Reviews are important, and whilst this blog needs a bit more information than just these opening words, the basics are that good reviews lead to more business, better business and long term business, as with so many competitors in most industries and services, choosing the right partner to work with really has never been harder, but finding them never easier.

Choice is great and the business world is built on competition, as not only does competition give you more choice, but it helps to keep prices down, as when one business has a semi monopoly in an industry, they set the price level and therefore customers have little or no choice to shop around. However, with lots of choice comes the much harder aspect of deciding about who to work with, and whilst you might be driven by price, location or recommendation, without confirmed feedback from existing customers then you really could be choosing the wrong option.

And this is where reviews come into play, as 74% of people say that positive reviews allow them to trust the company more, which means nearly 3 / 4 of consumers will take positive reviews into account when it comes to choosing a product, a service or a company, which is a massive amount of trust that is placed in reviews. In the same consumer survey, 60% of people said that reading negative reviews would impact their decision when it comes to whether to use the company or not, which means that not only are good reviews important, but avoiding bad reviews is equally crucial.

Online reviews really are so important. According to one report, 88% of people or consumers trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation, which is of course a huge figure, and whilst more people now read between the lines when it comes to multiple reviews of a business, it just goes to show that potential customers really do place a massive amount of verification in reviews, using them as part of their overall decision making process about whether to part with their money or head elsewhere.

The proof is there that reviews are important, but many businesses seem to struggle when it comes to getting them, with many clients I see simply saying that they have not really felt it is important when it comes to getting them, or they just do not know how to ask, and whilst it can be worrying asking for a review, if you have confidence in what you do, this really should not be a barrier.

Here are some ways to get these reviews flooding in:

Make It Easy

“Would you mind leaving me a review?” but then never telling them how is a bit like giving your car keys to your partner but not putting fuel in the car – you are making life very hard for that other person. Send them the links to leave a review on Facebook, Google + or something like Feefo or another independent review site, but do not just leave them wandering around the Internet trying to find your profiles, as to put it simply, they won’t. Even sending them a little PDF document about how and where to leave your business a review really can make a big difference as to whether they take the time to do it, or not.

Incentivise Your Customers

I am not saying buy reviews, as that’s wrong, but I am saying give the customer something for leaving you a review. It could be a free gift, it could be 10% of their next order or even a weeks’ worth of free work with you, whatever it is, if the customer feels they are getting something for their time, then this can really make them feel your review is actually a priority, rather than a chore that will simply never get complete.

Use Social Media

Social media attracts the very best in people and of course the very worst, but from a customer feedback point of view then there are very few other avenues that are instant and so very visible. 80% of UK internet users have a Facebook account, and most of these same people use their account every day, so it really is easy and simple for them to leave you a review and equally simple for you to click the share button and broadcast the review to the world.

Point Of Sale Reviews

If you are in an industry where you can go into a home or business address and do the job there and then, why not have some review cards that the customer can leave you the review before you leave? Or, get them to log on to Facebook and leave you a review whilst you are with them, as in most cases, if the job is excellent and you have built a good relationship with the client whilst at their premises, they are not going to turn around and say no. And even if they do, still follow up with them via email a few days later just to ask again!

Do A Good Job

The final point is important, for obvious reasons, as if you do a good job, deliver the right service or offer an amazing product, then generally, your customers will only be too happy to tell the world. Some of the biggest sales come from personal recommendations, as people are more inclined these days to spread the word about what they love, so if you deliver the right level of service, these reviews should be much easier to get.

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