When looking to make a purchase, consumers trust the negative feedback, and positive feedback, of their friends and family more than any online marketing or advertising. Plus, according to a BrightLocal survey, 85% of consumers trust online reviews, both negative and positive feedback, as much as they trust personal recommendations.
Feedback, or review management, is an important part of business. If this feedback loop is managed properly, it can increase your body of positive reviews, customer engagement, and bottom line.
How to Ask for a Review
Some companies may not be familiar with the process of a feedback loop. The overall concept is simple enough, but how do you ask for a customer’s review without it seeming awkward? What if you receive negative feedback?
Choosing When to Ask for a Review
The feedback loop needs to be relevant based on the purchase or service. You could request a customer who’s made a purchase at your store to review their visit to the location. However, this feedback mechanism doesn’t make sense if you send the review request a couple of minutes after your customer’s online purchase, as the product wouldn’t have arrived. Nor would this request for a review make sense if you wait a couple of hours after using a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber; that feedback mechanism should be utilized once the ride is complete.
The More the Merrier
Just 50 reviews per product can mean a big increase in conversion rates. The more your company can ask for feedback, the more likely you’ll be able to establish a feedback system. You can have cashiers ask for reviews, which could provide a positive feedback mechanism. Or you could include requests in email marketing, ask for feedback on the bottom of receipts, and add review links on thank-you pages. Don’t count on the feedback being front and center on the customer’s mind; kindly ask if they’ll provide it.
Start with a Short Survey
Instead of directly asking your customers for a product review, start with a short survey of just a couple of questions to see if they may provide some positive feedback for the product. This is a good way to find out if they’re unhappy before leaving a negative review, which would result in a negative feedback loop. At the end of the survey, ask if they’d like to write a review.
Make Things as Easy as Possible for the Customer
Remember, the customer’s review, which could give you both negative and positive feedback, is doing this as a favor for you. The last thing you want is for them to get frustrated with too many Provide your customers with different platform choices where they can leave their review, be it Google, Yelp, etc. Make sure to include links exactly where to go.
Also, let them know the normal range of time it’ll take them to review the product and give them a prompt, so they’ll write the type of review you want them to (e.g., “Will you please take two minutes and describe the quality of the handmade gift you purchased.”)
How to Grow Positive Online Reviews
The hard part is asking for reviews. After you receive those initial ones, it’s time to grow your positive feedback loop.
Make sure that people can leave their feedback where they’re most comfortable. Yelp and Facebook are considered the most trustworthy when it comes to user reviews, so it’s important to be registered and up to date on those platforms to support your positive feedback loop. Google My Business is another important platform. The more places you can allow your customers to access you, the better, including your website. Leave links on your website to all of the review sites to make utilizing this positive feedback mechanism easier.
Think about creating different incentives for customers to leave positive feedback, or negative feedback, for you. Everybody’s time is valuable, and you can acknowledge that by providing your customer with a free coffee, a discount code, or a coupon for their time in contributing to your positive feedback loop, or your negative feedback loop.
Depending on the circumstance of the transaction, give your customers positive feedback first. For example, if you’re a driver for a rideshare company, give your customer feedback before asking for a review back. You can also recommend them on Linked In if they’re in more of a business role.
Sharing the positive feedback you’ve received will help keep the momentum going and contribute to your positive feedback system. You want to avoid using a negative feedback mechanism or contributing to a negative feedback loop. Highlight the positive reviews on your social media platforms or website as a positive feedback mechanism. Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and other sites can mark certain reviews as helpful. This social proof is a powerful marketing tactic and can create an effective feedback loop.
Managing Positive and Negative Reviews
It’s important to manage both your positive feedback system and your negative feedback system. Once someone leaves a review, including employee feedback, don’t ignore it or become defensive. Take action on every single one.
By engaging with your customers, others who come across the reviews know they’re legitimate, which makes your feedback system more trustworthy. It makes the reviewer feel seen, which is a positive feedback mechanism that can make them want to become a repeat customer.
If someone has negative feedback, it gives you the opportunity to find out why. It allows you to utilize a negative feedback mechanism to help improve your service. What made their experience a bad one? Maybe they received the wrong product or encountered bad customer service. By reaching out to them and utilizing a negative feedback system, your customer has that “real life person” to talk to. It could end up turning their experience around so that it ends up a positive one and contributes to a positive feedback loop.