Building trust with potential clients is paramount if you want to have a successful business. Trust not only fosters long-term relationships but also serves as a catalyst for increasing conversions.
In this digital age, where online presence plays a pivotal role, leveraging customer reviews can be a game-changer for IT businesses. Reviews are one of the first things people look for when seeking out a new service provider or looking for a product.
How are your reviews going? Are you getting enough and making them visible? In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of trust and how a well-crafted review request strategy can significantly boost brand reputation and conversions for IT businesses.
The Significance of Trust in IT
Trust forms the bedrock of any successful business, and the IT sector is no exception. Clients looking for IT solutions often invest substantial time and resources, and they need assurance that the chosen provider is reliable and competent.
72% of consumers are willing to pay more for local services, but trust matters in who they’ll choose. 76% of them want to see online reviews for local businesses to help them make their choice.
Trust is earned through a combination of factors, including:
- A proven track record
- Transparent communication
- Positive customer experiences
- Reviews from customers about your business
Without having any trust, potential clients may hesitate to commit to a partnership, hindering the growth of your business. In the case of new customers who have no personal experience with you yet, reviews give them that through the eyes of others you’ve worked with.
The Role of Reviews in Building Trust
Reviews are one of the most powerful tools for IT businesses to build trust and increase conversions. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 46% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
However, getting reviews from customers is not always easy. Many IT businesses struggle with low response rates, negative feedback, or lack of visibility. That’s why having a review request strategy is essential for success.
Customer reviews have become a potent tool for building trust in the digital era. Prospective clients increasingly rely on the experiences of others to gauge the credibility of a service provider. Positive reviews serve as social proof, offering validation and instilling confidence in potential customers. On the flip side, negative reviews, if addressed appropriately, provide an opportunity to showcase transparency and commitment to customer satisfaction.
Crafting an Effective Review Request Strategy (Back-end Process)
A review request strategy is a plan to ask customers for reviews at the right time, in the right way, and on the right platforms. It helps IT businesses generate more and better reviews, improve their online reputation, and boost their sales.
Another part of an MSP review strategy is where you display those reviews. You want to leverage them from Google, Yelp, and other places and share them on your website, social media, and newsletter.
To harness the power of customer reviews and get over any uneasiness about asking for reviews, and begin a well-thought-out review request process.
We’ll get started with back-end steps to put in place as the foundation of your reviews process, then, we’ll cover customer-facing steps for how you go deploying your strategy.
Identify Your Review Goals & Platforms
The first step of creating a review request strategy is to define your goals and choose the platforms where you want to collect reviews. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
For example, you might want to increase your average rating on Google from 4.2 to 4.5 stars in six months or get 50 new reviews in three months.
The platforms where you want to collect reviews should be aligned with your goals and your target audience. For IT businesses, some of the most popular and effective platforms are:
Google (set up a Google Business Profile)
These platforms have high traffic, authority, and relevance for IT products and services.
Segment Your Customers & Personalize Requests
The second step of creating a review request strategy is to segment your customers and personalize your requests. Segmentation means dividing your customers into groups based on their characteristics, behaviors, or preferences. For example, you might segment your customers by product type, purchase frequency, satisfaction level, or loyalty status.
Personalization means tailoring your requests to each customer segment based on their needs, interests, or motivations. For example, you might use different messages, incentives, or timing for each segment. Personalization can increase the response rate and the quality of your reviews by making your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Some of the ways to personalize your review requests are:
- Use the customer’s name and other relevant details
- Mention the specific product or service they used
- Highlight the benefits or outcomes they achieved
- Ask for feedback on a specific aspect or feature
- Offer an incentive or reward for leaving a review
- Use a friendly and conversational tone
- Use the customer’s preferred communication channel
- Send the request at the optimal time
Automate & Optimize Your Review Request Process
The next step in creating a review request strategy is to automate and optimize your review request process. Automation means using software tools or systems, to send review requests automatically based on certain triggers or rules. For example, you might use an email marketing tool to send a review request email after a customer completes a purchase, or a CRM tool to send a review request SMS after a customer closes a support ticket.
Automating the process is important, as most busy IT business owners don’t have time to manually email review requests. Once your automations are in, they go out without you having to do anything else. You can even schedule reminders if someone hasn’t responded.
Monitor & Manage Your Online Reviews
The last back-end step of creating a review request process is to set up a schedule and system to monitor and manage your online reviews. Monitoring includes tracking and analyzing your online reviews across different platforms and sources. For example, you might use a reputation management tool to aggregate and display your online reviews in one dashboard or use a sentiment analysis tool to measure the tone and emotion of your reviews.
Managing includes responding to and engaging with your online reviewers. Hearing from you is important to both those who left a review and those reading it.
Monitoring and managing your online reviews can help you gain insights and learn from your customers, improve your products or services based on customer feedback, build relationships and loyalty with your reviewers, and influence potential customers who read your online reviews.
Putting Your Review Request Strategy into Action (Customer-Facing Strategy)
Now for the customer-facing strategy once you have your process in place. Here is where you’ll find tips on timing and formatting review requests and where you should leverage them to get more leads and sales conversions.
Identify the Right Moments
Timing is crucial when soliciting reviews. Identify key touchpoints in your customer journey when clients are likely to have a positive experience. This could be after successful project completion, the resolution of a complex issue, or the delivery of exceptional customer service.
When requesting reviews, personalized communication goes a long way. Tailor your requests to each client, expressing gratitude for their business and highlighting the value they bring to your organization. Personalization shows that you genuinely value their opinion. You can still automate personalization by integrating your CRM with your review request mechanism, and insert fields like “first name” and “type of service.”
Make It Easy
Streamline the review process to make it as easy as possible for clients to leave feedback. Include direct links to review platforms in your request emails, reducing the steps required for clients to share their experiences.
Consider offering incentives for clients who take the time to leave reviews. This could be in the form of discounts on future services, exclusive access to resources, or entry into a giveaway. But if you do offer an incentive, it’s best to disclose that. Also, make it something small that would not look like you’re trying to “buy” reviews.
Diversify Review Platforms
Encourage clients to leave reviews on multiple platforms, including Google, Facebook, and other popular review sites. A diverse range of positive reviews across platforms enhances your online reputation and visibility.
Respond to Reviews
Actively engage with both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews, especially the critical ones, demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction. Address concerns, provide solutions, and show that you value client feedback.
Showcase Reviews Strategically
Once you accumulate a significant number of positive reviews, strategically showcase them on your website, marketing materials, newsletter, and social media. Highlight specific achievements and success stories to reinforce your expertise and reliability.
Gain Trust & More Sales Using a Review Strategy
In the highly competitive IT services industry, trust is the currency that drives success. A well-executed review request strategy can significantly contribute to building trust with clients and, in turn, boost conversions.
Looking for a place to start? Tech Marketing Engine can help you attract more customers and increase revenue with an automated reviews strategy. Reach out today to schedule a chat.
What do you currently use to manage your business reviews? Share your answer in the comments.