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Smartphones, tablets and other internet-powered devices have forever changed how consumers shop. Instead of going to friends and family for a referral on a product or brand, shoppers now comb through online reviews before visiting your store or making that next purchase.
With review sites now an integral part of the customer journey, highlighting positive feedback is key to building a compelling brand and outpacing competitors across the web. Knowing how to spotlight and promote good online reviews is essential.
The importance of positive online reviews
Whenever customers discuss an experience with your company, that feedback can immediately and often sizable impact on your brand. When that feedback is positive, it can:
- Provide invaluable social proof that drives purchases
- Influence the content algorithms that increase brand visibility
- Cultivate consumer perceptions of the brand as an industry authority
- Encourage and add to an ongoing conversation about your brand
- Improve customer sentiment, increase sales, and create an uptick in consumer satisfaction and loyalty ratings
The bottom line? Good online reviews can have a wide-reaching impact on brand trust, loyalty, sales, growth and even longevity, positioning your business as the mainstay and go-to in your field and your local area.
The guidelines for promoting good reviews
Of course, it’s not enough to simply have a few good reviews online. Knowing how to leverage those positives is critical, particularly when it comes to nudging customers in the right direction.
For instance, some prospects may need just a bit more incentive to make an in-store purchase, while others might be riding the fence and weighing your brand against online competitors. In each scenario, promoting your positive reviews could provide the exposure needed to pull them over the finish line. It might even break down any reluctance to leave positive reviews themselves, encouraging even more brand-boosting feedback that supercharges your brand and reputation online.
That said, here are many ways to make the most of your good reviews.
1. Show and tell
When you have good reviews, it’s okay to brag about it. Use social media platforms to highlight positive reviews of specific products or exceptional customer experiences. The more you can let other consumers see the positives associated with your brand, the faster you develop a favorable connection and identity with the consumer.
2. Create a contest
Weekly or monthly contests can be a great way to solicit positive reviews and promote the responses. These can be done through online and in-store contests, providing a powerful incentive to review your brand at a crucial moment in the buyer’s journey. Have a monthly drawing for anyone who submitted a positive review and highlights the winner (and their feedback) across your digital channels.
When conducting contests, using a QR code provides an effective way to simplify and speed up the feedback process. Offering rewards can also incentivize submissions. Creating a discount code or something similar can often spur a follow-up purchase, making the contest a win/win for you and the buyer.
3. Be bold and ask
It’s okay to simply ask your customers to leave a positive review on Google, Yelp, LinkedIn or other social media platforms. If your sales or customer service teams connect with consumers by phone, have them request reviews at critical points in the conversation, particularly during or after positive experiences. If an experience didn’t go well, connect with them immediately to learn what went wrong and how to make it right.
Requesting email addresses during and after online purchases can also be an effective method for soliciting positive feedback. Follow up with shoppers by emailing a ‘thank you’ for their purchase and ask them to review their experience. Make it easy by linking to a platform where your brand could use a boost. An SMS messaging strategy can also be effective in this regard.
4. Narrow your request
Positive exposure on any review platform can provide a host of benefits, though some sites provide more traffic, visibility, and credibility than others. Some of the more popular review platforms include:
- Trip Advisor
- Google My Business
Including your preferred review platforms in your review requests allows you to concentrate and grow a positive review presence where you need it most and where it will deliver the biggest impact on your brand and bottom line.
5. Review Your reviews
In some cases, just one negative review can undo 100 good comments, drawing unwanted attention that drains brand credibility and trust. This makes it crucial to analyze and manage every brand review online.
Having a proven review response strategy is critical. An effective approach includes a commitment to respond to every review, good or bad, and to do so quickly. For negative feedback, responders should make every attempt to professionally and publicly address the customer’s issue and offer a potential solution. This shows anyone reading the reviews how deep your commitment to the customer experience is.
6. Proactively include all customer connection points
It’s important to seek and reward positive reviews at every customer touchpoint proactively. Whether it’s in-store placards at the check-out, on the phone with consumers, in an email newsletter, or on your social media platforms, always look for ways to proactively remind or encourage customers to leave positive online reviews. Your efforts will increase your brand’s presence in search engines and create a favorable perception of your company.
Whenever you can develop your brand’s reputation as trustworthy, credible, experienced and consistent, you can build a loyal following of consumers eager to share their positive experiences. Have them share the good news through online reviews and watch your company’s reputation and bottom line grow.