Customers love to chat, and you can use that to your advantage. With a little prompting, poking and prodding, you can transform your customers into an army of promoters, willing to share their experiences with your products, your service and your brand. And they’ll use sites like Yelp to do that chatting, and that could be a huge boon to your reputation.
Ready to help them make that shift? Here’s my 3-step plan.
1. Make Your Yelp Easy to Find.
It’s easier for your customers to talk about your company on Yelp when they know right where to go. And as user-friendly as Yelp might seem to experienced people like you, it can be baffling for consumers who don’t know very much about how search engines work and what Yelp is designed to do.
Help them by typing out the web address for your Yelp page on the bottom of your printed receipts. If you’re sending things online, make that a clickable link. These steps will make it easier for your reviewers to find you when it’s time to chat.
Take that idea one step further by printing up customized posters with your Yelp address clearly printed. Or, craft up a QR code, so people can simply hover over the symbol with a smart phone and head right to your page.
If you’re running an online business, put a Yelp logo on your home page or your contact us page, and make that a clickable element. Again, the idea is to make it ridiculously easy for anyone who wants to chat to find your Yelp, so utilize the high-impact parts of your site to make that happen.
2. Reach Out to Repeat Customers.
The customers who do business with you over and over again are probably likely to have great things to say about the products and services you deliver. While you can’t offer these customers any kind of incentive to write a review for you (that’s a Yelp no-no), you can remind them that reviews are important, and that you’d value their input.
If you see happy customers regularly, drop a hint or two about how you’d love for them to share their experiences, and point to your handy signs that contain your Yelp deets. If you take online orders, point people to the logo on your home page. Simply asking someone to share his/her thoughts could be enough to prompt a glowing review.
3. Add a Prompt to Surveys.
Do you reach out to your consumers with surveys? Here’s a great opportunity to ask for killer reviews. If your scores are high, followup with an email that contains hot links to your Yelp account, and simply ask those reviewers to share a few thoughts with the world at large. Again, you can’t specifically ask these people to write something happy in order to get a perk from you. But if your survey suggests that these people are already willing to say nice things about you, build on that success with an invitation to share the news publicly.
Follow these steps, and you’ll see the number of positive reviews that appear on your Yelp page rise and rise and rise. And if I missed any Yelp-type tips you’ve used to boost your own reputation, please let me know! Drop me a line in the comments.
Image source: haydenweal via Pixabay.
Getting your happy customers to leave positive reviews is what every business should be focusing on. For the hospitality business we developed ReviewFilter which contacts guests after their stay/meal via SMS or email and asks them for their feedback. If it’s positive it automatically prompts them to submit it on Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google etc. if it’s negative they don’t get this option and their comments are forwarded to the manager to open dialogue and resolve the complaint in private. ReviewFilter.com
These are some great tips for increasing the number of reviews, Jean. However, businesses should also care about the quality, not only the quantity of reviews. When you don’t have a purchase-based and verified system in place and your reviews are overwhelmingly positive, potential customers might start viewing them as unauthentic and manipulated by the company itself. That’s why a better choice is hiring an independent third-party feedback collecting company. Bazaarvoice or eKomi both offer transaction-based testimonials, thus boosting the credibility of your brand. Clients are asked to leave their opinion soon after the purchase, which provides very good turnover rates. As a results, potential customers pay more attention to the authenticity and verification of your testimonials.
That’s certainly one option, and it’s a good one. But with the tips I mentioned, your reviews would be purchase based (you are soliciting from customers, after all), and working with customers is a free option, too. For companies with tight budgets, free options will always be appealing.