Making the Most From Online Reviews

Making purchases online can still be a big risk for customers. The quality, size or results are all questionable. And as a small business, you may not have the reassurance of a well-known brand to fall back on. This is where online customer reviews can be so valuable. Testimonials from other customers reduce this anxiety and encourage others to follow the herd and hit the “buy now” button. But how can you, as a small business, make the most from online reviews?

Make it a Case Study

Few things are as powerful as a real customer experience so when someone leaves a good review for your small business on Yelp or Tripadvisor, take the opportunity to reach out and make a mini-case study from their experience. Re-enact the purchase journey of this customer highlighting what your business did to help alleviate their needs.

Making the Most From Online Reviews

Whether for shoes or software, sharing your customer’s story will help exemplify what you do best through the eyes of a common experience. Profile the customer on your blog and amplify it with Tweets using the customer’s handle, Facebook posts with the customer’s picture, and LinkedIn with both. You could even create a mini-YouTube video of the story.

Make it Good

Not all reviews are good and while no one likes criticism, small businesses have a unique opportunity to use negative reviews in their favor, assuming you can make it right. The review is out there, you can’t shy away from it, so identify those reviews where you can make an impact and actively, publically make it right.

Think beyond price for what it would take to get someone to change their opinion of your business. First, you need to get them to try your product or service again, so an incentive like a free replacement after the warranty expires, or a free bottle of wine, along with a personal letter can help. Then, be sure you follow up to make sure their second experience was vastly improved.

Finally, ask them to update their review to include what you did to make it better. This way, future customers know that you’re listening, you actively help customers and that you’re not afraid to tackle problems head on.

Make it Pinnable

Pinterest can be a powerful platform for spreading any good word. The social media site is filled with inspiring quotes and beautiful products. Why not use this to your advantage and create a series of Pinnable images overlaid by actual customers reviews?

These Pins make great posts that aren’t just Pinterest fodder, but also make share-worthy posts on Facebook, Twitter and even Linkedin. Using a picture of the product behind the quote easily links the quote to the product and Buyable Pins enable your customers to purchase the product at a click of a button.

For more on using online reviews for you small business, be sure to check out our free webinar, H Onlinowe Reviews Make or Break A Business, now playing on our Past Webinars page.

Image: Photospin

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