I talk to marketers all the time who assume there's nothing they can do to get more positive customer reviews for their businesses or clients. I mean, you can't control customers, can you? You certainly can't run your clients' business for them, either. And, seriously, if you want to keep your good name unsullied and avoid PR catastrophes or fraud, you absolutely, positively cannot buy or create fake reviews.
So, marketers and business owners end up feeling powerless and victimized. They think reviews "just happen," and they take a wait-and-see approach—forever.
It's true that getting real reviews is a "numbers game," to some degree, but this article is about how to improve your numbers and turn reviews into an addressable marketing channel. I will outline the specific tactics we at Grade.us use to get more happy customers sharing the good word about almost any business, product or service.
Namely, I cover how you can create a "review funnel" that...
- Provides an easy way for business owners to invite and remind customers to share their experience
- Drives customers to a single destination specifically designed to convert them into reviewers
- Guides reviewers to complete reviews on the best possible site for both them and you
The Challenge of Getting Reviews
Real customer reviews make for insanely effective marketing for small and local businesses. Reviews are far more trusted by consumers than what you or your ads have to say. Reviews convert lookers into buyers in droves. And they can also give business listings a huge visibility and SEO boost to boot.
Imagine how powerful and satisfying it would be if you could get just a fraction of your clients' or your own happy customers to consistently share reviews on major third-party sites like Google+, Yelp, and TripAdvisor?
You can, but you have to ask yourself, Why don't happy customers consistently write reviews in the first place? Well, did you write a review of the last restaurant you visited or dry cleaner you used? Why, or why not?