It’s really easy to not have a solid way to request customer reviews. Maybe for your company it’s the “next thing” that keeps getting put off. Or maybe you put together a disjointed strategy that mostly works but isn’t efficient.

Now is the time to change that — it’s time to update your customer retention strategy, get more reviews, and improve your company’s reputation.

So, need help convincing your boss – or maybe even your peers – that it’s time to create a specific process for requesting customer reviews? We’ve done the research for you. Here are 5 reasons you can use to back up your case about why your company needs a consistent and reliable process for requesting reviews.

People Trust Strangers Online

Forget about relying on traditional word-of-mouth recommendations. According to one survey from 2017, 85 percent of people trust online reviews the same amount as they trust recommendations from people they know.

So with reviews from “strangers” being that trusted, every business clearly needs to encourage their customers to leave reviews and recommendations on your Facebook and Google business pages.

And why would you want to rely just on personal recommendations or referrals you have the power of online business pages at your disposal? Direct customer referrals are still valuable of course, but with a defined process for requesting reviews you benefit even more.

Old Reviews Get Old Fast

Unfortunately, really positive reviews from even 5 or 6 months ago aren’t enough to continually drive revenue and new opportunities. Fresh reviews are way more important than you might think. Businesses with 9 or more reviews left in the past 90 days were found to earn 52% more than the average!

Think about it: If someone is trying to choose between a business that hasn’t had a review in 2 or 3 months and a business with 9 reviews in that same time period, the business without a review in the last couple months isn’t going to look as appealing.

Luckily, it’s not hard to get customers to leave reviews.

All You Need to Do is Ask

Most people who leave reviews unprompted had a bad experience. This can really hurt your overall potential to bring in new customers. But all you need to do to combat this?

Ask people to leave reviews. According to Bright Local, 78% of consumers will if they are simply asked to do so.

It’s not a long or drawn out process to get people to leave reviews and why wouldn’t you want to give your business every possible advantage? If you automatically send out a text with a review link a few days after a purchase/interaction, that only took you the time to originally write the message.

Of course, if they respond or ask questions, that will take more of your time. But now you’re in a conversation that could improve the customer’s view of you as well as how the business runs. So really it’s a win-win.

Just remember that you don’t want to hold products or services “hostage” by telling people you’ll give them something for leaving a good review. You should never make an offer dependent on the positive nature of a review.

Better Reviews Yield Huge Dividends

Reviews are valuable for anyone, but they’re especially valuable for small and local businesses. Think about these stats.

That extra revenue and trust could easily make up the difference between long-term success and, well, not-success. And all you have to do is send a few texts and maybe an email with a link to your business pages. (But you’re going to automate it, of course.)

Requesting Reviews Creates More Touchpoints With Customers and Prospects

The literal review request is the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback and how the customer experience could be improved. Even feedback that doesn’t end up in a public review is going to help you.

And when you reply to any posted reviews, that means you get even more eyes on your business. Almost every person who says they read reviews also reads the responses that businesses post. People want to know that the business cares about its customers and is going to do what it takes to make things right.

How to Actually Request Customer Reviews

Well, first you have to provide a great experience and build relationships with your customers.

But starting the literal request process can be as simple as setting up a messaging campaign in Skipio. Build out a short series of messages asking for a review and feedback — complete with follow-up messages because just one message won’t cut it. Then, add customers to the campaign and let it do its thing.