Social proof was always one of the efficient tools businesses could use to put their brand on the map and lend themselves stronger credibility amongst the general population.  So, it was only natural that, in the age of digital mass media, these qualities would successfully build themselves into the online landscape. The most prominent example comes in the form of online reviews.

In recent surveys, 93% said that these short impressions had an influence on their purchase decision. So, it is in your best interest to get as many positive reviews as possible.

But how to do that? People are more likely to post reviews in a state of heightened emotions, or, in other words when they feel angry or dissatisfied. Scoring positive reviews requires some work put into it.

Well, let’s see if we can help you along the way.

Offer small incentives

Take for example the gaming industry. How often were you asked by the game you were just playing on your phone to rate the app and write a short reward in return for some small perk or a piece of in-game currency? There is no reason why you couldn’t use this practice to keep up a good reputation. As long as you keep the rewards proportional (you can offer exclusive content or small discounts) and target the customers who are actually satisfied with your services, you will have no problem scoring a bunch of 5 stars. Also, be honest and help people realize how their effort helps you keep pumping out quality work.

Think about the timing

Just like in the comedy, timing can make or break whatever you are trying to achieve. Being overly aggressive and asking for feedback from the get-go may turn off people who are still on the fence about your services. Who knows what else might be waiting for them down the road? Waiting too long, on the other hand, will wear off some of the positive emotions the users might have. Ideally, you should aim the window when the clients are feeling the most satisfied. That would be immediately after they have used your services or after they spent some time with your product. Two weeks sounds like a solid time frame.

Make the process as simple as possible

Each hurdle your users need to pass to post the review makes the probability they will actually get to the finish line less likely. Do your best then to keep things as simple and convenient as possible. One of the ways to get around this is to streamline your customer feedback with a Google Review Link and use this resource on landing pages, prompts, and social media touch points. Another way is to simply trim down the amount of information you need. If necessary, cut the written part out completely. In most cases, a simple name and a generous rating will make more than a compelling case for your brand.

Follow up on the existing feedback

People need to know their opinions are heard and that their reviews are not used simply to feed your online reach. So, take some time to review each rating you have gotten. Show appreciation for the positive scores and be quick to defuse the dissatisfaction that caused lower grades. This practice will not only prevent emergency situations from blowing out of proportion but also demonstrate you are a reasonable party willing to work on mutually satisfying solutions. As a result, you will prevent future negative reviews. Engaging in casual chatter on social media with your followers can only help both these causes.

Offer your users multiple options

Speaking on social media, it is good to remember that different people prefer different channels of communication. That is why it is always a good idea to give them some options when asking for feedback. Let’s say you work in the hospitality industry. Not all your guests feel motivated to post reviews on Trip Advisor or even know about that platform to begin with. However, they are familiar with the social networks of Google My Business. Well, try to get what you can, it’s much better than nothing. Of course, you don’t want to make your presence too scattered. A couple of alternatives are more than enough.

Develop a strategy

Last but not least, we would like to point out that all sensible business efforts are driven by some clear goal. Getting positive reviews is no different. Sure, you want to look better online? But, how many reviews do you need to get weekly, which demographics should you target, and what platforms are the most adequate for your client base? Finding answers to these questions will take some time and careful data-driven consideration. Also, broaden your objectives and try to use reviews to learn something. Using them back to back to back with surveys and other feedback forms will tell you volumes about your customers.

Well, these were the top six effective ways to encourage a higher number of positive reviews and actually put them to some good use. People always trust the opinions of their peers and online reviews are probably the most effective platform where they can chatter on a global level. Failing to leverage this massive resource will certainly set your brand behind competitors. And, in today’s business climate, this is something you should, most certainly avoid.

Posted by Raul Harman

Editor in chief at Technivorz and business consultant. I like sharing everything that deals with #productivity #startups #business #tech #seo and #marketing