When two in every three people read reviews before making a purchase, there is a definite call to action for businesses to take an active role in collecting more customer reviews.
The higher your rating, the more likely your business will feature in web searches, in-app suggestions, and even top-rated shortlists in your area. The challenge is always collecting the reviews, or rather, being able to contact customers in order to ask for that review.
You may have seen these faces around, in airports especially, to gather data about customer experiences. But they don’t really tell you a lot about the person, or capture an email address for a response. Once a customer has been through your venue, whether they make a purchase or not, you want to be able to keep that line of engagement open to encourage return visits, as well as reviews.
So how can you get more reviews for your business?
Start by making the process as natural and simple as possible. Then, once they’ve left a review, follow it up by making sure your customers know they’re being heard. The more you understand who your customers are and their interests, the more you can engage them in social channels and material that is relevant to them.
1. Put on a good in-store experience
An easy one to miss, but sometimes it’s worth the little reminder. Give customers an experience worth writing about! Whether it’s a new shop opening in a shopping mall, menu item in a restaurant, or VIP pass for game day in a stadium, asking for reviews about these changes not only helps you gather feedback to improve the service – it reminds people of the new promotions.
2. Facebook and Google reviews
Claim your business on Facebook and Google, and activate your reviews tab. When customers are looking for places to eat, shop, or go out for the day, having previous customer reviews readily available from a web search, and in great numbers, will help influence their decision.
3. Targeted social media campaigns
Screenshot and repost some of your favorite customer reviews, or choose a review of the week, and remind customers you value their feedback. Put your ambassadors on display in the communications, on social media and even showcase your favorite weekly reviews – it’s great for creating an online community! The campaigns could be organic posts, or sponsored and paid ads that appear on the social media channel your customers use most. The social shout-outs will help you collect more customer reviews, as well as strengthen customer relationships and brand image.
4. Respond to every review
Following on from social shout outs, it’s important to respond to every review. Make it clear you’re happy they visited your venue. And while you’re there, let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them at the next product launch or game day. Make it part of your customer experience campaign! The reviews will follow, and hopefully, so will a few extra people in-store. Responding helps customers feel like the time spent reviewing their experience, however brief, was heard by your team. Especially if the review was more on the neutral or negative feedback, you want to be seen actively looking to repair or improve experiences.
5. Set up automatic review prompts
A follow up email harnesses the post-visit momentum when a customer’s opinion of their experience with your brand is fresh in their mind. The reviews could be set for their first time in your venue, or even after every 5 visits, to ask why it is they keep coming back. And it could be back to the same store, or after 5 visits across your franchise. To get to this level of personalization, you really want it working in the background for you so you can reach as many visitors, as well as customers, as possible.
What system can I use to automate customer review prompts?
This last point is the one that can be a challenge, because how can you identify when people were in-store unless you’ve either a) connected their card details to an online account they may have, or b) taken an email address at the point of sale.
The answer? Your WiFi! Well, at least it’s the one we give to our customers at Purple. WiFi is considered a utility in most industries now. People specifically book hotels and relax in coffee shops because there’s free guest WiFi available.
Why not use the service to capture information about your customers to ask for a review, such as; email address, number of visits, and even dwell times in your store.
What we found that works to collect more customer reviews
From our experience, automating review prompts using your guest WiFi with a personalized message 24-48 hours after a visit to your store helps you collect more customer reviews.
When we worked with TripAdvisor Review Express and a selection of bars, restaurants, hotels, and even a baseball stadium, we found they collected 40% more reviews when prompted with a TripAdvisor email. This was compared to their organic review rate before using Purple over a one-year period.
We also found that 89% of the 26,000 reviews rated their experience 4 stars or more, with the stadium named the number one attraction on TripAdvisor for Top 10 Things To Do in their area. You can read more about our customer’s success stories in our report. For now, we’ll go into how it works.
How it works
Our captive portal sits over the top of your WiFi to capture customer details. Our integration with TripAdvisor Review Express means these extra email addresses you’re capturing from your physical spaces are sent a review prompt, on top of your current CRM contacts.
Using your WiFi gives you an opportunity to design a full branded login journey, increase your CRM, enrich your customer profiles with extra information; such as their preferred social media channels and interests, while also increasing your review numbers.
The integration is customizable so you can choose when you want the review prompt to send, specific to your customer journey experience.