Get Weird: One Simple Trick to Getting More Online Reviews

adminCustomer Behavior, Customer Psychology, Customer Reviews, Remarkability, YelpLeave a Comment

How do you get more of your happy customers to participate in online reviews? You’ve probably come across our sober and straightforward advice: ask, guide and remind customers to write reviews–that’s why our “review funnel” service exists, after all.

But what if you’re just not getting any traction? What if you work in a “boring” industry vertical (sorry, HVAC folks ;)) and can’t motivate customers to share their pleasantly boring experiences with others? Or what if you simply want Yelp reviews but don’t want to so much as mention the words “Yelp” and “review” in the same sentence for fear of inciting Yelp’s wrath?

Well, then you have to start thinking creatively. You have to find a way to give your most vocal customers something remarkable to talk about–so remarkable that they’ll be compelled to share it.

The trick? Add something weird to your product or service offering, and offer it. That’s it. Why? Consider what Seth Godin calls the bacon/Yelp correlation: the phenomenon whereby a kooky, crazy or offbeat offering–such as a bacon-topped ice cream sundae–can spawn many times its share of Yelp reviews:

If you try to reverse engineer preferences from Yelp reviews, you’re likely to make a common error. It turns out that bacon-as-a-topping comes up often in Yelp, which might lead you to believe that adding bacon to the menu is a surefire crowdpleaser.

In fact, what it tells you is that bacon lovers are more likely to post Yelp reviews.

And since such reviews are typically rich with detail, they more easily pass muster with Yelp’s review filter and get published. At Grade.us, we did some research for a large restaurant chain that uncovered a veritable “fountain” of reviews for them. Can you guess what it was?

Do Something Weird to Get Your Customers Talking
Customers may use review-writing as an exercise in self-expression, or to project a certain image to their peers, or to get even with a business that “wronged” theme. But business owners can use these diverse motivations, too. Through experimentation, you can find the triggers that surprise and dazzle your customers to get more of them finding reason to talk about your business publicly. I guess adding bacon is a good place to start.