As anyone in marketing will tell you, consumers have a very sensitive BS-meter these days. Young people, especially, have been inundated with so much advertising and pandering their entire lives, they recognize insincerity in a heartbeat. But online reviews are the word-of-mouth of today, and crucial to business survival. To help you accumulate the reviews you need, but avoid the bull that drives consumers away, here’s your guide to five common mistakes when requesting online reviews.
Number 1: Not Asking
So many businesses are neglecting the immediate request for feedback. Asking for a review, just once and right away, needs to become an automatic process. Allocate some time toward your online reputation.
Number 2: Asking All At Once
If you haven’t been asking for reviews, you can’t bombard all of your customers at once with requests. Review sites should have a steady stream of new reviews coming in, and they’ll do that by you asking customers each time for a review.
Number 3: Asking Only for Good Ones
It’s tempting to ask only for good reviews, or to only ask customers whom you know have had a good experience. Review sites thrive with honesty. Don’t be afraid of a negative review. If you get one, you can respond to it. If you continually follow best practices, your reviews will be great overall, but most importantly will be genuine. Customers can tell.
Number 4: Using Canned Reviews
Similarly to only asking for good reviews, giving a customer a “fill in the blank” review, that is basically written for them, won’t work. Potential customers will see through the repetitive verbiage and not believe it.
Number 5: Not Responding to Reviews
We live in an interactive digital age. Facebook business pages are rated on how quickly they reply to messages. Celebrities direct tweet their followers. Customers expect to be able to ask questions, even though a review site, or post a negative comment, and get immediate feedback. Don’t be reactive, but show that you are proactive. If you are on top of reviews as they come in, you will build consumer trust.
Here’s a bonus, in addition to the advice given above, and avoiding the mistakes described: tell the truth online, and you’ll get the truth in reviews. You are most likely to get good, honest reviews when you have given a thorough description of your goods or services. Consumer expectations often have more to do with a review than anything else.
If you follow these tips, you can win at online reviews.