Company and product reviews are important tools for attracting new prospects in the competitive online marketplace. Recent research has shown that consumers and business buyers rely heavily on the input of peers when making purchase decisions.
You may think that generating company and product reviews is out of your control. However, the following is an overview of things you can do to increase the quantity and quality of reviews to improve their value within your lead-generation system.
Follow Up After Product Purchases
Following up with customers after purchases helps you address concerns before they become public and allows you to solicit positive reviews proactively. Within a few days of purchase, your business should communicate with new customers in person, via phone or by email.
During this follow-up, ask sincere questions about the customer’s experience with the intent to learn. By fleshing out problems early, you not only safeguard against impulsive negative reviews, but you also create an opportunity to turn a moment of misery into a moment of magic. In many cases, negative reviews stem from the frustration associated with not believing the company cares about you as a customer.
Make Review Requests
When you find out that a customer is satisfied, or after you have successfully resolved a customer’s problem to satisfaction, ask for reviews. The timing of a review request depends on how long it takes for a customer to fully implement your solution and experience optimum joy from it.
You can make the review request in any format, but it is often helpful for a customer to complete the review in the most efficient way possible. A targeted email with links to desired review platforms simplifies the process. If you want to drive up your reviews on Google™, for instance, direct customers there. Proactively guide happy customers to top review platforms to mitigate the influence of negative reviews and increase overall ratings.
Address Negative Reviews or Concerns
The only thing worse than a negative review is a negative review without an appropriate business response. If prospects see a harsh review of your company or product without a reply, they often assume: 1) You don’t care that much about a quality customer experience, and 2) The statements made by the reviewer are true and accurate.
Don’t get into a debate with a customer about a negative review or act overly defensive. That looks bad, too. Instead, concisely indicate that customer satisfaction is a top priority and invite the reviewer to contact you for resolution. In some cases, customers may have expectations beyond the realm of possibility. However, your response at least shows prospects that you do care about customer satisfaction and that you attempted to help.