Archive | September 2012

12 ways to attract customer reviews (even if you don’t want to ask for them directly)

At WOMO, we see a very strong correlation between the number of reviews a business has and the traffic and enquiries they receive and research studies have proven the link beween positive reviews and revenues. But how do you go about getting great reviews. In the United States, reviewing a business after using them has become second nature for most consumers, but in Australia, many consumers still need a bit of encouragement.

How to Get More Reviews

Based on the businesses that attract the most reviews, we’ve provided here our top tips to get more customer reviews…

  1. Smile and Talk to Customers!

    A novel idea, but if you build rapport upfront, you’ll find it MUCH easier to ask for a review after you’ve provided the service. PLUS, they’re much more likely to love your service if they like you!

  2. Ask Customers if they’ve seen your other Reviews

    Even if you know they didn’t see your reviews, ask if they did – that way they’ll know how important reviews are to your business. Plus, you want to know how they found your business anyway.

  3. Show them Feedback is Important

    Display evidence of your reviews in your shop, on a sign, on your website, at your point-of-sale, in your email signature. Make it clear to everyone that customer feedback and word-of-mouth is the currency your business lives on. (If you would like the code for the WOMO widget to put on your website, please contact us – check out this business to see how they’ve implemented it.)

  4. Ask for a Review

    Don’t be shy or embarrassed – asking your customers for feedback will actually increase their satisfaction! Just ask whether they were happy with their experience today, and then ask whether they’d mind reviewing your business on WOMO. Tell them it only takes a moment and word-of-mouth really helps your business.

  5. Hand them a Flyer

    If you’re in WOMO’s Happy Customers Program, you’ll already have your customised flyers to hand out to clients (let us know if you need more). These give people simple instructions to review your business and also provide a visual reminder to actually do it. (You can also mail these out or include them in orders but you’ll get a higher response rate if you speak to customers about it.)

  6. Email a Request for a Review

    If you don’t physically come into contact with your clients, you can email them a request for a review. Remember to include the link to your WOMO listing and contact us if you’d like an email template to use for this. You can also email people a reminder a few days after you’ve given them a flyer.

  7. Use laptops / iPads in your store

    While customers are being served or waiting, it’s the perfect time to ask them for a review and then hand them the iPad with your WOMO page open. This works beautifully for some businesses and one hairdresser has recently climbed to almost 100 reviews using this method.

  8. Have a “Review Us” button on your website

    WOMO can provide you with a simple line of code to include on your website which creates a button and allows the customer to review your business without leaving your website. Please email us and ask for the code for your business.

  9. Input Existing Feedback

    If customers have emailed or mailed you letters of praise, you can actually log into your WOMO account and enter this as a review on behalf of your customer. You’ll need the customer’s email address and this is published only when the customer approves it.

  10. Add a Review Incentive

    To quickly boost up the number of reviews for your business, an extra incentive can work wonders. Of course you can’t make any requirement on the type of review customers leave, but you can say something like “everyone that enters a review goes in the draw to win…” or “enter a review this month and you’ll get $xx off your next booking”.

  11. Get Staff Onboard & Make it Fun

    Make sure all of your staff know how important reviews are to your business. Celebrate each positive review internally or even hold a competition to see who can get the most positive mentions in reviews.

  12. Respond to Customer Reviews

    Let people know that you’re listening and appreciate their feedback. A public response shows everyone that you care about customers and their experience. Check out our tips for responding to positive reviews and responding to negative reviews.

Most businesses find that the more reviews they have, the easier it is to attract more reviews. It’s a snowball effect because you’ll attract customers that are influenced by reviews, and these people tend to review the businesses they use. As an initial goal, we encourage businesses to aim for 10 reviews. Once you reach this, you’ll almost certainly be getting enquiries and new customers and you won’t want to stop.

Good luck!

Do online reviews actually increase revenue?

Regular readers here will have seen many case studies showing a wide range of businesses using customer reviews to help them get found online, get trusted and generate more revenue.  But now studies from two prestigious universities have gone to the trouble to prove the connection between reviews and business success.

Reviews generate revenue - proven

The first study is from Harvard Business School and looks at the positive correlation between online ratings and revenues (based on a large sample of restaurants in Seattle, US).

This study found that;

“A one-star increase in ratings leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.”

They also found that this effect is much more pronounced for small, independent businesses (rather than large chains). This makes sense as if you think of an extreme example like McDonalds, everyone knows what to expect from any McDonalds store and so online reviews are less important. In contrast, the independent burger place down the road has less of a brand reputation so their online reviews make a huge difference.

The second study is from UC Berkeley and looks at the effects of restaurant ratings on restaurant bookings in San Francisco. This study found that;

“An extra half-star rating causes restaurants to be fully booked 19-27% more often.”

The variation largely depended on how much other information was available about the restaurant – for businesses where not much other information existed online, the extra half-star rating caused them to sell out 27% more frequently (than similar restaurants with a half star lower rating).

Wow! That’s really significant! If there’s ever been any doubt about the relationship between word of mouth online reviews and consumer purchasing decisions, these two studies show that there is a definitive causality.

Yes, great customer service increases patronage, but great customer service together with great online reviews, brings even more patronage and revenues.