A customer engagement strategy is essential for building your business in today’s online world. By offering quality engagement throughout the customer journey, businesses can build loyalty and create advocates for your brand.  In this age of the empowered customer, bad service, or even a single bad experience can be exponentially amplified through consumer reviews.  Likewise, positive customer engagement and reviews can be sales gold and lead to a strong referral pipeline.  In today’s world, the digital word of mouth is king. 

It is fair to say that garnering reviews is essential for any business today and should be thought of as being automatic in building out your marketing and business growth strategies. Referrals and loyalty programs turn your happiest customers into advocates for your brand. It is also fair to say that generating reviews and referrals should be automatic for well-run businesses.  When executed well, a strong customer review strategy will lead to referrals by giving customers the feeling that you are listening to their needs by developing and fostering a connection with your brand.

Generating reviews and referrals not only fosters growth and loyalty, but they allow you to identify and address angry customers by ensuring that they are communicated within a timely fashion. According to a study done by Bazaarvoice, 7 in 10 people said that merely responding to bad reviews is likely to change the initial perception and could potentially turn those upset into loyal customers.

Therefore we wanted to take a look at some of the benefits and the underlying pitfalls of review generation, and then subsequently address the 5 key steps to generating more reviews and show how BrandRep’s review generation platform helps our clients build and manage their online reputation, garners feedback, and helps to increase their online ratings.  It is time to grow your business through word of mouth.

The Benefits of Review Marketing are Obvious

A review or referral cost is almost nil, meaning that they deliver the lowest cost per lead. Moreover, referrals have been shown to have a higher conversion rate than traditional advertising. They can ease the sales process of converting prospects to clients.  In today’s digital world, consumers have the ability to research your company long before you engage them in the sales process. You won’t have to sell your brand or justify your pricing when their research of reviews has already done it for you.

Client feedback is essential

Research shows that over 90 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Moreover, 67% of purchases are influenced by a positive online review. When you realize that two-thirds of your raw business income is affected by your online reviews, it is time to take a good look at how you can control the narrative.  

A few common myths about review marketing

  • “Reviews and referrals generate consistent new business.” The number and frequency of reviews are not controllable and not entirely predictable. Quite often, businesses that rely exclusively on referrals for new business can find it challenging to manage the ebbs and flows in monthly revenue.
  • “Referrals are the best leads.” There are plenty of leads that your sales team would never have spoken with had they not been referred. Know that not all referrals are excellent prospects.

The biggest issue our clients have seen over the years with referrals and reviews is that they are not in control of their own business.  And while they may be somewhat true, it does not mean you cannot shape the conversation.

Keys to Maximize Your Reviews

  • The first step is to ask for them! You should be asking early when your client is most excited to be working with your company. Always look to foster a review when the client’s relationship is at a high point – right after the initial sale, following the completion of a project, or when a major goal has been reached.
  • Ask often. Just like you, your clients are busy with their own workloads, so try to remind them with incentives and other unique ways that not only will generate the need for the review but will keep a positive line of communication available.
  • Track your reviews. Automated review tools like BrandRep’s Review Management Tool allow you to track and manage your online reputation.
  • Make it easy for your clients to leave reviews. Some companies even provide templates that their clients can merely plug-and-play for their best clients.
  • Don’t forget to follow-up and thank your clients. According to SearchReputation.net, “Sincerely thanking a customer who has left a positive review can go a long way in boosting a business’ reputation, making them seem humble and appreciative for their relationships with their customers.”

As we have discussed in previous posts, maintaining your online reputation is essential for any successful business. While it may seem challenging at times, by utilizing the tips above and enrolling in BrandRep’s review monitoring program, you can quickly resolve problems as they arise and foster goodwill and referrals.  Remember that communication is key to developing a long-term relationship. Our easy to use CRM enables you to monitor your online presence and allows you to engage with clients in real-time proactively.  When the dust settles, you might just be surprised at how successful your business can get with simple review monitoring.

As always, the team here at BrandRep is here to help your business achieve great reviews and maintain high rating scores. If you are unsure of where to start or need further resources in quality consumer connection, copywriting, and communication, remember we are here for you. Connect with your dedicated BrandRep team member today. Available at 1-800-405-7119.

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