Online Review Management: Fostering Feedback

Fostering Feedback

In a world where news is instantaneous and people all but expect reviews for every business they come across, it’s not too much of a stretch to tell you that your business needs testimonials to thrive. However, sometimes it seems only the angry customers are happy to provide feedback, leaving you with an unfair representation of your brand. It’s time to take to the offensive. Here are the proven best practices for inviting your customers to leave their two cents.

Give Them the Tools

Even when it comes to the internet, people are lazy. The more pages they have to visit, the less inclined they are to visit them. This is why having a review section directly on your site will greatly increase the chance your customers will respond. Be it a pop up during check out or a submit field in their email receipt, keep the process as hassle-free as is technologically possible.

Personalize Your Request

Chances are when a customer reaches out to you, they leave their name or some form of identification. Do not let this go to waste. Use their name to personalize your correspondence. The use of their first or last names immediately grabs their attention, increasing response rates by up to 10%.

Use Surveys

Surveys are great when you find yourself with a lack of customers filling out dauntingly empty textboxes. In the feedback world, surveys can be as long or as short as you need, helping incorporate feedback from those that don’t have the time necessary to form their own thoughts. It’s a simple gauge of their feelings on your brand. Then, after they’ve been warmed up with some easy questions, the feedback box at the end won’t seem so intimidating.

Keep it Simple

Some companies take the feedback option a bit too far. They’ll have an unobtrusive tab that opens up to a full page exam not even related to what the customer experienced. Nothing will turn away suggestion providers faster than a surprise, two-page feedback quiz. Remember, feedback is about small, specific moments. The simpler it is for them to fill out, the more likely they will.

Offer a ‘Thank You’ Gift

In the end, sometimes all it takes is a small token of gratitude to get your site decorated with testimonials. Coupons, free items and chances to win big prizes pull in reluctant supporters. Just remember to keep the reward value in line with the value the testimonial would have for your site. And, remember, you offer it for the review – good or bad.  It is not to serve as a “bribe” for a good review.

Start bringing in feedback now by actively pursuing your regular and new customers. You have to be proactive and take charge of your online review management.  It’s a part of your first impression and it’s lasting.  Without their words of approval, the rate of new business will remain slow and stagnant, never blooming into the growth you planned to see this quarter.