Customers consider many different things before making a purchase these days. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips, it’s easier than ever for clients to research everything from the reputation of a brand to the features of a new product. Perhaps the most common type of consumer research involves searching for reviews.

Why? Because consumers trust each other far more than they trust brands. In a 2024 survey by Brightlocal, 75% of consumers say they always or regularly read online reviews and just 3% of consumers say they never read online reviews.

A review could be the difference between losing a customer and gaining a sale.

So, how do you encourage your customers to write more of them?

Create Plenty of Spaces for Reviews

Before customers even visit your website to check out your products, they often look around online for insights into what you can offer. There are tons of third-party locations that make a huge impact on your chances of a sale.

For instance: 

  • You probably already use Facebook for networking or advertising, so why not leverage it as a tool for social proof too? People can leave reviews about your business based on how long it takes for you to respond to a message and how great your products are.
  • Google My Business. Ideal for local commentary, Google My Business makes it easier for prospects to learn more about where your business is, what it does, and what people think about it. Signing up for Google my Business also improves your local SEO.
  • There are so many places that clients can leave reviews depending on your industry so be sure to monitor the web for where your clients leave reviews for you. Trustpilot, Yelp, Tripadvisor are just a few that might be worth looking into depending on your business.

Offer Incentives

Though it might feel as though you’re bribing your clients for a review when you offer incentives, what you’re really doing is showing that you know their time is valuable. Offering incentives ensures that your customers will actually want to leave a review. You can offer things like coupons or discount codes, entry into a competition for a chance to win something, or something simple, like a free gift.

Remember, for incentives to be effective, they need to offer something your customers would actually be interested in. It’s also important to ensure that when you offer your incentive to your customers, you don’t make it seem like they can only get the reward for leaving a positive review.

Engage With Those Who Leave Reviews

It takes time to write a review. Your customers don’t want to feel like they’re spending that valuable time just to end up having no one listen to them. If you’re getting testimonials from your audience, it’s important to respond to them. When someone leaves a positive review, say thank you, and let them know how much you appreciate their time. If someone leaves a negative review, respond to them, too.

Engagement with customers that leave negative reviews is almost more important than responding to people who leave positive reviews. According to Harvard Business Review, this practice improves ratings overall for customers. It’s also a chance for you to show your audience you’re committed to making their experience better, even when you do something wrong.

Make it Easy

Leaving a review about your product or service should be as simple as possible for your customer. If you send an email asking for a testimonial, ensure that all your customer needs to do is click a button to send their feedback. You could also look into things like placing a review box within the email itself.

For those who don’t have a lot of time to spare, you could consider offering different types of review systems. For instance, a star rating might not give you a lot of insight about where you need to improve, but it still gives you a general idea of what customers think about you.

Support your customers in leaving any kind of review they like by simplifying the process.

Offer Reviews in Return

Finally, if you’re running a B2B company, consider giving your customer a review or feedback first. You can send them a message letting them know how wonderful it was to work with them. This is a great way to build a relationship so that you’re more likely to get more repeat sales in the future.

At the same time, it prompts your customer to consider reviewing your business too. Most business owners don’t have a lot of time to leave reviews, but they’re more likely to feel as though they owe you feedback if you’ve already reviewed them.

Reviews are a powerful tool in your business arsenal. Now go out and get them!

We encourage reviews as part of your local SEO strategy. If you need help getting found in Google, reach out to us.