How To Ask & Collect Online Reviews In 2021
Jan 16, 2021
How To Ask & Collect Online Reviews In 2021
Wow, 2020 was an interesting ride! As we move into 2021, it’s true that we have some industries continuing to thrive in this changing landscape and some industries searching for more ways to pivot and survive. Whatever boat you’re currently floating on, there’s one thing we can all agree on, you need more online reviews! Did you know that the average sale increases by as much as two times when a company’s review profile goes from zero reviews to one review? Furthermore, studies have shown that over 90% of consumers look for reviews before making a purchase.
What does this translate to? In 2021 collecting online reviews for your business should be a top priority! Not only does it increase customer conversion, but it gives you great insight into your business and any areas for improvement.
Many business owners think they can go about review collection on their own. Here’s the thing though, reviews don’t just happen. Reviews are actually difficult to come by as your customers must take time out of their busy schedules to provide meaningful feedback that they typically do not receive anything in exchange for. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through some key concepts & ideas to help you collect more online business reviews in 2021.
It Starts By Asking
It’s estimated that about 70% of people are willing to provide a review for your business if asked to do so. The key is asking. With that being said, there is a right and wrong way to ask. You do not want to come off as sounding desperate and timing can be everything.
Give Your Customers A Reason
As you start to craft your review pitch, give your customers a reason to review you. Make sure they understand how their review will help your business improve its online reputation as well as work as internal feedback for yourself. Something along the lines of:
We would love your feedback to help us grow! Can you please take the time to review our company and share your experience? Your review will help us attract new customers while also providing valuable feedback so we can continue to improve internally.
Believe it or not but many customers may not understand the purpose or benefit that writing a review of your business provides. Explaining this to them gives them extra incentive to complete the process.
Furthermore, you can leverage a service like Arrivala to provide charitable donations in exchange for reviews. This extra incentive can help drive customers to not only review your business but share that review on more platforms like Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc..
When Do You Ask?
As we mentioned above, timing can be everything. Generally speaking, here’s what we recommend:
Physical Products – If you sell a physical product that must be shipped to the customer then our recommendation on review timing is 7-10 days after shipment. This allows a few days for the product to arrive in the customer’s hands and then a few days for use.
Services – If you sell a service then the timeline should be much quicker. If you can get a review on the spot (as soon as the service is completed) then that is ideal. Review collection services like Arrivala can help you send text messages or emails to the customer while you are still on-site with them. This allows the customer to go through the review posting process while the service experience is still fresh on their mind. If you’re not able to ask for a review on-site, then it should be done as quickly as possible either same day or within the first three days. After three days, the chance of a review being completed significantly diminishes for services.
What Medium Do You Use?
This is a question we often receive from our customers. Should I ask for a review via text, email or some other method? It depends. We recommend asking for the review using the same medium you typically communicate with the customer using. Meaning, if email is how you normally communicate, use email. If you typically speak with them on the phone or via text, then use texting. Services like Arrivala allow you to automatically send out review requests via email or text and even utilize MMS messages with images for better conversion rates.
If you’re able to meet with the customer in-person, you can also use a Google handout generator to create a one-page printable PDF to hand-deliver to the customer.
Follow-Up To Your Request
Even if you do everything right with your review requests, you still may not get an immediate response. Your customers are busy, they forget, you catch them at a bad time, etc.. It can often take 2-3 follow-ups before they review you. Following-up is essential to review collection. What’s the best way to handle follow-ups? If you’re planning to do review collection manually, then a Google Spreadsheet is typically the best method. Keep a spreadsheet of all your customers and add dates of all your review communications in columns. Then go through your spreadsheet daily if possible and reach out to customers who have not yet posted a review. Once you see they have posted a review, remove them from your spreadsheet.
If that sounds like a lot of manual work, it is. There is a better way. Online review collection platforms like Arrivala automate this for you. Our software tracks the review requests you’ve sent out, you can automatically schedule follow-ups and we stop sending out the follow-ups when a review has been received. To prevent your customers from being spammed, we have a way for them to unsubscribe from the requests at any time.
Respond To Your Reviews
Once you get a review from a customer, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. This response does two things:
- It improves your ranking with Google in map results. By showing that you are active on your review profiles, they will be shown higher in search results which will drive traffic and more customers to your business.
- It shows customers looking at your reviews that you care about your business. When you care about your business, you treat your customers well. This helps built trust with future potential customers.
Get To Work
We hope this guide will steer you in the right direction as you conquer 2021 with the New Year’s resolution of more reviews for your business. Review collection can seem like a daunting task but thanks to technology there are tools to help you automate it for the fraction of the cost it would take you to do it yourself or hire somebody. We would love for you to take a look at our Arrivala review collection plans and see if any of them might work for you. If you have any questions, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.