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How to Drive Positive Customer Reviews

It’s a gift when a customer takes time to review your brand or product online. Since 95% of customers read online reviews before deciding to purchase a product, it’s important to cultivate and drive those positive reviews. Reviews can help build trust, credibility, differentiate your business from competitors and even boost search engine rankings when used appropriately.  

Positive reviews are valuable regardless of industry. Whether your company is B2B or B2C, selling a product or service, your brand can gain an advantage from online reviews.  

So, how can your company drive customer reviews to secure these important benefits? Here are some strategies to help your brand encourage and use positive reviews: 

Prioritize timing

Getting customer reviews is crucial for building trust and credibility for your business. One effective way to secure positive reviews is by reaching out to your customers at the right moment – when they are most satisfied with your product or service. Here are some examples of when and how you can approach different types of customers: 

  1. After Successful Customer Service Interaction:

   – Scenario: A customer reaches out with an issue and your customer service team resolves it promptly and effectively.   

   – Timing: Send a follow-up email or message a day or two after the interaction, thanking them for their patience and asking for feedback.   

  1. Post-Purchase for Consumer Goods:

   – Scenario: A customer has just received their order and is excited to try out their new purchase.   

   – Timing: Send an email a few days after the delivery, checking in to see if they are enjoying their new item and inviting them to leave a review.  

  1. After Dining Experience at a Restaurant: 

   – Scenario: A diner has just finished a meal at your restaurant and had a great experience with both the food and service.   

   – Timing: Offer them a feedback card with their bill or send a follow-up email the next day, thanking them for dining with you and encouraging them to share their experience online. 

  1. After a Successful Project Completion:

   – Scenario: You’ve completed a project for a client, whether it’s a home renovation, website design, or any other service-based project.   

   – Timing: Follow up a week or two after the project completion, asking them about their overall satisfaction and if they’d be willing to write a review. 

Remember, the key is to make it easy for customers to leave a review by providing direct links to your review platforms and keeping the process simple and straightforward. Always express gratitude for their time and feedback, as this will encourage them to share their positive experiences with others.

Image Credit: Target

Some goods and services might need a longer window. Customers will likely need more time for things like consulting work, or large purchases such as vehicles or expensive electronics, since they’ll want to use the item for a while before reviewing. Consider reaching out at usage milestones for these bigger items.  

Make use of email marketing

Another great way to drive customer reviews is to schedule automated triggers in your email marketing workflow to follow up with customers and encourage them to share feedback on a recent experience or transaction.

Incentivize reviews

You brand can ethically drive customer reviews by offering something in return such as a coupon or code for a percent off the next purchase, a free small fry, soda or similar. The important thing here is you can’t tell customers what kind of review they can leave. While we of course all want and hope for positive customer feedback, all reviews must be eligible for the same incentive.

Image credit: Old Navy

Include a clear CTA

There’s no need to be shy when it comes to asking your customers for a review. Drive customer reviews by asking for them with a clear call to action (CTA) and prompt people to leave a review where it makes the most sense for your business.  

For businesses where the customer interaction is in a physical location like a restaurant, bar/winery, doctor’s office or store, utilize signage and QR codes. You can also include your CTA on printed materials such as receipts, brochures or shipment confirmations. If you do business online, link a URL to leave a review in your email signature or prominently on your website or social media accounts.

Express gratitude

Did someone take time to leave your business a nice review? Say thank you! Follow up and acknowledge the review and express gratitude for the feedback. If the interaction is through an online platform where other users can see your response, it can help your brand image and promote trust with prospective customers. Plus, as current customers see the interaction with your brand, this tactic could drive customer reviews.

Image Credit: TripAdvisor

Share reviews

Testimonials are a wonderful way to use positive reviews as part of your marketing collateral. Showcasing reviews from real customers is a strong approach to social proof. You can highlight testimonials on your social media accounts, on your website and landing pages, and in other digital or traditional formats. As other users see that your brand shares positive reviews, this strategy might also drive customer reviews.  

 Use social media

Social media is a good tool to drive customer reviews. Take the opportunity to share user-generated content (UGC) that expresses happiness with your products or services. Sharing satisfied customers talking about their experience is another way to build credibility, and you can encourage them to leave an online review with your post. 

 Mind the platform

Brands should be aware that not all review platforms are built the same. While Google My Business (GMB) is a great review platform for many businesses as it can help boost local SEO, there may be other platforms that are either more ideal or that are industry-specific where you would want to drive reviews. Here are a few to consider: 

Yelp – Great for restaurants and small businesses that need a boost in local SEO.   

TripAdvisor – A top option if you’re in the hospitality or travel industry such as hotels or area tours and experiences. 

App stores – Ideal for mobile apps on either Apple or Android.  

Zillow – This is a real estate hub and can help realtors attract customers as well as sell homes/share listings.  

Drive customer reviews to the platform where it makes the most sense. People are unlikely to leave multiple reviews across different sites, so prioritize the review platform that has the most value to your business, utilize integrations where possible to share reviews across platforms. If possible and necessary, you can rotate CTAs with links to different platforms to keep an even balance of promoting reviews on all the platforms that are relevant to your company. 

Keep it positive

Your brand can benefit from customer reviews. Since most prospective users will check reviews before ultimately making a purchase, driving customer reviews can help your business build trust, credibility, set your brand above the competition and, in some cases, give a boost to local SEO efforts. As you drive customer reviews, think also how you can utilize them to make the most of your customers’ valuable feedback. 

Reach out to schedule a call with Beyond Fifteen today and see how we can help your brand drive positive customer reviews.

Connect with a Beyond Fifteen Marketing Specialist today!

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