Reviews can be a hugely influential tool. From influencing online customer decisions to starting conversations about products, they make up an important part of e-commerce and word-of-mouth trades. With more brands competing for your attention than ever before, getting a quality review could be the difference. Nowadays, we often trust what customers have to say about an experience with a business more than the business says about itself. It’s nothing new that reviews can be very powerful.

Think of your Google listing as your new home page. Customers now see more information about your business on its Google listing – that is, before they even click into your site! – than ever before. Reviews can highlight the best features of your business in a meaningful way to your audience. So, it pays to develop an effective review strategy. More reviews won’t necessarily affect your search engine ranking, but they can persuade a potential customer when they’re researching you.

Customer reviews shouldn’t just be limited to your website. You’ll find them across Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Trust Pilot and on forums like Quora and Reddit. If your business has an online presence, you can consider using these sites as platforms for customer engagement too.

5 ways to encourage reviews

Consider making it part of your regular business operations to prompt reviews. And there are plenty of ways to do this, from throwing review links around, to good old-fashioned personalised requests. Getting reviews can rapidly improve your business’ success. Here are some methods you could try for gathering reviews.

1. Put a link in your email signature

Before you send your next email, put a link to your review site under your email signature. Hey, presto! Now customers can link directly to review your business every time you communicate with them. To do this, you can use White Spark Google Review Link Generator. Once you have a few glowing reviews, consider changing your email signature message to “Check out our reviews, and feel free to leave one yourself”.

(Psst… While you’re at it, want to leave us a Google review? Thanks, legend!)

2. Share your positive reviews

Got a bunch of great reviews sitting on Google already? Well, depending on your medium of choice, you could highlight your good reviews in newsletters, then share the review link. This is an effective strategy to reach your audience and highlight the positives of your good work.

3. Put signs in-store

The in-store experience you provide customers can prompt people to want to give their feedback, so it pays to deliver exceptional customer service. In-store signage is a great way to encourage reviews. Consider putting out banners, business cards, menus, flyers and brochures to communicate your desire for receiving feedback in person and your appreciation for online feedback.

You might also consider in-store apps, QR codes and other interactive media displays to point customers towards a review – maybe it’s a list of review profile links or a nod to the company’s website. But remember not to be too pushy or ‘salesy’ in your approach.

4. Use promotional materials and prompts on receipts

Not all customers are tech savvy, so you could consider adding something extra to the transaction. It might be something as simple as slipping a review card in a shopping bag, or a prompt on the receipt encouraging the customer to review the service or product.

5. Ask your customers in follow up communications

Customers are your best advocates. Ask them nicely in an email and if they’re happy to oblige, you’ve won yourself a review!

Alternatively, you can train staff to mention in conversation how much a review would be appreciated. This might work better in some businesses over others, but the general principle of building rapport with the customer should always apply. You could even provide an incentive for staff to gather reviews. For example, you could hold a competition so that the store or individual with the most reviews gets a reward. This has the added bonus of your staff being more aware of their customer service too!

But optimising reviews don’t end there. Make sure to publicly respond to your reviews and do so with your brand’s tone of voice in mind. Remember that you’ve got time to try and gather new reviews so it’s best to accumulate them slowly. Try implementing each strategy to see how it will help you move towards your long-term goal of building a strong (and diversified) online reputation.

Want to know how Shuttle Rocket can help you improve your brand’s reputation, create a better customer service experience, and provide copywriting that’ll have your reviewers wanting more? Get in touch today.