Requesting online reviews may seem like a tedious chore – if you don’t know how to request online reviews. Yes, all of the latest marketing blogs say you should be begging and pleading for reviews with no pride whatsoever. However, this is not always the best way to go about collating more online reviews. Does begging someone for a favor ever work in a relationship? Absolutely not. It changes the relationship and never in a good way.
Customers Don’t Want Control
Consumers come to you for solutions. They expect you to lead. When you beg, you place yourself outside of that position of leadership. Your customer feels the power imbalance and reacts accordingly. If you beg for reviews, you can expect your customers to devalue your brand, resist future suggestions, become less involved in organic social media discussions and bring less new business your way. In most cases, your customers will never directly address this – they will simply involve themselves less with your brand until they completely disappear. Quite literally, you won’t know what (didn’t) hit you. In short, you may never know that begging for reviews is bad until you look up and see that your sales are down for the quarter. Even then, if you are unaware of the connection, you may not even understand why it happened.
But You Still Need Reviews…
This is not the time to abandon your efforts. Rather, it is time to change them so that they are successful. Instead of asking for reviews, ask for the details. Asking for a review leaves too much open space for the customer to wiggle. With no direction, the customer will likely become frustrated with the request. What does the modern consumer do when he becomes frustrated? That’s right – he forgets all about it! The next time that the customer hears about a review is when you come nagging for one again – again with no direction. Again, the customer will become frustrated, not comply and forget about it. Wash, rinse, repeat. If you ask for specifics, you give your customer direction and add value to the relationship. Asking for specific objections will actually boost customer response instead of causing problems. Ask about the emotions that a customer felt at the moment of purchase. What was the fear when making the purchase? Was there any buyer’s remorse? Was the customer fleeing the awful service of a competitor? Give your customers direction by asking them to tell a story.
The Layout of a Successful Review
The successful review has four distinct elements:
- Presentation – Stories, whether from a children’s book or in a consumer review, follow a proper chronological sequence and have good grammar. This is true regardless of medium.
- Consistency – A review should be consistent with the other reviews around it; otherwise, the “standout” review loses credibility.
- Negativity – Not only does balanced negativity make a review more believable, but it also makes that review more popular. Humans have a natural negativity bias. Reviews that touch on fears, objections or risks will attract more attention.
- Positivity – Positivity brings the resolution to the anxiety that negativity creates within the review (like the ending of a great story)!
Bringing these elements into harmony is less difficult than you might think, even when you are not the one writing the review. The secret?
Remember – YOU are the one giving your customers direction although they are the ones doing the writing. Direct their efforts using the following templates to ensure a balance of the four elements mentioned above and a great overall review that will help your business.