Online reviews have become one of the most popular ways to share your experiences with a company or product. The rise of social media and the increasing interest in eCommerce has made it easy for consumers to post opinions about their experiences. 

But don’t be tricked by how simple it is just to leave feedback. Online reviews are a modern-day word of mouth that companies can’t afford to ignore. They play a crucial role in influencing future purchases and spending habits. 

If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd, optimize your customer experience and get more people talking about your business, here are some tips on how you can get started with customers’ review programs

Online Reviews Definition

Online reviews are a form of consumer feedback where consumers post assessments, recommendations, or reviews about a product, service, or company on social media, blogs, forums, and other online outlets. On-site, community-based review sites like Google, Yelp, and InsiderPages are where most consumer reviews take place. 

These platforms are where you can easily connect with your existing and potential customers. For this reason, it’s important to set up a review program at your business that allows your customers to share their experiences and feedback with the world. You can create an account with a review website like Yelp or Google My Business. Businesses generally can only post three reviews on these sites, but there are other options if you don’t want to use the big platforms. 

Yelp for Business, for example, allows you to create your website and create accounts with third-party websites such as Eventbrite. Your customers can leave you reviews on all these platforms, so it’s important to have a review program that allows them to do so easily.

Online Reviews in 2022

Now that online reviews are the norm, what’s next? We can predict that in the future, virtual stores will become a thing of the past. Online retailers will blend offline and online shopping to provide an even richer shopping experience. Consumers will have access to a wider range of goods and services. 

With the prevalence of virtual shopping, online reviews will play a crucial role in providing additional information about products and services. People will post reviews about products and store experiences on social media and websites. 

They’ll also use AI and AR to provide more in-depth information about products and shopping experiences. Eventually, retailers will get rid of physical stores and focus solely on virtual and online shops. In this world, online reviews will play an even bigger role. Consumers will rely on them even more than they do today.

Popular Online Review Platforms

There is an abundance of online review platforms available. The most popular ones include:

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

This is a review platform that allows users to share their experiences with a product or company after being asked. The platform takes care of curating a selection of reviews while allowing users to select who they want to receive their feedback.

Written Reviews

This is when consumers create a written review to share their thoughts and experiences with a company or product. The written review platform allows users to share their opinions on product quality, design, functionality, and value.

Social Media Engagement

In many cases, these are reviews that are boosted by the brand. They’re often a mixture of authentic and paid reviews that help a business’s reputation.

Marketing Ideas for Online Reviews

Engage With Customers

One of the best ways to get started with online reviews is to engage with your customers who have already left reviews on your website. You can create a forum or social media account where customers can post reviews, questions, or feedback. 

You can also create a customer survey or loyalty program where customers can share their experiences with you. If you have a loyalty program, you can create a redirect page where customers can click a link to automatically be redirected to your customer review section. You can also create a form where customers can leave reviews or other contact information. 

When customers have the opportunity to leave feedback or reviews on your website, encourage them to do so. If you have online reviews, you can filter reviews to make it even easier for your customers to share their experiences.

Set up a New Review Program

One of the first things you’ll want to do is set up a new review program on your website. If you’re using a review website like Yelp for Business, you can create an account on their site with a business profile. 

You’ll want to make sure that the information in your profile matches the information on your physical storefront. In your profile, add your business address, phone number, social media accounts, and other important information.

Don’t Just Ask for Reviews, Incentivize Them!

Before you begin to collect reviews, it’s important to remember that not all reviews will be good. However, you can still learn from some of them. The best way to go about collecting reviews is to incentivize your customers to leave them. 

There are a few ways you can do this. One is to offer a discount on a product that gets high customer reviews. You can also offer a promotion where customers get a free product if they leave a review.

Create Your Own Culture

One of the most important things you can do for your online reviews is to foster a culture of recognition and appreciation. From the moment a customer walks into your store, you have the opportunity to make a positive impression on them. 

You can make this even easier by giving customers a quick way to leave reviews on your website. One way you can do this is by creating a redirect page on your website where customers can click a link to leave a review. 

Another way you can easily make customers happy is to add a customer feedback section on your website. Encourage customers to leave reviews by giving them a discount or free product if they do.

Keep Your Communication

The best online reviews will come from customers who feel appreciated and acknowledged. That means your communication has to be consistent and personal. Customers will be more likely to leave positive reviews if they are acknowledged for their experiences with your business. 

If you have a customer feedback section on your website, make sure it’s easy to navigate and filter through. You can also create an email newsletter with a customer feedback section on it so only customers who unsubscribe from your emails have access to the section. 

You can also use email marketing to address common questions and concerns that customers have.

Optimize your website

Your website is one of the most important tools that you have to market your brand and earn online reviews. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get it up to par. Here are a few things you can do to help maximize your website’s online review presence: 

  • Add online review signs: Online review signs should be placed at prominent locations on your business premises. You can also include them on your website.
  • Build a strong call-to-action: Your call-to-action (CTA) is the most important element on your website. Make sure it not only prompts customers to leave you reviews but also encourages them to do so in a memorable way.
  • Use high-quality images: Quality images are important for helping you optimize your website’s review presence. They can boost click-through rates and can also help you gain more reviews.
  • Host your reviews: Hosting your reviews is important because it helps you avoid potential legal issues related to copyright infringement.
  • Build your reputation: Build your reputation by publishing authentic reviews. This will help you avoid potential issues that may arise from fake reviews.

Publicize positive reviews

While it’s important to publicize negative reviews and push back against fake ones, it’s also important to publicize the positive ones. While negative reviews are going to influence your overall online review presence, the positive ones are going to have a much greater impact. 

You can publicize positive reviews in a variety of ways: Send an email to customers who left you a review Make a post on social media Ask for reviews from prospective customers

Reliable Reviews

Businesses may also engage through the help of Reliable Reviews. Reliable Reviews offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) based solution that constantly adds and enhances features to grow with the internet and the industry. Small businesses, multi-location, and enterprises will find the right combination of features to drive your business up.

It is a robust resolution to cultivate and manage your customer feedback and online reviews. With dozens of options, and customizations, to satisfy your customer experience goals. Some of the options are:

  • Generating Review & Feedback
  • Reputation & Review Monitoring
  • Marketing & SEO

Bottom line

Online reviews are one of the most influential ways consumers share their experiences with a brand. To get the best results, you must engage with your current customers, set up a new review program, and incentivize them to leave reviews.

To maximize your online reviews, make sure you create a culture of recognition and appreciation, keep your communication consistent and personal, and make it easy for your customers to leave reviews.

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