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How To Collect Customer Reviews Without It Always Feeling Like A Struggle!

Most businesses we work with tell us the best way to generate more business is through word of mouth.


And they’re absolutely right!


BUT


Simply hoping that customers will spontaneously sing your praises isn’t a winning strategy in today’s business world!


Amplify Word of Mouth


However... actively collecting positive written or recorded reviews from happy customers is a great way to amplify word of mouth and turn it into effective marketing and reputation management.


Simple fact is though, most businesses don't know how to ask for a review and when they do, they don't have a system to use that review effectively to generate more business.


ThIs is where we can learn from the ‘big boys’, as these days almost every product website has a reviewing system for you to check out before you buy, including Amazon and eBay and it's by no accident that Facebook have a reviewing system for their own business pages too.


How To Collect Customer Reviews Without It Always Feeling Like A Struggle


So before we look at anything else around reviews and how they can really help you grow your business we need to look at the simple 'how to' process of starting that ball rolling and how to ask for a review in a consistent way so you have a stream of feedback coming in on a regular basis.


Below are our 5 top tips to help you collect reviews without it always feeling like a struggle!


1. Timing - When’s the best time to ask for a review? 


If you are a tradesman for instance, it may be you could ask the customer while you are clearing away, this is especially great if you have come to the rescue, perhaps a broken washing machine or a leaking roof.


If you are going to use this method then you need to have printed cards which you can give to the customer there and then, to be filled in and taken away with you. 


If your transaction takes place with the customer at arms length, then you may need a follow-up email system or post paid card they receive in the post as a thank you, with a request to send the review back to you.


Whatever your business, spend some time thinking about the best time to ask your customer and how to get a review back from them in the easiest way.


2. Use All Available Avenues and make it easy for your customer.


Remember one size doesn't fit all when it comes to reviews. Give your customers as much choice as possible when it comes to your review system. 


Here are a few ways how to collect customer reviews without it always feeling like a struggle and make it easy for them (eg. If you’re a restaurant, or as in the example of the tradesman earlier, don't give your review cards out without also providing a pen!


  • Your website

  • Social Media

  • Email

  • Written cards at the time of the job

  • Post paid cards sent out after the job

  • Third party review sites

  • Video reviews using your telephone

3. Just Ask!


The old adage of  'if you don't ask you don't get' applies here and it really is as simple as that. 


Your response rate will vastly improve simply by asking your customer to take action on your behalf!


4. Follow Up 


You do have to be tenacious and follow up. 


We all lead busy lives, including our customers and while their intentions are good at the time you have solved their pain, once you have left your customer,  the review that was promised simply slips to the bottom of their ‘to-do’ pile. 


So follow up, use a little emotional blackmail if necessary, 'I am a member of XYZ organisation and need customer feedback to keep my membership active so please could you complete the review you promised a while back'.


5. Incentivise Your Customers


We all like a little reward as a prompt to take action and customer reviews are no exception.


Perhaps all reviews that month are entered into a prize draw etc. 

WORD OF CAUTION


You want to be seen to be ethically collecting reviews from your customers so be VERY cautious of offering direct incentives which solicit positive reviews.


A prize draw for anyone leaving a review, good or bad is fine but say a £10 voucher for each review received could be seen as bribery!


BONUS...


Be Consistent!


Get in the habit of asking for and collecting reviews.


When it becomes a habit, part of the selling process, then you truly have an automatic sales machine!!


So we hope that helps you on your journey to starting your review collecting process.


We would love to hear your thoughts, hints and tips below around review collecting and what's helped you in that collection process to share with others who may be struggling too.


But if you'd like more help and advice about how to collect customer reviews without it always feeling like a struggle, contact us and book a Business Boost Strategy Session.


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