Whether your business is a healthcare practice, auto shop, retail store, or hotel, it can greatly benefit from collecting and sharing customer reviews and testimonials.
Customer Reviews Are Key
Multiple studies and surveys have shown the power of customer reviews. Data shows that almost all potential new patients, clients, and shoppers use reviews as a primary factor in determining where to take their business.
The “Local Consumer Review “LCR” Survey 2020” by BrightLocal revealed that 87% of consumers read reviews for local businesses–up from 81% in 2019.
Almost all customers seek out recommendations and testimonials before choosing a business, product, and service. They do this because it helps them to establish trust and filter out companies that have a terrible reputation.
The LCR survey showed that:
67% of consumers wouldn’t use a business if reviews said it didn’t have COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.
The most important review factors are: 1) Star rating, 2) Legitimacy, 3) Recency, 4) Sentiment, and 5) Quantity.
72% of US consumers have written a review for a local business–a huge increase from just 66% in 2019.
Personal recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals were once the primary way for consumers to collect information about businesses. But now, the availability of customer-generated media has made it possible to find reviews in multiple places, and customers trust those reviews almost as much as a review from a friend or family member.
Reviews do more than build trust and affinity. They can also increase revenue and impact sales.
A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue (study by Harvard Business School).
Given comparable prices, travelers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score (study by TrustYou).
Collecting and displaying customer reviews needs to be a priority for all businesses. Here are a few ways to help you gather and share customer feedback.
Displaying Your Business’s Reviews
Most customers read business reviews on an online resource during their research. According to the LCR study, consumers read an average of 10 reviews before deciding whether to shop at a location. Due to this scrutiny, it’s vital that your business has reviews on multiple digital platforms.
General review and social media sites. Create business pages on social sites and directory websites that have a section for reviews.
- Google Business Pages
- Yahoo! Local Listings
Niche review sites. Each industry has unique directories and options for displaying and collecting reviews. Seek out sites that are relevant to the services you provide.
- Hospitality: Expedia and Travel Advisor
- Healthcare: Healthgrades and Zocdoc
- Misc. Services: Angie’s List
- Professional Services: LinkedIn Recommendations
Your website. Curate all of your reviews and highlight them in one place on your website, and use them to show proof in sales material.
- Testimonial page
- Sales pages
- Home page and sidebars
In-store digital signage. Reviews help bring customers and clients in the door, but they can also help close a sale in your location. So, share customer reviews on customer-facing, in-store digital signage. If your business is in hospitality, having positive reviews visible when customers enter your brick-and-mortar location encourages them to stay. For those in the restaurant industry, positive reviews of your food, service, and overall atmosphere will enhance customer loyalty from both new and old patrons.
Your social media feed. Highlight your reviews on social media by turning customer quotes into beautifully designed graphics that you can share with your audience.
Brochure and print promotions. Use customer reviews as a sales tool by adding quotes or testimonials to your print marketing materials like flyers, sales guides, and advertisements.
Once you have customer reviews, you can display them to benefit your business and bottom line. But first: you have the get the reviews from your customer.
Getting Customer Reviews
Acquiring a high-volume of customer reviews will require some work. Reviews may slowly trickle in on their own. However, there are proactive strategies your business can take to bring in more reviews at a faster rate.
Ask. When you see that a customer, patient, or client has had a positive interaction with your brand, come right out and ask them to write a review. Also, make it part of your process to always ask for recommendations upon finishing up business with a customer.
Per the LCR study, 72% of consumers who have been asked to leave a review about a business reported leaving a review.
Train your team to ask. Make sure your entire team understands the value in getting reviews, and teach them best practices for asking clients and customers to leave feedback.
Make it easy. You will get more reviews if the process for leaving them is simple and clear. Create flyers that tell customers how to leave reviews and use website content to guide people to where they can provide their testimonials.
Offer an incentive. Provide a benefit to the customer for leaving a review. Offer a coupon or discount for providing feedback. But keep in mind that you can’t and shouldn’t “buy” good reviews. Always let customers know that you are seeking truthful reviews in exchange for the incentive.
Follow up. Once a customer or client has finished their service with you or finalized their purchase, follow up. Ask them how they feel about their transaction and encourage them to share that feedback on one of your review platforms.
Ask to film video testimonials. Leverage relationships with loyal and long-term clients by asking them if they would be willing to film a testimonial video that you can share on your website, digital signage content, or commercials.
Look for mentions on social media and blogs. You may have reviews about your business that are not on your platforms. Customers often post feedback about their experiences with businesses through their social media and blog posts. Use social media search tools and Google Alerts to find mentions of your brand, and share what you find when appropriate.
Collecting, curating and displaying customer reviews is a powerful way for businesses to attract new customers, build brand authority, increase revenue, and develop trust with both new and current customers. Using these tips will generate more reviews and enable your business to display them in places where customers will see them.
Create Exceptional Customer Experiences To Get Positive Customer Reviews
The best way to ensure that you receive positive customer reviews is by providing customer experiences that exceed expectations. Deliver an exceptional experience to earn a glowing recommendation.
To help you ensure that your business is set up to create exceptional experiences worthy of receiving great reviews, we’ve put together an ebook. It will help you use in-store atmosphere and content to create amazing experiences for your clients, customers, and patients. Download our “The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Marketing” ebook.