LinkNow Media | Customer Reviews

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Month: February 2016

6 Proven Strategies for Collecting More Customer Reviews

6 Proven Strategies for Collecting More Customer Reviews by LinkNow MediaCustomer reviews and feedback are crucial to your business. They reflect what your customers like and don’t like, what your businesses strengths and weaknesses are, and they give you invaluable insight into ways you can you can improve your services. Moreover, customer reviews build your business’s credibility and improve your online presence. If this information isn’t enough to convince you about the importance of customer reviews, perhaps this will: according to a recent survey done with 1000 consumers, 67% indicated they trust online reviews. So how exactly do you obtain customer reviews? Here are a few fool-proof methods you can try.

1. Request feedback

People don’t leave reviews just because. Reviews usually come about for two reasons: either the customer had a truly exceptional or horrible experience or more importantly, you asked him or her for their feedback. Seems straight forward enough, but you would be surprised how many companies are lacking in reviews simply because they don’t ask.

You can ask for feedback in several ways, including: sending feedback surveys after a purchase or customer service request, adding a call to action to your website, or sending out an email to your existing customer base. If you’re interested in more in-depth feedback, you can also host a focus group for your customers or conduct interviews via phone, Skype, or in-person. Adjust your request strategy depending on what kind of feedback you are trying to obtain.

2. Choose your words wisely

Considering that you are already asking your customers to take time off their busy schedule to basically advocate for your goods or services, be mindful of their precious time and be very clear about what you’re asking them for. Communicate exactly what you need from them, and formulate your questions as clearly and concisely as possible.

3. Incentivize

While you can’t offer these incentives for review platforms like Yelp, you can definitely do so on your own company’s website. Some incentives you can offer include discounts, sales, or special offers. Understanding what your customers want will help you come up with what would be the most engaging incentive.

4. Sign up

While you may not be able to incentivize Yelp and Google reviewers, it’s still very useful to sign up with these popular review websites because (1) it increases your visibility online and (2) review websites do all the work for you – they contact your customers, encourage them to leave feedback, and even help handle negative reviews. Especially if you feel too busy with day-to-day business operations to collect and manage reviews on your own, leaving it to the specialists can be quite appealing.

5. Utilize social media

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you ask, incentivize, or practically beg, some customers will never find the time to write a lengthy review. But that’s okay! You can always encourage them to Tweet about their experience, share a picture about what they bought on Instagram, or even share a quick blurb with friends on Facebook. The other great thing about driving people to your social media pages is that many of these platforms are now providing a “buy” button, giving online consumers the opportunity to engage in online shopping right on your social media profiles. This makes it especially important to include links to your social media pages everywhere: emails, business cards, receipts, etc.

6. Personalize

If you want to encourage a customer to leave a review, make sure that customer knows how much you appreciate him or her. A great way to reassure your customer that he or she is not just a statistic to you is by making their experience personalized to them. Figure out their likes, their dislikes, their purchasing history, etc. That way, when you get ready to engage with or incentivize them, you will know exactly what pleases them most and have the best change of motivating them enough to leave great feedback.


If you’re providing an exceptional service, customers will be happy to leave a review when asked politely, so don’t be shy! It’s not only okay to ask for feedback, customers truly appreciate their voices and opinions being requested and heard. Just make sure you’re making them feel as appreciated as they are and not just a ploy to get a few stars.

What Makes People Trust Online Reviews?

What Makes People Trust Online Reviews by LinkNow Media

Online reviews have undoubtedly revolutionized the way buyers and sellers interact in the market place. In theory, online reviews should be helpful to consumers. They should make online browsing and shopping easy, and they should foster a better-informed marketplace where consumers feel like they can trust these reviews before making purchasing decisions.

In reality, that’s not always the case. Recent studies from researchers at Yale, Dartmouth, and USC confirmed that sometimes online reviews cannot be trusted. In their discovery, they found that some hotel owners post fake reviews to boost their ratings, and, even worse, they post negative reviews on their competitors pages.

The question is, do consumers trust online reviews? How do they differentiate an honest review from a fake review? There are three main factors consumers use to determine whether or not they can trust an online review.

Difficulty to Post

Online schemers usually want to post negative reviews in a quick, easy, anonymous fashion. One way consumer look to see if a review is real is by measuring the level of difficulty for posting a review on that particular review website.

Consumers who want to leave a review on Expedia, for example, first need to have made a hotel booking through the website. Hence, a hotel looking to inflate its rating or malign a competitor would have to incur the cost of paying for a hotel through the site.

This acts as a deterrent towards fake and/or spammy reviews, and it makes Expedia’s audience more likely to trust the reviews that they see.

Don’t get us wrong, some online schemers may be willing to go that extra mile, but for the most part, they will turn to another platform that makes it easier for them to do so.

As another example, TripAdvisor only requires a login name and email – something anyone can provide fake credentials for; it doesn’t take time at all, and it doesn’t cost money.

Anonymity Factor

Some reviewing platforms, especially the ones that link to social media, will eliminate anonymity, making it a requirement that the review links to a particular profile or account.

Anonymity is a online schemers best friend because unless you are posting a real, honest review, you probably can’t back up your review with actual evidence. Most people don’t want to risk potentially getting exposed for making a phony statement anywhere online. Consequently, when consumers encounter online reviews attached to real people behind them, they feel more comfortable trusting them.

Brand Influence

By no means are we justifying fake reviews, but the reality is that some companies have more to gain than others by posting them.

For example, for a small growing business, acquiring tons of reviews (fake or not) might significantly drive up revenue and help knock down the competition. When faced with an oversaturated market, many companies will all too readily set aside their moral hesitations and decide it’s worth the risk. Knowing this practice is so common makes many consumers weary of small businesses reviews, especially when there are only a few to go off of. Did the company post all the positive ones? Did a competitor post the negative ones? When your business can make it or break it because of reviews, consumer tend to be quite skeptical.

Conversely, big chains like Pizza Hut or McDonald’s don’t really need online reviews because they already have a massive following. No intelligent consumer is going to think that a competing company is out there trying to take down McDonald’s one negative review at a time on Yelp. Consequently, most consumers are going to believe a negative review they see online. And the positive reviews? Well if they have made it this far, it’s probably not without a ton of good reviews along the way. They simply don’t have much to gain by adding a few more fake ones. Most consumers already know what to expect with their brand, and an extra positive review isn’t going to drastically change anyones expectations.


Keeping in mine factors that can add or take away from trust is important when setting up your own customer review process, as well as when you’re browsing the competition online.

Ultimately, it will be up to the individual reader to decide whether they believe them or not, but you can at least make the process feel as authentic and trustworthy as possible.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Companies Online Reviews

How to Get the Most Out of Your Companies Online Reviews by LinkNow Media

Constructive criticism, feedback – every company needs it. It’s a great way to learn, grow, and improve your business. An awesome, but often feared, means of obtaining that kind of helpful feedback is through online reviews. Instead of being afraid of how online reviews might effect business, it’s time for your team to embrace them. Here are several ways you can actually get the most out of your online reviews.

1. Don’t fear the negative review.

A lot of people stay away from online reviews simply because they are scared of receiving a bad review. But the truth of the matter is that most online reviews tend to be positive, not negative. And if you are confident you are offering a good product, there’s really nothing you should be afraid of. But realistically all businesses will have to accept this fact: you will eventually receive a bad review. And that’s okay. In fact, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they a mix of both good and bad ratings.

The trick is to get as many reviews as possible. Consumers are smarter than marketers often give them credit for. When consumers see a good amount of positive reviews versus one or two negative reviews, they can discern whether those bad reviews were fake or simply isolated situations that don’t reflect what their experience would most likely be like.

2. Make your reviews and your review form easily accessible.

Tests show that brands using online reviews increase their sales as much as 58%, and that 71% of customers are more confident in making purchases after reading those reviews. Making your reviews visible to your customers shows that you are a trustworthy company that has nothing to hide.

Moreover, by making the review form easily available to customers, you are showing you truly value their opinion and want more of it. Companies that demonstrate they are committed to improving usually have more trusting, loyal customers.

3. Don’t just address bad reviews, incorporate them into operations.

When and if you get a negative review, embrace it! You should know that it’s important not to ignore bad reviews; they’re an invaluable opportunity to showcase how caring and responsive your company is. But don’t stop there. After you contact the customer who left the bad review and genuinely try to solve the problem he or she encountered, make sure you address the root of the problem internally.

While hearing something negative about your business might feel like a bad thing at the time, you are actually being given the chance to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your business and, most importantly, improve upon them.

Research has shown that 95% of customers continue to do business with a brand they once criticized if issues are handled quickly and competently, but the best business practice would be to avoid the issue in the first place because ultimately what customers really want is hassle free service.

Improving upon your products, services, and customer support based on customer feedback will organically improve your sales and ROI. If you do a good job at responding to these issues, you will not only win back once unhappy customers, you will also gain more customers who witness and respect your excellent customer satisfaction skills.


Success doesn’t come from getting everything right the first time. It is cultivated from being able to respond appropriately to problems, find resolutions, and adapt formal changes to prevent them from reoccurring in the future. Successful companies make the most out of every situation, good and bad. Online reviews are no different.

How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews

How to deal with negative customer reviews by LinkNow Media

Let’s face it – consumers rely on the opinions of others when they are about to make a purchasing decision. Nowadays, the easiest and fastest way to scope out people’s take on a business is reading the company’s customer reviews. This is why platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, and TripAdvisor are so relevant for the consumer and so crucial for business owners.

Positive reviews can really drive up business, while negative reviews can stop things in their tracks. It’s safe to say that no one wants to deal with negative reviews, but unfortunately, they are inevitable. Your business cannot possibly satisfy every customer 100 percent of the time. So instead of dreading them, here are a few helpful tips on how you can deal with them when they occur.

Monitor your Online Presence

In order to respond to reviews, you must first be aware of what reviews you have received. Constantly monitoring your online presence is key to dealing with negative reviews. It will give you a framework to work with.

Some tools you can use to keep up with your online presence include: Social Mention, Reputology, Review Trackers, and Google Alerts.

Respond Promptly

Companies should never ignore negative reviews. On the contrary, negative reviews need to be addressed as swiftly as possible. The sooner you respond to a negative review, the more you show you truly value your customers’ opinions.

Responding to negative reviews is also an opportunity for your company to extend an invitation for a second chance to the customer, who unfortunately had a negative experience with your company, brand, or service the first go around.

Tackle the Issue Offline

Some negative reviews deserve to be handled offline as opposed to being worked ou in front of the rest of the world. It’s up to the company or business to decide what’s best.

If it happens to be a delicate situations where things can turn sour or personal pretty quickly, perhaps it’s better to contact the reviewer privately via email or phone. Once you resolve the matter privately, you can always go back to the negative review and leave a brief comment for the public to read.

Always Be Polite

Negative reviews can sometimes get under your skin. But regardless of what the review says, keep it polite and professional.

Consumers who read reviews can often times give businesses a second chance when they notice how well the business handled the ticked-off customer. So remember, being the bigger person can lead to new future customers.

Do Not Allow Defamatory Reviews

Most consumer rating platforms do not allow businesses to remove reviews. However, if there is a review that is more defamatory than helpful you can certainly request the site to take it down.


Remember, negative reviews are totally normal and unavoidable. Your company is not defined by the number of negative reviews, but by they way it handles the feedback.

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