Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

5 Ways to Get Rockin Reviews

thumbs upReviews and testimonials have always been a nice way to offer third party proof that your company does what it says it does and that your customers are happy campers and willing to talk about it. Reviews, however, have become even more important now that local search directories like Google Maps and Yelp! have made them a foundational element for ranking well for local search.

Getting reviews and testimonials on a routine basis takes a proactive and committed approach if you are going to generate them on a consistent basis and still generate them authentically. (Fake or over the top review generation campaigns can actually produce negative results.)

Below are five ways you can look at systematically creating reviews.

Do the reference track

I stumbled onto this idea quite by accident, but it’s very effective. Every now and then a prospect would ask me for several references. I would provide a list of 3-4 happy customers and that was that. If a prospect reached out to these customers, most often they would copy me on their response. The amazing thing is that because they we basically telling someone else why they should hire me, it turns out these were the best testimonials I ever received. Instead of them writing them to or for me, they were writing them to and for prospective customers.

This approach was so effective that I started requesting that future prospect contact some of my customers.

Repurpose testimonials

When you get that unsolicited testimonial, no matter where it comes from, make sure you are using it in several ways. I a happy customer writes a review on Yelp, post that review on your website, in your store and in next month’s newsletter. If a customer sends you a raving review by way of letter, phone them up and ask if they would provide that review for your Google Places page too.

Teach the review process

Since online reviews are so important these days make sure that all of your sales folks know how to show customers how and where they might post reviews. Create a page that walks people through the process of creating a Yelp or CitySearch account. I your clients are all businesses, hold a workshop to teach them some of what you’ve learned about the importance of rating and review sites and how they can

Give reviews

Of course I’m going to suggest this one, give to get works here too. By making reviews, recommending your network on LinkedIn, and reaching out to companies you do business you start one powerful part of the review and testimonial foundation. It’s always a great way to show how you value the process and in turn benefit from the occasional authentic reciprocation.

Hold a review party

I’ve written about this idea before, but it’s such a fun one I had to include it here. Invite your customers to a nice appreciation event, serve up some wine and then ask them if they would like to record a video testimonial or review with the camera crew you’ve hired for the night. People love to get on camera and you can further incentivize them by offering up a 5 minute video where they can talk about their business. This video content will be gold for your website and you’ll provide a great service by helping them create something for their site.

Rating and reviews from users and customers are crucial. Find some way to install one or more of these options and collecting them will simply become a part of the system.

Image credit: Adian Jones

Don't miss a single word!
Complete the form and we will send you articles just like this every week.

Raven Tools SEO Tools
  • katsimpson

    Great ideas here – especially love the 'review party' idea!

    thanks!

  • http://www.eastridgeprint.com Renee Malove

    I love the thought of doing a video night, but what kind of response do you usually get from something like that? Do you announce what you're doing when you invite them, or pop it as a surprise when they get there? And as for the referral reviews, do you need permissions to post those for public consumption or are they more or less fair game?

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I never thought about reviews this way, but you're absolutely right. When you get positive reviews, it can have an awesome effect on your business. That's why it's so interesting that we can do so much more to get good reviews and share them with potential customers.

    I have a question.

    Do you offer anything to the people who provides you with a review, or would that be wrong?

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I never thought about reviews this way, but you're absolutely right. When you get positive reviews, it can have an awesome effect on your business. That's why it's so interesting that we can do so much more to get good reviews and share them with potential customers.

    I have a question.

    Do you offer anything to the people who provides you with a review, or would that be wrong?

  • http://www.HenleyInterim.com Henley Interim

    Love the idea of a review party – thats a great idea! Good article – testimonials are a crucial part of the marketing mix now.

  • Amiranzur

    These ideas are great. This stuff is really helpful and creative.

  • http://www.firstfound-blog.co.uk Andy @ FirstFound

    Providing a great service that people want to talk about helps too! ;)

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Ah yes, that's a given I'm afraid!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I guess I wouldn't call is wrong but I think it changes the dynamic. Giving a review or testimonial is a social act. When you offer a reward it becomes a financial one. I think you are better served by those that do it because they want to.

    Having said that, there's noting wrong with an occasional, unadvertised thank you surprise. That often goes much further and can create more loyalty.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Renee,

    Yes I think I would promote it as a fun reason to drop by – particularly if you are going to offer them a video to use on their site – In fact, offer that and make the review/testimonial optional so people don't feel obligated.

    It's a good idea to get permission no matter what the form – make sure that they know how you plan to use it. People are used to this kind of thing so get them to sign a “model release” so they feel like models and you have something in writing.

  • http://www.webcreationuk.com/advancedseo.htm UK SEO

    What about calling your ex-customers and ask kindly for a review? After that you ask permission to post in online and pa-bam, done! :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PTRDU6VFAXSFZHZA5WXMBLSGUQ Bobbi

    The best third party solution is Customer Lobby, stay away from companies like Review Boost!

  • Robbys846

    Great ideas! stuff is very informative and helpful… The positive review always create good affect on your business..
    http://smallbusinessbible.org/

  • http://www.websiteboostershot.com RyanTC

    ProvenCredible.com is a service I've had a good experience with in a previous job (I'm not affiliated with them…I was a customer).

  • http://www.comparereviews.co.uk/ Price Comparison Websites

    Holding a review party sounds good to me. Your customers will feel so honored if you invite them to an event and serve them. I would like to add one thing, if a customer isn’t happy with your products or service and leave negative review, do ask what things he/she expects from your service. If you can fix those issues you won’t only retain him/her, they will be your referrals too in future. Assure them that you care for them more than you care for their money. This is going to leave a decent impact on your customers and subsequently your company will be getting positive reviews.

  • http://twitter.com/PandaForm PandaForm

    What our HK based startup, PandaForm.com does is send out a monthly mass mail that includes new updates to our form builder and politely ask for any reviews or suggestions.

    This has really helped us, and we even tweet about some of the interesting suggestions given.

  • http://twitter.com/PandaForm PandaForm

    At PandaForm.com, when a blogger writes a review about our form builder and contact manager, we direct our twitter traffic to their blogs. So in return their blogs get a new readers.

  • http://businessplansample.org business plan sample

    this is indeed a great idea of hosting a review party. in todays time we need testimonials to take our business ahead. thanks bro, for your suggestion.