How To Get Online Reviews
Whether to praise or condemn, people want their opinions to be heard. Customer feedback is one of the most important things your business should be paying attention to, and if not, your company is doing itself, its customers and prospects a huge disservice. Naturally, the best kinds of reviews are the ones that have nothing but praise for your company and what it does. Reading these reviews is a pleasure. They reinforce that what you are doing is the right thing and you are going about it correctly. Wonderful! But are these reviews really as helpful as they seem?
They tell you what people are loving about your company, but, as we know all too well, tastes and preferences change and if you are unable to get feedback that is going to help you evolve as a business, the lifespan of your business could be cut drastically short.
The Importance of Online Reviews
With the internet being used as the main instrument through which to conduct business, your company and all it has to offer is open to scrutiny twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. There is no getting away from what someone wants to say about your company. The key to customer reviews is to listen to what they have to say. Whether it is good or bad, what the customers responsible for your business’s success have to say is of dire importance. Through feedback, your prospects and customers are providing you with valuable insight into their experience and attitude toward your company. Online reviews have an advantage over traditional feedback methods by being available for public viewing, and giving your company the opportunity to publicly respond. If you're unsure how to respond to bad reviews, here is a great article - How to Deal With Bad Reviews for Your Business in Google.
Tips and Strategies for Online Reviews
There are a number of ways to encourage people to leave online reviews. Below you will find some useful ways to help your company encourage feedback and get valuable insight into your target market:
1) Customer Surveys
Surveys are a great way to gather some in-depth information about your customers’ experience with your company and its services. Surveys can be presented to customers upon completion of online sales or assistance, and should be tailored with specific and relevant questions, delivered via email or completed through your company website.
2) Social Media
By far the most powerful tool when it comes to reviews, engagements between your company and people on social media are there for all to see. Automation software has the capability to send you notifications whenever your brand or company is mentioned, allowing you to respond in real-time on Facebook or Twitter, proving that your company is listening and is prepared to respond. Pro-active engagement with your customers will reflect positively on your company and the way it is viewed by prospects.
3) Community Groups and Discussion Boards
Online community groups and discussion boards are a great way to promote engagement with your company, allowing people to have their say on a dedicated platform with a diverse group of interests relevant to your company. These groups can also be used to announce a new service, gather valuable feedback and stimulate interaction. Groups and discussion boards can also be used as part of a customer development process.
4) Personal Emails
This is a much more personalised approach to gathering feedback from customers. It allows shy or otherwise reticent customers to voice their honest opinion without having it displayed for all to see. More customised questions and detailed feedback can be achieved via email correspondence, as well as the option to incentivise customers to respond through special offers or discounts. Feedback can also be attained via new services being offered, by using segments of your email mailing list as an online focus group prior to launch.
Through paying attention to customer feedback, your company can discover or create brand advocates. Responding in the appropriate way will save your company time and money by strengthening customer relationships and winning over dissatisfied customers. Whether they are ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ on the surface, online reviews offer an opportunity for your business to grow and expand its responsiveness to your target market.