Generating reviews and building a strong online reputation is easier said than done. While UpCity has written about the importance of word-of-mouth and why reviews are essential to building your online reputation, really, the data speaks for itself. Time and time again we hear the same story from marketing providers: “We just don’t know how to ask for reviews.”
We get it. Finding new customers is hard! For newer businesses worried about cash flow and building a client base, review generation campaigns can seem like an unnecessary time suck that doesn’t actively contribute to the business’s growth. For businesses that have been around for a bit, diving into a long list of past and present clients to try to determine who is the most likely to leave a review can be daunting and might not seem like the best investment of time.
However, review generation doesn’t have to be time-intensive and it shouldn’t designed to annoy your customer base. Let’s take a look at three ways you can generate reviews that have been proven successful.
1. Just Ask
Shyness can be the enemy of a great review generation strategy. This may come as a surprise, but most businesses fail in their reputation management by simply not asking!
The power of online reviews and word-of-mouth is much talked about topic. Getting your customer’s insights aren’t just for your business’s benefit, they also help potential customers gauge who you are and the quality of the services you provide. Your customers intuitively understand this, even if they don’t express it openly. According to a recent Qualtrics survey, “82% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase, and most are happy to leave reviews as well.”
You should ask for a review after you’ve completed a project with a customer. Many companies attach links into the footers of their emails asking for feedback or even a separate email dedicated to collecting feedback will suffice. This approach will allow you to link directly to the platform you would like your customers to leave a review (Facebook, Google, UpCity, etc.)
2. Employ Tools
Reputation management tools like Grade.us can help you streamline and manage your review recruitment efforts and take a lot of the manual work out of the process.
Looking for more data? Surveys can also be a highly effective way to generate reviews. Survey tools like Survey Monkey and SoGoSurvey both offer free versions and upgraded paid versions based on what you are looking to ask in your survey and how you are wanting to report on your survey results.
When you are creating your survey think of what you really want to answered by your customer that will help you be/do better. When asking for feedback/review, make sure you allowing your customer to write openly about their experience. This will allow you to grab the snippets that will work best for posting a testimonial or a short blurb online.
A lot of companies will offer incentives for customers who complete a survey. If you have the bandwidth to fulfill this extra step, or if your contact list is fairly manageable, then I highly recommend you test this approach in order to get the most responses.
3. Get Philanthropic
Some companies are beginning to link their philanthropic campaigns with their reputation management efforts.
For example, at UpCity we select one charity annually to be our focus. A few times a year, we will run review campaigns, surrounding our Excellence Awards, where for every review we receive we donate $5 to our chosen charity. This year our chosen charity is Lemonade Day, a national organization that teaches young kids how to be entrepreneurs through the creation of their own business – a lemonade stand.
The impact UpCity has been able to make in the community makes this program worth it. In addition, we are also connecting with our customers and collecting reviews. It’s a win-win-win!
This is a great initiative to include if your company is building a reputation management strategy for 2020.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth look into review management, download UpCity’s recent tip sheet 8 Tips to Increase your Credibility with Reviews today! And in the meantime, work on asking your customers for reviews!