Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to increase trust–consumer trust.
Trust is in crisis, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. Most people no longer believe that government, media, and business are working for them. For consumers, a business’s word means nothing without proof.
“Integrity is at the heart of this. An honest business that stands by its principles is one that deserves to be trusted. But you can’t just say you have integrity – you have to show it” (Content Marketing Institute).
Online reviews are the proof consumers now rely on to “show” them which businesses to trust. The latest research from BrightLocal reveals just how powerful their influence really is.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
- 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
- 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews.
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
Reviews can be found everywhere–on websites, social media pages, search engines, independent review sites, and blogs. However, people are quickly learning that not all of them are truthful. Leading experts are urging consumers to refer to third-party sources, like Consumer Reports and BBB, to get real and authenticated reviews (CNBC and Hubspot).
“Authenticity of reviews is the most important factor for consumers to trust the reviews they read” (Brightlocal). Because BBB is a trusted source of information for consumers, any consumer review you have listed on your BBB Business Profile Page will be seen as more credible, giving you a better chance of earning new business.
Top Reasons To Have Consumer Reviews On Your BBB Profile
- They are search engine optimized.
- They can be a one-place stop for consumers to get information on businesses and read consumer reviews.
- BBB Business Profiles are the number one resource accessed by users on bbb.org.
- BBB will notify businesses that have a customer review, so they can respond BEFORE it gets posted.
- Most Accredited Businesses have access to a BBB Customer Review Toolkit that includes a special dynamic link “Read and Submit Customer Review” graphic, email signature, postcards, printable stickers for bid sheets and receipts, and a white paper about Customer Reviews, tip sheet, and more. (Not all BBBs are participating in this program. Check with your BBB to see if it is offered.)
Get More Reviews. Accredited Businesses Tell All.
Many Accredited Businesses have had great success getting consumer reviews on their BBB Business Profiles. We asked a couple of them, Deal Dash and Central Travel & Ticket, to share their methods for collecting reviews and how they’ve helped build consumer trust.
DealDash: 335 Reviews
Answers provided by Adrian Diaz Arteche, Community and Content Manager, Minneapolis, MN
Q: What method(s) do you use for collecting consumer reviews?
A: We mainly communicate with our customers via email, and that is the channel we use to send them the link to review us on our BBB profile.
Q: At what point after the sale do you ask for a review?
A: DealDash is an extremely customer centric company. Every single employee (be it the CEO, a software developer, or a new intern) has a call with a customer at least once a week to learn about their experience with us, gather feedback on how we can improve, and resolve any issues the customer may have. After those calls, we usually send a follow up email asking the customers to leave a review so they can share their experience with other users.
Q: What is the language that you use to ask for a review?
A: Would you have a moment to share your experience on DealDash with other consumers? If so, here is the link to leave us a review.
Q: Have you noticed any other benefits of having consumer reviews on your profile?
A: The BBB is an organization that consumers value and appreciate. Having our customers share their experience on our BBB profile makes potential customers and employees learn about the kind of company we are, and how we obsess about providing the best experience to our customers.
Q: Is there anything else you do differently to increase reviews to your site?
A: We just make sure that we keep the conversation going with our customers and keep them satisfied. We make sure to keep asking for reviews in a casual way, without being too pushy, and always asking for an honest review. We want to hear both positive and negative feedback. We see a negative review as an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one!
Central Travel & Ticket: 111 Reviews
Answers provided by Jani Miller, CEO and President, Toledo, OH
Q: What method(s) do you use for collecting consumer reviews on your BBB Business Profile Page?
A: We have queries set up in our CRM program to email clients upon the return of their vacation asking them to complete the BBB Review for Central Travel – when they complete the review it is sent to BBB who then sends it to us for approval.
Q: What is the language that you use to ask for a review?
A: Our email says, “Thank you for using Central Travel! We know you have a choice in travel partners and we appreciate your business. As a BBB Accredited business since 1975, we know that on-line reviews are extremely helpful to businesses. We hope you will take a moment to give us your feedback. Your opinion matters to us and to other customers. Please complete the BBB Business Review by clicking on this link: BBB Review of Central Travel
Q. Can you provide an example (s) where a positive review on your profile page led to a sale?
A: We have had a number of clients say they saw ‘positive’ reviews about Central Travel on the BBB website – that’s why they contacted us.
On top of the great feedback given by these Accredited Businesses, you can also check out other proven ways to request customer reviews below.
More Ethical Ways To Get Consumer Reviews
- Make a personal connection with your customer. A verbal request goes a long way. It communicates that you care enough about the customer’s experience enough to put yourself out there and ask them about their experience.
- Don’t offer incentives for reviews. It is unethical and against many review websites terms of service and Google’s guidelines. It can also be a violation of the FTC’s guidelines.
- Have a review form ready to pass out after a successful transaction and just before a customer is about to leave your place of business.
- If you ship out products, don’t forget to include your review forms in your packaging.
- Set up a custom URL that links to your BBB Business Profile Page and attach it to your email signature, business card, website, social networks, and any business packaging.
- Invite your customers to leave feedback with a simple message: “Thank you for your business. Tell us how we’re doing.”
- Add a review widget or sidebar to your website or blog where customers can click and quickly post reviews to your BBB Business profile.
Last But Not Least…
Let’s not forget the most important (and easiest) way to get this mission accomplished. It’s pretty simple. Just do great work and have integrity. More positive reviews and increased customer loyalty will likely follow, and you will be seen as a business people can trust.