How to collect five-star customer reviews for your company

By Wendy Bulawa Agudelo

3 ways to increase your positive feedback

Get the five star reviews that will boost your company.

This past weekend, my husband and I purchased a new car after spending most of the summer visiting various dealerships and test-driving more than a dozen cars. After finalizing the paperwork, our salesman asked us to write a review on Yelp about our experience. Giddy from that new-car smell, my first inclination was, “Sure! I’ll write one.” He then added a request for a five-star review. Were we happy about our car-buying experience? Absolutely. Was this sales team and dealership top-notch? Certainly. Did I appreciate the aggressive solicitation of a five-star review on Yelp? Most definitely not.

Most companies recognize the connection between customer reviews and SEO rankings, which has resulted in many requesting reviews rather than allowing them to populate organically. So how can your company earn customer feedback that savvy review platforms (and complex algorithms) will perceive as genuine rather than solicited?

  1. Connect during each step of the sales cycle.

Each step of the sales cycle provides an opportunity for your company to connect with clientele and subtly request feedback. Using the car dealership as an example, salespeople could ask customers to rate the dealer website. Does it contain current inventory and updated pricing? They can also ask customers if salespeople were knowledgeable and helpful. Customer feedback at every step is valuable. Don’t wait until a deal is made to request a review. Encourage feedback in every step of the relationship-building process, even if it doesn’t net a sales result.

  1. Incentivize your clientele.

Another way to earn client feedback without asking is to offer more than what a customer expects. Customers who feel appreciated are more willing to go above and beyond. If you desire an increase in reviews (or hashtags, or shares), deliver service that warrants reviews, and then further tease out feedback by offering a free weekend stay, gift card or even cash.

  1. Place links across all digital and print communication.

Another way to earn client feedback without asking is to offer more than what a customer expects. Customers who feel appreciated are more willing to go above and beyond. If you desire an increase in reviews (or hashtags, or shares), deliver service that warrants reviews, and then further tease out feedback by offering a free weekend stay, gift card or even cash.

Customer reviews have continued to grow in relevance in the way of SEO as well as in public relations, brand building, image perception and sales. Companies understand that the playing field has evolved and that negative reviews are no longer an exclusive concern. While many businesses actively solicit reviews, review sites have designed more complex algorithms to ensure validity. If your business is active across any consumer review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Amazon, etc.), I encourage you to try ReviewMaxer, effective and efficient customer review management software. This software not only monitors and tracks your reviews across all major review websites, it also proactively reaches out to collect reviews before they go online, putting your company in control of which reviews to share on the sites that matter most to your business.

New Call-to-action

Wendy-color.jpgWendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: Public Relations, Featured, Online Review Management

Liked this blog post? Share it with others!