As a small business owner, you already know the important part that online reviews play for your business. But how do you go about getting those reviews and, more importantly, making sure you get good reviews? The easiest thing you can do is to set up an automated review system. With an automated review system in place, you can rest assured that your customers will automatically be asked for a review shortly after they’ve done business with you. Most consumers will provide a review if they’re asked and with an automated system, negative reviews will be funneled away from making it online. Having an automated review system will benefit your business’ online presence and make it easier for you to ensure that you’re providing the best possible customer service.
How you get started will depend a lot on the type of platforms with which you work. But, don’t worry, even if you’re not a tech wizard, there are a variety of systems that can easily be used for your purposes. If you have an ecommerce site, many of the more common platforms integrate seamlessly with a number of email marketing providers or have their own capability to send automated emails. The same goes with WordPress sites – many of their ecommerce plugins can be used to send automated emails or will work with providers like MailChimp or Constant Contact. You’ll be able to set up the system so that it triggers an email to be sent to your customer after they receive their product/service from you.
Create Two New Pages on Your Website
You will need to add two new pages to your website to which you’ll be directing customers. The first page will have links to all the different sites where your customers can review your company. At the top of the page, ask your customer where they’d like to review your business. We recommend, at the minimum, having links for Google, Facebook, and Yelp. In order to get a link for a Google review, your business will need to already have a Google Business account. We’ve found that the Google Review Link Generator is very useful. It provides several options for Google review links.
With regard to Facebook, you’ll need to make sure that Reviews are turned on on your business page. It’s usually best to link directly to the Reviews page so that your customers can get to leaving their review immediately. You can link directly to your Yelp page as the option to write a review is featured prominently at the top. If there are other review sites, you’d like to include, you can. Just keep in mind that Google, Facebook, and Yelp are usually the highest priority as they are sites that are frequently consulted for reviews. Make this page as clean and aesthetically appealing as possible. You don’t want your customers to be directed to a page that’s off-putting.
The second page you’ll create will let your customers know you’re sorry that they didn’t have a great experience with your company. Offer a heartfelt apology and provide a contact form where they can let you know what they didn’t like about the service or product they received. It’s always a good idea to let these individuals know that you’ll be reaching out to them to see if you can find a resolution to the problem.
Draft Your Email
Your first automated email should be scheduled to be sent shortly after your customer gets their product. The sooner a review is requested, the more likely it is that your customer will provide one. Recipients tend to respond most favorably to emails with subject lines that are questions and that feature the name of your company. A decent subject line might be something like “How Do You Like Your Recent Purchase from SuperCompany?”
In the body of the email, thank the customer for the purchase and ask if they’re satisfied with it and if they’d recommend your company.
Provide two button links: yes and no. The yes link will take them to the newly created page on your site where they can choose where they’d like to review your company. The no link will take them to the page with the contact form where they can explain why they would not recommend your company.
Test the System
After you’ve got your new pages created and your email drafted, test the system to ensure that the email goes through properly and that all links go to their intended destinations. This step is especially important as you don’t want to send an email that doesn’t work to a customer who may already be unhappy with the product/service they received. As with everything, the quality of this customer interaction will reflect on your company as a whole, so it’s important to ensure that the system provides a good customer experience.
Start the System
Once you’ve created all the essential parts and tested the system, you can start it up and let it go. Now you can trust that your customers will be getting timely communication asking about their recent purchase and that your company will be getting more online reviews. Don’t forget to send a quick thank you to all of your customers who do take the time to review your company. And also, always make sure you follow up with those customers who had a less-than-stellar experience with your company so you can tackle the issue head-on.