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Strategies to Collect Online Testimonials and Reviews for Your Business

February 26th 2024

Strategies to Collect Online Testimonials and Reviews for Your Business

SilverServers often receives a question from small businesses on our Grassroots SEO Program: “How do I get more testimonials or Google Reviews?”. That’s an important question! Positive testimonials and reviews provide more than actionable feedback about your business; in today’s online world, they can also increase your review score on various visible websites, demonstrate trustworthiness, show experience, affect your reputation, and more. They build your credibility and help attract new customers. In this article, we’ll share tried and tested strategies for collecting testimonials and reviews.

We know that many small businesses have a hard time getting any reviews at all. With that in mind, this article is for businesses that need reviews. In future articles, we’ll consider topics like managing negative reviews, deciding which review platforms to focus on, and more. For now, here is a list of ideas for getting reviews and testimonials.

Request Reviews Post-Purchase

Follow-ups or requests after a purchase or after completing a service can effectively encourage customers to leave reviews. How you do this is up to you and may depend on your circumstances. For example, if you provide a receipt after selling a product, you might add a prominent note on the receipt (with a link, if it’s an emailed receipt). Or, if you offer a service, have your email system send an automated follow-up email with a testimonial request several days after completing a service.

Leverage Review Platforms

Platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, are significant places to receive testimonials and reviews. When you request a review, encouraging your customers and clients to use these platforms may have many benefits, including increased visibility and higher rankings in local search results.

Utilize Social Media

On platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter),or Instagram, engage with your audience by creating interactive posts, asking questions about client experiences, or hosting live Q&A sessions. Respond promptly to customer comments, posts, and other interactions, thanking them for their business and gently nudging them towards leaving a review.

Offer Incentives for Reviews

If you’re interested in getting reviews as unbiased feedback or to post directly to your website, and if you are willing to research, understand, and comply with guidelines, regulations, and laws for incentivizing reviews, then there are many incentives you might offer after a client leaves a review. Here are a few:

  • Provide a discount or coupon for their next visit, or for another service
  • Enter the reviewer into a contest or sweepstakes
  • Provide loyalty points
  • Give exclusive access or benefits
  • Give public recognition on your social media or newsletter
  • Provide a free, small service or product
  • Donate to a charity of the reviewer’s choice
  • Provide access to special webinars or additional informative content
  • Extend support or warranties

Integrate Reviews on Your Website

Although putting reviews on your website builds trust and credibility less effectively than external platforms, there are still many benefits. Reviews on your website may benefit your SEO value, because reviewers may talk about your services with more user-friendly terminology than you would. Their terminology may better match the types of questions asked in Google searches, giving you an increased chance of showing up as a result. Additionally, having a dedicated page on your website for reviews may encourage reviews from customers who want to stay anonymous to a degree in their reviews.

Use Customer Surveys for Feedback

Customer surveys may not directly increase your online review scores, but they are a fantastic tool for getting feedback about your services and increasing your company’s goodwill. Additionally, this is an ideal time to include an option (or suggestion) to leave an online review once the survey is complete.

Engage with Existing Reviews

As you respond positively to any existing reviews (positive or negative),you show that you’re willing to accept and interact positively with feedback. This builds a positive reputation around your business and encourages more honest reviews.

Collaborate with Influencers

This is a powerful way to extend your brand’s reach and credibility. Collaborating with an influencer may increase conversations and comments about your company online, providing you with more opportunities to interact positively, find past customers, and encourage them to leave reviews. You might work with influencers in some of these ways:

  • Sponsored content: Pay an influencer to create content featuring your product
  • Product review: Send your product to an influencer for a review
  • Brand ambassadorships: Develop a long-term relationship with an influencer who can be a brand ambassador in exchange for compensation or perks.
  • Giveaways/Contests: Collaborate on a giveaway or contest with an influencer
  • Affiliate marketing: Give influencers an affiliate code or link to share with their followers. They earn a commission for each sale that uses that code.
  • Cross-promotion: Develop campaigns where you promote each other

Include Review Links in Email Signatures

One of the simplest ways to ask for reviews is to add a link to your email signature that connects directly to the review platform of your choice. For example, if you wanted to leave a Google review for the helpful content written by SilverServers, you could click here link to go directly to our Google My Business page. A link like that one - but for your Google Reviews area - can easily be pasted into your email signature.

In-Store Review Reminders

At your physical location, you might strategically place reminders for leaving Google reviews or sending testimonials. These might include checkout counter signs, receipt messages, digital displays, staff interactions, business-card-sized notes to stuff in bags, and more.

Utilize QR Codes

A special in-store strategy worth noting separately is QR codes. QR codes in most of the places mentioned above make it very quick and easy for customers to access the review platform of your choice.

Personalized Review Requests

For high value customers, you might consider personalized ways to request reviews. Perhaps in a thank you note.

In wrapping up, harnessing the power of online testimonials and reviews is not just a tactic but a strategic necessity for businesses in the digital age. By implementing the strategies we've discussed, you can significantly enhance your business's online presence, credibility, and customer trust. Remember, the journey towards gathering impactful testimonials and reviews is ongoing and requires consistency, creativity, and genuine engagement with your customers. We encourage you to start small, apply these techniques, and gradually integrate more as you see fit for your business's growth and customer engagement strategies.

As you continue your journey to getting reviews, or begin anew with a new strategy, keep in mind that every review, whether glowing or constructive, is an opportunity to showcase your business's commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. Embrace feedback with an open heart, learn from it, and let it guide your path to improvement and success. Stay tuned for our future articles, where we will dive deeper into managing different aspects of online reviews, including handling negative feedback, maximizing the benefits of positive reviews, and strategically choosing platforms that align with your business objectives.

Your efforts in collecting and leveraging online testimonials and reviews are invaluable investments in your brand's reputation and success. If you want to creatively integrate a review-generating strategy into your website or online sales process, we may be able to help! Give us a call to discuss how we might work together to encourage your customers to provide valuable feedback.

For related business and marketing tips, visit the Digital Marketing Strategy section of our blog.

Watch for more as we continue discussing testimonials and reviews here at SilverServers!

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