By Arielle Mullen

For businesses in nearly every organization, it seems like these days it's getting harder and harder to gain the public's trust. One truth that's remained consistent however, is that content shared by an impartial third-party is considered more trustworthy than advertising from businesses. In fact, a study conducted in 2017 by BrightLocal discovered the following insights:

  • 87% of consumers reported a business must have a rating of 3-5 stars before they'll use them
  • 76% of consumers believe the content shared by everyday people is more honest than advertising from brands
  • 90% of consumers' purchasing decisions are influenced by user-generated content
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 68% of consumers left a review when asked, with 74% having been asked for feedback
  • Facebook and Yelp are local consumers must trusted review websites

No matter your organization's size or industry, the findings above are incredibly valuable. When you engage with a customer, whether you're offering a service or a product, if you're not requesting a review, you're missing a huge opportunity. And truly, regardless of who your business caters to, everyone wants to feel like their opinion is valued. A proactive approach to engaging with your clients at each stage of the sales cycle will provide rich insights to you, and provide the opportunity to turn your customers into brand advocates. 

Read on to learn more about how to encourage customers to leave reviews. (And what to avoid doing at all costs).

  • Using Facebook to collect reviews? Make sure your reviews tab is enabled! (To update your settings, go to Settings > Edit Page > Add a Tab > Reviews) 
  • Ask for feedback! Your customers want to know their opinion matters
  • Make sure your customers know where you want to collect their feedback, and include the URL
  • Brick & mortar store? Request reviews at the register! 
  • E-commerce business? Include a note card inside each package that lists the URL where you collect reviews
  • Pay attention to the feedback your customers leave you. If someone leaves a review, acknowledge it and thank them for their input (regardless of whether it's positive or negative)
  • Wondering how to deal with a bad review? Your business should have a policy in place to help your employees navigate these tricky situations. By simply ignoring their comment, you're showing them (and everyone else online) that they aren't important enough to acknowledge. 
  • Share your good reviews! This will help you get the most mileage out of the feedback

Even though it's becoming increasingly difficult to win the public's trust, having a cohesive strategy for customer engagement will only become more valuable with time. Interested in learning more about how you can improve your organization's customer experience? Let us know!

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