Just take a look at TripAdvisor; the site is just packed with user reviews!
- Marketplaces – these are the perfect places for SaaS companies to list their business software. Marketplaces such as Capterra, AlternativeTo, GetApp or G2 Crowd have numerous categories and alternatives. Users can easily filter tool categories, compare tools and pick the one that fits them best. Check our profile at G2 Crowd and feel free to leave a review!
- Social Media – social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ allow submitting business reviews, too. You can easily moderate and answer them. What’s important, social networking sites are extremely popular and accumulate a big audience. These are perfect places both for e-commerce and traditional commerce. A complete company profile is more encouraging for customers to leave a review.
If possible, add content related to your company and product, such as videos, infographics, presentations, demos or screenshots. Here’s an example:
2. Put Testimonials on Your Website.
It’s crucial to allow your customers to submit their opinions directly to your website so that they could be visible to other customers.
Create a subpage that enables submitting reviews. To keep it simple and effective, you only need 3 fields, including Name, E-mail address, Company and, for example, Share your opinion. Also, you can create a landing page with a form encouraging customers to leave reviews.
Having testimonials on your website is just as important as having them on external review sites mentioned earlier. It is on your website where customers make the decision whether to buy or not, and testimonials should be at a hand’s reach for reassurance and social proof. What’s more, they should be displayed on your homepage – you don’t want to send your customers off your website to look for testimonials.
Think also about another eye-catching feature, that is your customers’ brand logos on your website. It’s a simple step but worth a thousand words. See how we do it:
3. Create an E-mail Marketing Campaign.
Launch an e-mail campaign that encourages your current customers to support you by reviewing your product. You can run such campaign occasionally or implement it on a regular basis with a CTA, for example in your weekly newsletter. Explain that online reviews matter both for your company and your customers, as they provide you with the most valuable suggestions for improvements. It so happens that they benefit all your customers. To make it easier for your users to share their feedback, you can send them short surveys.
Respect your customers and show that you appreciate their time and engagement by responding to their reviews. Address not only negative reviews but also positive ones. Create a relationship with your customers so that they see you care about them. What often seems to be a problem is responding to negative comments. They’re frequently painful both emotionally and financially, and responding to them requires cold blood.
See how to handle them:
- Keep it positive
It’s crucial to be always positive. Be friendly and thankful for every single, including negative, review.
- Keep it cool
Don’t let yourself being thrown off-balance. Don’t act impulsively and handle negative comments with particular care, as they may address an important issue.
- Keep it fast
Time is of the essence in social media. It often happens that customers post negative comments because they get the impression that their requests are left without attention.
- Keep it empathetic
Customers don’t care about the causes of a problem. Unfortunately, in response to a negative comment, many companies begin to list all the excuses that in fact irritate customers.
- Keep trolls away
From time to time you stumble upon people who intentionally cause trouble with their negative comments. Try not to argue and explain publicly that their review is inaccurate.
- Keep it humble
Acknowledge and apologize. Reassure your customers that you are about to tackle the problem in the nick of time.
5. Use Helpdesk.
Use your helpdesk tools, such as Intercom or LiveChat to collect feedback from your customers. Once your helpdesk team solves a customer’s problem, it’s good to make hay while the sun shines and ask about feedback. In this case, you can send them a link to a review site, a marketplace of a review form. When a customer is happy with your helpdesk’s work, there’s a bigger likelihood that they leave a positive comment. Ask if you can publish it as a testimonial on your website.
6. Listen to the Online Buzz.
Apart from the places mentioned above, there’s also another dimension of the Internet where people review your product. I’m talking about discussion forums, blogs, and other websites. To get your feedback from these places, start using a web monitoring tool that gathers your company mentions not only from social media but also from blogs, discussion forums, and other places.
That’s It for the Second Part
In the next part, you can expect a piece of advice on how reviewing products and establishing yourself as an expert can benefit your business. If you skipped the first part, it’s fine. You can read it here!