We’ve spent a lot of time in this space talking about why online business reviews are important. Hopefully by now, you’re convinced that your business should be proactively securing online reviews. But how do you go about doing that? In this post, we highlight six tips that should open the online review floodgates.    

1. Determine the right timing for the invitation

The timing of the invitation is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not the invite is opened and an online business review is left. The optimal time will be different from business to business, but our customers that have seen the most success are sending them while the customer is still on site or automatically right as the transaction is closed.

To make sure the timing of the invitation is right for your business, we suggest conducting some AB tests. This will give you the data you need to help you make the right decision and ensure the highest click-through and response rates on your invitations.

2. Set expectation for the review

Another key tactic businesses should employ when trying to increase the number of online business reviews is having employees set the expectation for the review. When setting the expectation you should let them know:

  • When they will receive the invitation
  • Where they will receive the invitation
  • Why it’s important for them to respond

When you set these expectations and get them to tacitly agree to leave a review, you should see your click-through and response rates improve significantly.

3. Eliminate barriers

Businesses should eliminate as many barriers as possible that have made it difficult for customers to leave reviews in the past. The best way to accomplish this is by implementing an online review management platform like the one offered by Podium.

One of the biggest obstacles customers face when asked to leave a review is how long it might take. Podium’s solution streamlines the process because it utilizes smartphones and apps, like Google, Facebook, and more that your customers are already familiar with. This eliminates the need to register for a new account just to leave a review on your behalf.

4. Deliver high-quality service

If your business is focused on delivering high-quality customer service, you should have a loyal army of customers that want to sing your praises. But if you fail to deliver you could be driving your customers away to the competition. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 66% of customers will switch companies if they have a bad experience.

5. Invite via text

Text messages are fast becoming an effective way to engage with your customers. Think about it. Would you be more likely to open an email from an unfamiliar sender or a text from a number you don’t know? If you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly delete the email and open the text as soon as you see it.

Marketing text messages have a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate, which is considerably greater than email. If you want to improve your click-through and response rates for your online review invitations, you should strongly consider implementing a solution that supports invitations via text.

6. Don’t be afraid

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask. The lion’s share of your customers would probably be willing to review your business, but it’s not something most people think about doing unless prompted by an invitation. If you follow the steps outlined above, the online reviews should start rolling in – so long as you ask for them.

How can Podium help?

Download our ebook, The Complete Guide to Online Reviews, to learn more about how online reviews are driving purchases. The ebook will show your business how to:

  • Increase the number of reviews you collect each month by up to 15x
  • Improve local search engine optimization
  • Efficiently respond to negative reviews
  • Implement a simple, but effective, review collection process into your daily operations

Rethink Reviews