For most industries, it can be difficult to get positive reviews. This is most certainly something to focus on considering Google’s algorithm penalizes your company’s organic search results if you have negative reviews.
Bounce Back From Negative Reviews
Have you ever went to Amazon to buy something but looked at the reviews and because most were negative, you decided not to make a purchase? Most of the time that’s because your customers don’t usually review their gym, grocery store, retail store, and most especially, B2B companies and their products. Most consumers typically review when they have a negative experience. So what does that mean exactly? Is your company and/or products tarnished for life or will those negative reviews hurt your sales or reputation? The truthful answer is that it absolutely can, but there is also good news: you can bounce back from it. All you have to do is ask for positive reviews from happy customers. Sounds easy, right? Well, let’s take this one step at a time.
Tip The “Review-Scale”
Capitalize on your happy customers and have them fight on behalf of your brand. As mentioned earlier, i’m sure you have been to Amazon and saw a product or company that had a significant number of negative reviews. I’m also certain you saw negative reviews at one time, but you decided to purchase anyway because the positive reviews drastically outweighed the negative ones. It’s all about tipping the scales back in your favor and making sure the bulk of your reviews are positive.
Ask for Reviews in Person:
The best way to get reviews is by asking in person. Asking for reviews in person is much more personal than an online initiative, especially if you and the customer had a great experience. For example, let’s say you walked into a health and wellness store, but you don’t know what products would be best for you. When you ask an associate for help, they steer you in the right direction and you two have a lengthy conversation that included anything and everything. If that customer asked you to give an online review so it helped him and others who are researching where to shop, you would probably be more inclined to do so.
Another way to gather positive reviews is by providing incentive. Research has shown most people respond to free incentives and give-a-ways. For instance, you could start a campaign that gives the customer a chance to win $100 (You may want to do something else, but that’s a start.)
Ask for Reviews via Email
Another way is by asking via email. If you already met the customer, there shouldn’t be a problem reaching out through email. Obviously, if the customer wasn’t happy with the experience then it’s best to leave that person out. You can find out by pre-screening your customers by survey so you don’t rack up the negative reviews (though, let’s hope that never happens.) Email may not perform as well as asking in person, but is still a valuable option to gain positive reviews.
Here are some of the best practices for your email request letter:
Have the email come from a real person’s email address (Even better, have it come from a name they’d recognize, such as someone they worked with).
Have the email written as a personal request from that same person.
Have a very clear call-to-action link/button. Remove random social media or website footer links — just as with good conversion rate optimization, have a singular goal of users clicking the review button.
Test using a plain-text email versus an HTML email.
Test different subject lines: We’ve found that using the person’s name in the subject line works well in many instances but falls completely flat in a few others.
Test different email copy to see what performs best.
One way to ensure success of any review-gathering initiative is to make sure everyone in the organization is on board and stress its importance. Ways you can do this is by:
Making better reviews a top-down focus; executives need to communicate the importance.
Obtaining organizational buy-in on the importance of reviews by helping employees understand the direct impact they have on the business.
Training key employees on how to ask for reviews.
Developing a scorecard that tracks reviews by locations (similar to our SERP score, but for reviews).
Providing bonuses and awards for the locations that have the best online reviews.
As with any good campaign, you must strategize and go through a series of tests. See what works best for you and your customer base. Just make sure you’re focusing on gathering positive reviews, you’ll thank yourself that you did.
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