Much has been said about how more and more consumers find satisfaction in reading online reviews. So now, let’s flip the coin and see how the other side is doing: Are consumers pumped up when it’s their turn to write reviews?
Here’s what a Pew Research Center survey says: Around 40 percent of Americans almost always consult online reviews before making a purchase decision, but a much smaller share write their own reviews with such consistency after engaging with a product (10 percent) or service (9 percent). The figure drops to 8 percent for people posting restaurant feedback.
So, very few seem to be pumped up all the time, and it depends on the type of business they’re dealing with. Good thing the story does not end there. The survey also found that roughly half of Americans like to write online store reviews sometimes.
Weigh the possibilities there for a second. What if you focus on harnessing the interest of the majority instead? Your goal is to get this group to write a review each time they buy a product or experience a service.
Are you up for the challenge? Then let’s discuss how you can make writing reviews more customer-friendly and generate reviews consistently for your business.
Closing the Gap With Review Generation
Many brands and businesses are embracing the importance of online reviews in building customer trust. But acceptance is only the beginning.
As the abovementioned survey has shown us, more consumers are researching online and using reviews to assess a product or service. And they aren’t just reading whatever feedback is available, for that matter. In another report, it was found that the majority consider only reviews written in the past three months as relevant.
So it now falls on companies to get more reviews and meet this demand. But what do you do with the fact that fewer Americans are keen to write industry reviews? You need to close the gap. And your best bet, in this case, is review generation.
What Is Review Generation?
Review generation is an online reputation marketing strategy referring to the acquisition of customer feedback from various review sites. It involves sending review requests through feedback forms, email and short messaging service (SMS) campaigns and online surveys.
Now, if you’re working with a trusted provider of the best reputation management services, you can also consolidate the reviews from multiple digital platforms on your website.
The Long-Term Benefits of Review Generation
Review generation is a proactive (vs. reactive) measure that allows you to bolster your online reputation. It employs tactics that encourage customers to provide feedback instead of waiting for them to do it. As we just have found, waiting can get you nowhere if your customers happen to be those who write reviews only some of the time. In the next section, we’ll show you the right way to this get this portion of your audience to write a review.
But for now, let’s look at the benefits of generating online reputation management reviews:
- Cultivate trust: Most Americans trust online reviews as much as they do peer recommendations. In fact, nine out of 10 read feedback on a brand, product or service before making a purchase decision. To generate reviews, then, is to cater to this need and cultivate a relationship with the consumers based on trust.
- Improve customer experience: Review generation tactics enable you to get more reviews. But they also empower your existing customers to express their thoughts, feelings and opinions. People feel valued when they see their comments being heard and applied to your business. So leverage their reviews in refining your offerings, processes and operations.
- Boost local search rankings: Strong review signals help expand your reach and elevate your local search engine optimization (SEO) position. That’s because ratings and reviews are among Google’s top search ranking factors. So if you have a strategy on how to get more Google reviews, you increase your chances of appearing higher in the local search results.
- Increase conversion: Consumers are 68 percent more likely to engage a local business with positive reviews. This suggests customer feedback as a conversion driver. Conversion sometimes translates directly to revenue, and certain industry reviews were found to perform well: hotels (annual revenue up by 46 percent), retail banking (37 percent) and consumer electronics (29 percent).
- Enhance your brand equity: Brand reputation management experts cannot overstate the importance of online reviews in shaping people’s perception of your brand. Positive feedback can increase the demand for your business, while the opposite can lower its value.
How To Get More Reviews
As mentioned earlier, Americans occasionally like to write reviews and require a bit of encouragement on your part. However, reputable reputation management consultants advise against coming in hot and fast. Make sure to cultivate a relationship with your existing customers through a combination of digital reputation management strategies before employing the tactics shared below:
Just Ask for It
Whether it’s offline or online store reviews you want, there’s no better way to generate reviews than straight asking for one. It can be hard to do for first-timers – but simply asking for it is the advice of most online reputation marketing professionals on how to get more Google reviews and the like.
This step must be approached with careful planning and preparation to ensure you’re targeting the right people. According to Rize Reviews’ online reputation monitoring experts, you should use familiar channels or strategies when requesting a review. Our shortlist includes sending customer surveys or feedback forms, generating a QR code that links to your review page and deploying email or short messaging service (SMS) campaigns.
Time Your Review Request
Asking for reputation management reviews requires perfect timing. That’s because your target’s response relies heavily on several psychological factors.
Therefore, those who have mastered brand reputation management have this to say: Request a review from your clients or customers when they are at their happiest. This means they have used your product or service and enjoyed the results, such as experiencing a glow after applying your moisturizer or feeling satisfied with their meal.
At times, you may not be able to tell when they have tried your offering. So look for other activities to trigger your review request instead. For example, include a parameter in your email campaign that sends out a feedback form after a customer has made a referral or a repeat order.
Respond to Reviews
It’s customary for trusted online reputation management companies to craft response templates for their clients. And whether or not you’re working with one, it’s best to follow in their footsteps. Complement your review generation efforts with a review response game plan.
Replying to brick-and-mortar or online store reviews shows you care about your customers. It also allows you to turn negative feedback into an online reputation marketing opportunity. About 53 percent of customers expect a reply to a bad review within a week, while 45 percent become more likely to pick a business that responds to it.
So, make it a habit to respond to reviews – both good and bad. Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Set up an online reputation monitoring system so you won’t miss any negative reviews that need a prompt response.
- Create review response templates for various types of customers (e.g., first-time buyers vs. longtime customers).
- Personalize your response even when you’re basing it on a template.
- When replying to a bad review, do it within 24 hours.
- When dealing with complaints, apologize, address the issue and ask the customer if you can take the discussion offline.
Since review generation, monitoring and response work hand in hand, you might as well look for a solution that combines these strategies, such as a comprehensive reputation management tool.
Make Them Excited To Write Reviews
In this blog, we have discussed the importance of online reviews to consumers and businesses alike. We have also learned through a survey that the demand for industry reviews is not quite matched by the people’s desire to write them. But because of the latter, we have also seen how crucial it is to integrate review generation into your digital reputation management.
By the end, we hope you have learned a few tactics on how to get more Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews, etc., and feel empowered to apply them. These definitely require time and commitment to implement, but their results on your reputation will be worth the effort.
Now, if you want to get them right off the bat, consider partnering with a team of reputation management consultants. The best reputation management services enable you to earn the trust and confidence of your customers. And as a result, they willingly write you a review whenever you ask for one.
In this case, entrust your brand reputation management to Rize Reviews. We lead other online reputation management companies in making review generation seamless for you and your customers. You can count on our reputation management tool to simplify online reputation monitoring and management so you can focus on other areas of your business.
Our online reputation management software is easy to set up and use, letting you generate reputation management reviews in no time. Talk to us today to learn more about this opportunity.