Customer reviews seem to be the latest Marketing Mantra for the digital era. Getting customers to write reviews for your brand is not a simple task. While there’s a huge potential for these reviews, there’s also the inevitable risk of getting negative reviews, which make many of the companies take a back seat when it comes to customer reviews. But more than the negatives, when you encourage customers to write reviews, you are actually making them market your products which are much more acceptable to the general public. Customers are very smart these days and know that advertisements are just a way to attract people’s attention and they are more aware of the techniques used in them to make a brand look more attractive. That is one reason many people look online for opinions and reviews posted on anything and everything. In fact, the review sites flourish because of this tendency of people who are highly influenced by the online reviews which are quite genuine and make more sense to the customers. It is not only about gaining customer confidence, it is also about page ranking and increasing the page traffic.
How to ask customers for online reviews?
Online customer reviews are not so easy to get. Many companies engage online review sites authorized by Google to get genuine reviews that add value to their brand and also help marketing. Let us find out what strategies can get you genuine online reviews.
Give the best Customer Service / Helpdesk
This is one great way to get you good reviews. More than often, bad customer services can be a big turnoff and your existing customers may turn against you because of this one reason. Having a great customer service or helpdesk will make your customer feel good about your products and they may feel good enough to recommend you.
Ask for a feedback
Unless you ask for it, you will never get good customer feedback. You can ask this immediately after the purchase, or time it at a later date to give them some time to use the product and then provide the feedback. Make sure you follow it up and request for a feedback. This will let the customer know that you care for the feedback.
Loyalty Programs or Rewards
These really work! Many customers would prefer to continue with a brand that recognizes their loyalty and reward them. It could be through discount coupons or special offers on select items or even some exclusive service like free delivery or quicker delivery.
Referrals are a great way to encourage your customers to advocate for your brand. Many of the online services are offering the same now with special privileges or discounts for referrals. The best part about the referrals is that the existing customer as well as the new customer gain from them.
Market your customers to sell your brand
This actually works better than marketing your brand. When you start a campaign to appreciate your customers with a hint that they are your customers, they will feel encouraged to advocate your brand and also more prospective customers see the positive part of being your customers. Show others how your customer was able to solve a common issue with your brand and be genuine about it.
Admit it, when you go wrong
This is a great way to turn negative reviews into a positive outcome. Nobody’s perfect and hence, admit to your customer that you went wrong, if you did, apologize and offer to compensate. More than often, the admission itself is good enough to win them over. If not, check for the genuineness of the issue and get back to your customer without wasting time to make up for the inconvenience caused. Follow up to make sure that the customer is happy with your response.
Surprise your customers
Special Offers and upgraded services out of the blue or on special occasions can be a great way to keep your customers happy. A happy customer will definitely advocate your products and services.
Offering free brand merchandise is a great way to market your brand. T-Shirts, Balloons, Pens, Caps, Photo frames and Key chains, Notebooks, Diary etc with your branding can be commonly used as freebies to your loyal customers. Just make sure that they are of good quality, or else, it may backfire. This makes your existing customers happy and prospective customers aware of your brand and its popularity.
Engage with them often
Newsletters, emails, messages and even greeting cards to remind your customer that you are grateful to them for being their loyal customers will also be helpful in keeping your customers happy. You can note the special occasions of your customers and send greeting cards or emails to them wishing them on the day. If you feel sending snail mail is not trending now, it will be remembered more than the hundreds of emails one gets every day. A handwritten note would work even better as it will add a personal touch to the communication. Your customer will know that you took the effort to send them the note and it was not done by a machine.
Remember, always ask your customer for feedback and check with them whether you can use them for marketing. Be genuine about the products and services offered and be quick to respond to the reviews, good and bad.
About the Author
Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with major marketing. He is passionate about blogging