Online ReviewsYou’ve noticed that your competitors have reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+. Other than recruiting staff and friends to write reviews for you, you wonder how you can get customers if you don’t have a lot of online reviews for your business.

If your sales are focused on getting traffic from online marketing, it’s much tough to compete if you don’t have any reviews. A recent survey revealed that most Americans deny that social media marketing influences their purchasing decision. But a majority of shoppers admit that they trust online reviews and have been influenced by them when making a purchase.

Here are 5 tips for getting customer reviews in order to increase the effectiveness of your online reputation management initiatives:

1. Just Ask:

When you eat at a restaurant, the server often asks you whether or not you liked the food. It’s common practice for them to also ask you to rate their services online. They will even put a reminder on your receipt. The incentive: a chance to win a free appetizer or free meal. It’s the same principle for other businesses. If the customer is using your product it’s only customary for you to ask them about what they think and for a review. Keep in mind that you will have to answer the question – what is it in for me [the consumer]?

2. Do it promptly:

Don’t wait. People are most likely to give you feedback right after the transaction. The longer you wait from the time of service to the time of request, the likelihood of getting reviews drops sharply.

3. Follow-up:

If you have the customer’s email address, follow up your initial request three days later with a reminder email containing links of where to go to review. Reminder emails can account for a huge percentage of review conversions.

4. Video Testimonials:

While a positive review is great for your business, the real value lies in the reviewer. Think about how you can further leverage the relationship you have with the client. For example, you can produce video testimonials from your top customers to post on your website. Nothing tells a story better than well-produced, sincere video clips from a real customer.

5. Make it a part of the process:

To make sure you don’t miss any opportunity of receiving an online reviews you should embed review collection in to your customer service process. Be prepared and create a couple of short email templates with links to places where your clients can make the review.

About iRISEmedia:

iRISEmedia.com is an online reputation management, social media marketing, and search engine marketing (SEM) firm in Toronto, Canada. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.