You know reviews are important.
There’s no question that you should be open to feedback, and respond to customers’ concerns.
Google and other search engines know people like reviews, too. They even take reviews into account when determining where to rank your business in local search results.
But sometimes, it feels like only the most outraged customers are the ones who leave reviews. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are three simple tactics for getting more reviews from more customers, especially the happy ones.
Make reviews part of your survey process
You probably already have a customer survey process in place. Asking for reviews as part of your normal customer survey practices is an easy opportunity to get feedback — they’re already in that mode, so a certain percentage of customers will agree to take the next step to leave a review.
We have clients who have seen huge results from this, benefitting from increased review volume and higher rating scores, just by integrated tools like their SatisFacts surveys into their Apartment Ratings through the Verified Resident Program.
In cases where only the most negative customers previously spoke up, they now see a much more accurate cross-section of residents leaving reviews … which leads to a much stronger online reputation.
Find your promotersHere’s another idea: Have you heard of the Net Promoter Score (NPS)? It’s a simple metric for measuring customer satisfaction, and it can be an easy way to identify your biggest advocates.
You can use a simple email workflow or a tool like Delighted or AskNicely to automate the process, then reach out to the customers who respond with the highest scores (stick to 9s and 10s). Ask if they’ll take the next to leave a more substantial review for you. (This podcast goes into this tactic a bit further.)
Ask for reviews on every piece of customer communication you send
And by this, I really want you to think beyond the screen.
Here’s what you do: Create a page on your website that includes all the links to the places where you want customers to leave feedback. Make sure the link to this page is easy to remember and type out. Here’s an example: CourtyardsGainesville.com/reviews. (When used correctly, we’ve found this can help with SEO, too.)
Then, print cards with the link to this page, and start attaching the cards on receipts, work orders, etc. — anything you can think of. Make it as easy as possible for people to know where to go to tell you how you’re doing.
Want an sample card? Here’s a design we created in Canva.
It’s already formatted for printing; you’re welcome to copy and customize with your company information.
Side note: Canva is one of our favorite simple design tools … we use it every day. Seriously, sign up for free and give it a try.
Start before the sale
For apartment marketers, you can even start this process before residents even move in.
Start off on the right foot by providing helpful information through a series of welcome emails that walk new residents through their move-in and get them familiar with the property, the staff, the neighborhood, and anything else that will make the moving process less stressful.
Then, after they’ve had a chance to get settled, send an email to ask how you’re doing. Include the link back to that /reviews page you built … again, make it easy for them.
Our clients who are truly provide value in these “new resident onboarding” emails see typically see over 40% of new residents engaging with these emails. How different would your online presence look if 40% of your new customers were leaving reviews about your business?
Ask customers on the spot
Is a happy resident chatting you up in the office? Did you successfully resolve an issue for them? That’s the perfect time to ask for a quick testimonial.
Have your smartphone ready to capture their endorsement, or just point them to the nearest computer so they can leave a review right then and there. Hand them one of those Reviews cards. Take the “thank you” you received in an email, and turn it into a cool, shareable image. Canva or Word Swag are perfect for this.
Whatever you do, don’t fake it by having your staff post reviews. People pick up on that stuff right away.
Note: Be aware of the promotion policies for the review sites you’re using. Some sites discourage actively soliciting reviews.
Getting reviews for your business can be hard. And it can be frustrating when a few loudmouths impact your online presence in ways that you know don’t reflect how you do business. But if you make it as easy as possible for customers to leave feedback, and build systems to help you ask how you’re doing, you’re likely to see major changes in how your customers talk about you online.
Now, I’ll throw it to you … what are some other things you’re doing to get more of your happiest customers to leave reviews about your business? We’d love to hear what what’s working for you!
Before you ask, make sure you’re monitoring
One last thought on reviews.
Besides being more proactive about asking for feedback and ratings, you also want to make sure you’re on the lookout for comments as they’re posted around the web.
But you don’t have time to check dozens of sites for new reviews. That’s where Top Line Local can help. It lets you track reviews across those listings and notifies you immediately when new reviews are posted.
We watch for the reviews. All you have to do is respond. And if you want, we can even work with your team to craft professional, appropriate responses as new comments come in.
Now get out there and make some customers seriously happy!