- Develop a review strategy.
- Identify how to ask for your reviews.
- Identify when to ask for your reviews.
- Collect your first reviews in an unscalable way.
- Automate your review requests.
- Make your review strategy consistent.
- Expand your requests through social media and incentives.
- Improvements and next steps.
Why should you develop a review strategy?
Most businesses that have not planned and implemented a review strategy often find that they have little to no reviews, or their existing reviews online are skewed negatively. As consumers now look to reviews when making a purchasing decision, the impact of poor ratings is a loss of sales, lower conversions and more selling effort needed due to the doubts raised by these reviews.
Businesses often do not see the impact of reviews as consumers would never contact them or visit their website. Businesses typically start a review strategy once they see the impact reviews are having on their sales. By this time many listings already have accumulated negative reviews, and these companies need to make up for lost time to move their ratings higher.
Please use the following steps as a guide to help you develop a review strategy and improve your rating score.
Step 1: Develop a review strategy.
Once you've decided to put a review strategy in place, our advice is to start by writing down the goals for your review strategy. Think about your current situation and set targets such as:
- What is your current rating and what do you want it to be in three months, six months, and in a year?
- How many reviews do you have and how many 4 or 5 star reviews will it take to hit your rating goal?
- What conversion rate (getting existing and new customers to submit reviews) do you need to hit your targets?
- Who will be responsible for your review strategy and how often will they report results?
Step 2: Identify when to ask for your reviews.
Once you have identified your goals, the next step is to understand what process you are going to put in place. Elements of your review process will include:
- How will you ask new customers for a review?
- How will you approach existing customers for a review?
- Will you request reviews through email and/or some other channel (in-person, social channels, etc.)?
- Will you send emails with a link created with ProductReview.com.au’s Write Review Link, or have the requests come from ProductReview.com.au using our Review Invitation Campaign?
- Will you need to offer any incentives for reviews?
- Who will respond to the reviews that you receive?
- What is the response time you expect in responding to reviews?
Step 3: Collect your first reviews in an unscalable way.
Wait until you have several customers and approach them with an unscalable approach. It might sound counter-intuitive, but personal emails, phone calls, and face-to-face requests are the way to go. Follow up and engage with these customers to increase your conversion rate and get your first 10–20 reviews.
Through these efforts, you will have a better rating and higher quality content in your reviews. Having these conversations also provides you detailed feedback on your product or service.
Step 4: Automate your review requests.
Your first reviews will be unscalable as you want to engage with your customers. Moving forward, you want to scale and automate how you ask for reviews and ensure it happens with every new customer.
Requests can come from links in post-purchase emails (using ProductReview.com.au’s Write Review Link). Or you can have ProductReview.com.au ask on your behalf through our Review Invitation Campaigns.
The most important goal in automating this process is for every customer to receive a review request. More requests help you get valuable feedback, as well as scale up the number of reviews you have.
Step 5: Make your review strategy consistent.
As you see new reviews on your listing, the next step is to make this all a habit. We know businesses that have success with reviews are the ones most consistent with their review process. From requesting reviews, responding to reviews, and reporting the results — it all needs to become a habit.
When it becomes a habit, reviews become part of your culture, and it is something everyone gets behind. This can include sending the results to employees every month, as well as reading positive and negative reviews at company meetings. By sharing this information, it helps employees to see how important reviews are.
Step 6: Expand your requests through social media and incentives.
We have seen companies have success with getting reviews, by asking for them via social media. It gets your message in front of customers that didn’t see the email request, as well as passionate fans that follow your business. While social media alone won’t drive the numbers, we’ve seen that when paired with email requests, it amplifies your results.
Special incentives or competitions tied with social media have also been effective. Some customers respond better to other channels or need more of a nudge to submit a review. Incentives also work for businesses with a smaller customer list, which makes it harder to build reviews.
Step 7: Improvements and next steps.
Once you are satisfied with your listing, you can look at how reviews can help generate sales. Reviews provide powerful 'social proof' of a product or service's utility, which can help close sales quicker and easier.
- Use ProductReview.com.au’s Ratings Badge and Review Widget to show potential customers the excellent ratings and reviews you have.
- Leverage your ratings in your awareness marketing to differentiate your offerings.
- Think about displaying Rich Snippets and Google Seller Ratings to perform better in search and drive more traffic.
- See how you can use selected reviews as testimonials.
- Explore using the content from your reviews in your social media efforts.
- By starting with a solid strategy, you can quickly begin using this compelling content in your sales and marketing efforts.