As a local business owner, you’re probably aware of the importance of positive feedback from existing customers in attracting new customers. When customers have a good experience, they tend to share it with their friends, which often leads to those friends giving your business a try. This principle applies to online customer acquisition as well, where customer reviews play a crucial role.
Why are online customer reviews so popular?
Many people turn to the internet to research local businesses that offer the products or services they need. However, even if they like the information on your website, they may hesitate to take the next step due to a lack of trust. They’re unsure if your business is the best option for them. This hesitation can quickly transform into interest once they read honest feedback from your customers.
Customer reviews also have an impact on your website rankings. While there are multiple factors influencing your local business site’s search rankings, it’s evident that customer reviews significantly contribute to boosting your site’s ranking. Research indicates that businesses with several customer reviews online tend to rank higher compared to those with few or no reviews.
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So, how can you encourage customers to leave their opinions? This question often perplexes many business owners. The truth is, even if customers love your business, most of them don’t take the initiative to leave feedback. To receive a business boost from reviews, you need to proactively seek them.
Here are five effective ways to attract more customer reviews:
- Interview Your Best Customers: Choose a select number of your best customers and express your heartfelt appreciation to them. Ask if they’d be willing to be interviewed by your company, and once they agree, record their interview in video or audio format and post it on your website.
- Follow Up Emails: Send follow-up emails to your customers, specifically asking them to review your business or service. Where possible, match their email addresses to the appropriate review site for better targeting (e.g., “@gmail.com” for a Google+ review). For other customers, provide links to your top five review sites and clear instructions on how to leave a review on their chosen platform. Rotate the list to distribute your reviews across multiple platforms that potential customers may visit.
- Conduct Contests: Generate excitement by hosting contests with attractive grand prizes. People enjoy participating in contests, and many will willingly leave a review to be entered into a special drawing for one or more prizes. Make your audience aware of the contest by posting an announcement on your website or sending a notice to email subscribers.
- Include Packaging Inserts: Each time your company ships a product to a customer, include a colorful insert that encourages them to visit your site and leave a review. This simple addition can make a significant impact.
- Request Personal Stories: Ask people to share their personal stories about how your product or service has positively influenced their lives. Personal stories hold immense power and can greatly enhance your business’s credibility.
Remember, implementing these strategies and actively seeking customer reviews can play a significant role in attracting new customers and improving your online presence.