Think about the last time you were debating between two different restaurants for your evening dinner plans. Menus aside, what factor influenced your decision the most? If your answer was “reviews”, then you’ve just demonstrated the immense power these seemingly simple opinions have when used by consumers. In the world of business, online reviews can make or break a brand. While they’ve been around for as long as the internet itself, in recent years, consumers have begun placing more weight on the opinions of others.
Sadly, the days of blind trust in a brand are long gone and the era of thorough research and review reading is well underway. So, if you’ve been on the receiving end of bad reviews and need a way to clean up your online reputation, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to explore the various ways you can improve your online reviews and bring your brand back into the good graces of consumers everywhere.
5 Ways to Ramp up Your Ratings (and Online Reputation)
1. Provide Better Customer Service
Have you ever noticed that brands with the best customer service always seem to have the highest reviews? It’s no coincidence. Where consumers of the past placed great emphasis on the end result (usually the quality of a product or service), modern consumers want every interaction with a brand, from start to finish, to be on point. Taking the phrase “the customer is always right” to a whole new level, having good customer service is one of the best ways to improve your online reviews.
When good customer service becomes a cornerstone of your business, you’ll find that you’re able to turn bad experiences into good ones, and good experiences into unforgettable ones. Regardless of what you offer, that means making it as easy as possible to get in touch with a live person that can answer questions, following up with customers, resolving problems in a way that leaves a positive impression, and so much more. If you’re unsure how to provide better customer service, observe and experience the ways other brands do it so you can begin implementing their practices in your business.
2. Provide Share-Worthy Experiences that Stand Out
Unfortunately, simply having a great product or service isn’t enough to warrant a plethora of positive online reviews anymore. Circling back to what we touched on previously, modern consumers care more about the experience they have with a brand. Similar to a good movie, you want every touch point with customers to provide them with a positive experience that simultaneously demonstrates how you’re different from competing brands.
Ideally, you want to create experiences that are so much fun, customers can’t help but take pictures and videos for sharing with friends and their social media feed. Not only does this help to attract even more potential buyers, but it leaves a lasting, positive impression on existing customers, increasing the likelihood that they’ll leave a good review for your business. The truth of the matter is, good experiences help to build a positive “atmosphere” around your brand.
3. Ask the Right Questions in the Right Way
Just because a customer purchases what you’re offering doesn’t mean the buyer journey has come to an end. By asking questions and valuing the feedback of customers, you’re continuing to create a positive experience for them that speaks volumes. Even though the simple act of giving customers personal attention might not seem like the biggest deal in the world, to them, it is.
However, all of that being said, it’s not just about throwing a bunch of generic, cold questions at them and waiting to collect feedback, it’s about the the way you ask. The questions you ask customers need to be personalized to their purchase, and, more importantly, the experience they’ve had with your brand. In doing this, you accomplish two things:
Number one, you show them that you value their business by directly referencing touch points you’ve had with them. Number two, you perpetuate the customer experience while inspiring them to share their positive story with other potential buyers that are sitting on the fence. By simply implementing a follow-up system that keeps customers engaged with your brand even after the purchase, your online reviews should naturally start to improve.
4. Make it Easy to Review Your Business
One of the biggest reasons brands have a hard time building their online reviews is simply because they don’t make it easy for customers to do so. Just as you want to put as many targeted CTA’s throughout your website as possible, you want to make it known that you value feedback.
Thanks to the busy world we live in, it’s all too easy for consumers to buy from a business and move on without sharing their experience through an online review. If you want to improve your online reviews, you should treat it like a marketing campaign with the goal of increasing customer awareness. The more you make it known that you want to hear their feedback through the help of landing pages post-purchase, follow up emails, and [site compliant] incentives, the more likely you are to start seeing an uptick in the quality and quantity of reviews.
Another great way to improve your online reviews is by making sure you’re on all of the right review sites. Customers that frequent these kinds of sites already know that brand’s value their feedback and are usually eager to share it.
Speaking of being on the right review sites, do you have a Google My Business account? Your GMB listing enables you to get Google reviews and show up in searches. Learn how to set one up here, or see how effective your listing is with our free Google Grader.
5. Start with the Customers You Already Know
The process of asking for online reviews can be a bit uncomfortable if it’s something you’ve never done before. This is especially true if you’re not sure what kind of feedback customers are going to give you when asked.
To get the ball rolling, we recommend starting with customers that have already demonstrated brand loyalty and that you’ve corresponded with in the past. Not only does this make breaking the ice easier on your part, but loyal customers are also much more likely to leave high-quality reviews that set the precedent for future reviewers. With a few quality reviews under your belt, other customers will naturally be inspired to share their experiences as well.