In today’s modern consumer environment, reviews matter. Today’s consumers are doing more research during the buying process than ever before, and this research doesn’t just stop at product descriptions or online photographs. Consumers treat online reviews like a new form of word-of-mouth recommendations, and they trust these reviews just as much as they would a recommendation from a friend.
With this much importance being placed on reviews, it’s imperative for brands to proactively cultivate and grow their online review database. It’s important to remember that while positive online reviews are key, even the negative ones can open the door for a unique marketing opportunity. Responding to and addressing negative reviews is one of the key parts of online reviews that customers look most closely at.
As your team works to grow your online review database, here are four ways to get your customers to actually leave reviews for your organization:
#1: In-person asks: If your organization engages with customers face-to-face on a regular basis is a shop or store-front, asking for online reviews in person should be your first step. Many times, consumers don’t even think about leaving a review and they forget about it right away. By bringing reviews up with your customers in person while they’re still in your store, they’re likely to remember the high points of your conversation and applaud your stellar customer service. Just remember, however, that the opposite is also true: if a customer had a bad experience with your store, they’re likely to tell others online.
#2: Text messages: If there is one thing that customers appreciate, it’s brand-sponsored communication that takes into account their preferences. Modern consumers prefer text message communication over emails or phone calls, making it the perfect channel for driving online reviews. Your team can send a text message follow up after a customer makes a purchase and include a direct link to your chosen review site. All the customer has to do is simply click on the link, fill out the review form, and voila – a new review for new consumers to see.
#3: Email Newsletters: Although it’s not as direct-to-consumer as text messages, email is also a useful channel for driving online reviews. One creative way to leverage email is through a newsletter. Sharing upcoming sales or promotions, new goings-on in the store, and including a blurb about leaving a review on your website. Email newsletters are an engaging, easy way to share new content with consumers and squeeze in a review CTA while you’re at it.
#4: Promotion and contests: One of the most fun and exciting ways to drive online reviews is by running a promotion or contest around reviews. The premise is simple enough: in your in-store promotions and consumer communications, mention that a review automatically enters customers to win something. Then, watch the reviews pour in! All your team has to do is select one review to be the winner at the end of the contest period. The best part? By drawing attention to your online review program more people will start reading the reviews left there, which means more potential customers.
Ready to get started? With Kenect, your team can grow your online reviews and proactively engage with consumers through text messages. Kenect makes it easy to send outbound messages, track responses, and bring in more customer reviews. You can learn more by scheduling a personalized demonstration here.