The original version of this article appeared on the blog of our agency network, Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). With 50 hand-selected agencies around the globe serving key markets, PRGN agencies offer the “boots-on-the-ground” savvy of a local PR firm, but with global resources.
By Brianne Murphy Miller, LCI Senior Counselor
Hundred of sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Glassdoor, Amazon invite customer reviews on products, businesses and services. Less than stellar reviews can have a substantial financial impact on your business. According to Web Republic, products with positive reviews sell 200% more than those with no reviews. So how do you influence your customers to provide feedback when we’re more inclined to complain than praise?
1. Provide a great product or service. Rule #1 is to be good at what you do – give customers great service and value and they’ll happily reward you for it.
2. Ask for those reviews! How many times have you had a great experience in a hotel and then simply…never mentioned that to anyone. It’s in the business’ best interests to engage customers and encourage brand support. Case in point – I recently had a lovely stay at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Would I have run home and written a review if I didn’t get a personalized email from the hotel customer service staff reminding me? Probably not. If you’re confident in your service, ask happy customers to tell others about it.
3. Good manners go a long way. It’s true that our mothers knew a thing or two about persuasion…if you ask customers nicely to write a review and then thank them (publicly – in the case of a site like Trip Advisor or Yelp where businesses can comment on reviews) – that’s memorable, and supports your brand attributes.
4. Pick your highlights. Every business has those two or three important sales points. Consumer packaged goods? Amazon rules. Local restaurant? Yelp and Trip Advisor. Home improvements? Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. Engage with those customers and keep the conversation going.
5. Take everything with a grain of salt. Not every review is going to be good because we’re human – and can’t be perfect. But acknowledge the poor review and do what is in your power to set it right. Thank customers for sharing their opinions – good and bad – and encourage them to give you another try.
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