When was the last time you purchased something online with a one-star rating. Never, right? Well, you are not alone. In some recent surveys, more than 90 percent of Americans admitted that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. Customers these days rely on online reviews and ratings to help them find the best products and services. Therefore, it is important for a business to establish and maintain a positive online reputation in today’s markets.
Online ratings and reviews rank high in search engine results because they provide genuineness to your business, which is important for your customers. Positive online reviews will not only protect and grow your business but will also help you create a powerful online reputation. So, how can you ensure that customers actually take the initiative to leave positive reviews about your business? Here are the five most effective ways to make your customers share positive online reviews about your brand:
1. Make it easy: No matter how great the customer service you provide, not many customers will go out of their way to find out where to post a review for your business. Therefore, make it as easy for them by sending them a direct link to your review site, or encourage them to rate your business on social media pages. You can send a post-visit email or hand out postcards that list URLs to review sites as customers leave your store.
2. Stay active on social media: Businesses that maintain an active and positive presence on social media sites are able to gather more reviews than those that do not. According to a report by Syncapse, a brand’s Facebook followers are more loyal, and they tend to engage and advocate more. That’s why it’s important for businesses to spend quality time on social media activities. Those activities can be as simple as responding to comments posted on your Facebook page. This will show your followers that you’re willing to communicate and interact with them, which is an important part of outstanding customer service.
3. Send personalized mails: Thank-you emails to your customers are good, but your customers may quickly forget about you when you follow up with an automated email. Instead, consider calling them to make sure they enjoyed their last visit and then ask for feedback. This will open up the line of communication, which may get you a positive review.
4. Offer incentives for posting a review: Though it’s not considered ethical to bribe a customer to post a review, you can show your appreciation for their efforts by offering them discounts on their next visit to your store. This may encourage your customers to share their feedback in exchange for a gift card or free tickets. You can extend discounts to all the customers who rate your business on social media or post a review and rating on review sites.
5. Provide exceptional customer service: First and last impressions will have a lingering effect on your customers. Train your staff to properly welcome customers and make them feel special even when they leave your store. These small gestures will help a customer feel connected to your brand and may generate a positive review.
If you are struggling to manage your online reputation on your own, there are plenty of reputation management consultants out there who can help you. One of the important reputation management activities is to conduct a reputation audit of your brand and determine what your customers have already said about your business. Online reputation management experts are trained in finding unfavorable reviews and helping you to gather positive customer reviews.
Irrespective of who is handling your brand’s reputation management activities, it should be made a top priority. This is because understanding the importance of reputation management is crucial for ensuring that your brand image remains unspoiled across all media.