How to get more 5-star reviews: the secret sauce for mid-sized businesses

Are you a marketing manager struggling to boost your business’s online reputation? Are you constantly searching for ways to attract more customers and stand out from your competition? If so, it’s time to shift your focus onto collecting 5-star feedback.

In today’s digital age, online reviews have the power to make or break a business. But many marketers leave their reviews up to chance, missing out on valuable opportunities to increase brand visibility and generate new business.

In this article, we’ll reveal the secrets and strategies for getting more 5-star reviews, and show you how to leverage online reputation management to take your business to the next level. So if you’re ready to start building up those ratings, let’s dive in!

1. Develop your 5-star review strategy

As with any new business initiative, it’s good to have a plan in place so you can measure your success. Determining how many 5-star reviews you want to get is an excellent place to start. While there’s no magic number of reviews to aim for, there are three key factors to consider.

  • First, think about your industry. Businesses that are frequently reviewed, like restaurants and hotels, need more 5-star reviews to stand out than those that people search for less often, like accounting firms.
  • Second, focus on the recency of your reviews. Potential customers see more recent reviews as more trustworthy, so aim to get fresh reviews at least every few weeks to keep your business looking its best online.
  • Finally, take a look at your competitors’ review counts. If you have more 5-star reviews than your rivals, you’ll likely attract more customers and stand out in your field.

By thinking about these three factors, you should be able to land on an achievable number of 5-star reviews that will create the best results for your business.

How you’ll ask for reviews

Now you know how many 5-star reviews you’re aiming for, how will you ask for them? There are a few different methods you can use, each with pros and cons. Let’s take a look at three common approaches: emailing customers manually, using an automated email, or using a review management platform.

Emailing customers manually

The most basic method for collecting 5-star reviews is to email customers manually. This involves crafting an email yourself and sending it out to customers one by one.

This approach has the advantage of being completely free and allowing you to personalise each message to the individual customer. However, it’s time-consuming and difficult to manage for mid-sized businesses and is better suited to those just starting out.

An automated email through your email provider

Another option is to set up an email template and send it through your email provider. With this approach, you’ll create a standardised email that can be sent out to all customers who have made a purchase or used your services.

You can use an email provider, like Mailchimp or Sendinblue, to automate the process and send out the email to a large number of customers at once.

This approach can save time and effort, but depending on your provider, you may not be able to set up your email workflow to reach your customers at the right time.

Review management platform

Finally, you can use a review management platform like Customer Alliance to streamline the process of collecting 5-star reviews. These platforms provide a centralised hub for managing all of your reviews across different platforms, as well as tools for soliciting reviews from customers.

Review management platforms have the ability to send automated review requests that reach customers at exactly the right moment, when their experience is still fresh in their minds and they’re most willing to share their thoughts. There’s also the added bonus of being able to distribute those reviews to different platforms to get the most out of their feedback.

This approach has the advantage of being time efficient and easy to manage, but review management platforms come with a cost that you’ll need to consider.

Choosing the right approach

So, which approach is right for your business? The answer depends on a few factors. Consider the size of your business and how many customers you’ll be reaching out to.

If you’re just starting out or have a small customer base, manually emailing customers may be a good option. However, if you have a larger customer base or want to scale up your efforts, setting up an automated email or a review management platform may be a better fit.

Another factor to consider is the level of personalisation you want to provide. If you want each customer to receive a personalised message, manually emailing customers may be the way to go.

However, if you’re more focused on efficiency and scalability, a template email or review management platform may be a better option. Note that these solutions do allow some basic personalisation, like using the customer’s name instead of a generic greeting.

Ultimately, the best approach for collecting 5-star reviews will depend on your business’s unique needs and goals. Consider the pros and cons of each method and choose the one that’s best for you.

With the right approach, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong online reputation and attracting more customers to your business.

2. Get a clear picture of customer satisfaction

To improve your chances of a 5-star review, you need to understand if there are any areas of your business you need to improve.

Measuring customer satisfaction can be a tricky endeavour – so how do you ensure accuracy in gauging consumer happiness? Surveys are the answer. Not only are they fairly quick and easy to set up, but they allow you to get direct feedback with specific questions designed around your business needs.

To get the best results, your surveys should combine questions that elicit authentic customer feedback with tangible customer satisfaction KPIs. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular KPIs in case you’re not familiar with them.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is great for tracking customer loyalty and overall satisfaction. It assesses how likely customers are to recommend your business by asking them on a scale of 1 to 10, “How likely would you be to suggest us to someone else?”

With this meaningful KPI, companies can monitor their performance across different periods of time and locations. Use NPS as an effective tool that will give greater insights into customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

To ensure that you meet your customers’ expectations, measure and analyse their satisfaction using the CSAT score.

When inquiring about the level of customer satisfaction regarding a particular product or service, simply ask them to rate it from very satisfied to very dissatisfied.

This will help you understand if certain touchpoints are getting favourable reactions so that in case there is any dissatisfaction, you can make improvements quickly.

With CSAT, businesses have an accurate way of tracking customer satisfaction at specific and one-time interactions – enabling them to anticipate what consumers desire and make adjustments accordingly

Customer Effort Score (CES)

To measure how effortless it is for your customers to complete a task, you can use the Customer Effort Score (CES).

An example of one CES question you could ask is: “How simple was it for you to resolve your problem with us today?”, with possible responses ranging from very easy to very hard.

Although this metric doesn’t provide direct customer satisfaction measurements, you can use the results from CES inquiries as indicators and gain insight into what steps you need to take to improve the customer experience.

For further information about these metrics, take a look at our article: ‘How to Measure Customer Satisfaction KPI: NPS, CSAT & CES‘.

Add qualitative questions

To get an accurate reading on your performance, it’s important to use one of the metrics listed above. However, for more nuanced insights into the customer experience, nothing beats adding a few specific follow-up questions that allow customers to express their opinions and feelings.

Giving your customers a voice in this way will help you develop stronger customer satisfaction surveys that can provide you with invaluable information about what aspects of your company are missing the mark.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tell us more! Why did you give us this rating?
  • How would you describe our product/service to someone who has never used it before?
  • What are your thoughts on the pricing of our product/service?
  • Can you share any suggestions or ideas for new features or improvements to our product/service?
  • How does our product/service compare to similar products/services you have used in the past?
  • What can we do to improve your experience?
  • How would you describe us to a friend?
  • Name one thing we can do differently that would make you happier.
  • How likely are you to purchase from us again?
  • Do you have any additional feedback to give us?

Follow-up customer survey questions are a great way to bridge the gap between customers’ needs and expectations and your customer satisfaction metrics. Find out exactly how you can improve, and you can make the changes you need to guarantee more 5-star reviews.

3. Ask for 5-star reviews (the right way)

Lots of businesses treat the copy of their review requests as a bit of an afterthought – this is a mistake. There’s a right way and a wrong way to ask for reviews. Taking the time to craft your request will result in much better response rates and increase your chances of that all-important 5-star feedback. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your request is signed off by an actual person, not just your company name. When you request a customer review, it’s like asking for a favour. Would customers be more likely to grant the request if they knew their input was going to an anonymous entity or to an individual? Adding that personal touch is an easy way to increase your chances of a good review. Reminding the customer that there’s a real person reading the feedback can make them more likely to focus on the positive.
  • Acknowledge their recent visit or purchase. By showing your appreciation for their purchase, customers will not only be reminded of who you are but also feel valued and appreciated. A customer that recognises this positive sentiment is far more likely to provide a glowing review or feedback about your business.
  • Give them some motivation. Your customers may not understand just how important their review can be. Adding a couple of sentences about the impact that their reviews have will provide extra motivation and push them to take action For example, you could mention how reviews help you improve your service or help other people make informed decisions.
  • Thank them for their time. It may only take a couple of minutes to leave a review, but it’s still time your customer needs to take out of their busy day. A simple thanks shows your appreciation and can be the little push they need to leave their feedback.
  • Make it easy. There’s no quicker way to stop customers leaving a review than to make the process overly long and complicated. Your goal is to make it easy for the reader to leave you a review without feeling overwhelmed, confused or that doing so will take up too much of their time. At the end of your review request, your call to action (CTA) should provide a direct link that takes the recipient straight to their review page. Make things easy for your customers and they’ll be all the more likely to leave a 5-star review.

4. Reply, reply, reply

An often neglected strategy for generating more 5-star reviews is to reply to the reviews you already have.

When customers take the time to leave a review for your business, they expect a response. Responding to reviews shows your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. This, in turn, can encourage others to leave positive reviews about their experience with you.

But responding to reviews isn’t just about generating more positive feedback. It’s also an opportunity to address any issues or concerns that customers may have raised.

By responding to negative reviews, you can show your customers that you take their feedback seriously and are committed to resolving any problems. In fact, one study showed that 33% of customers who received a response to their negative review turned around and posted a positive review.

When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to take a proactive approach. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and apologise for any inconvenience they may have experienced.

Offer to resolve the issue and provide a contact person or email address for the customer to follow up. This shows the customer that you’re committed to finding a solution and can encourage them to give your business another chance.

If you’re able to resolve the issue, you can even ask the customer if they would be willing to update their review. Many customers are happy to do so, especially if they feel their concerns were heard and addressed. This can turn a negative review into a positive one, and show potential customers that you’re committed to providing excellent service.

So, make sure to monitor your reviews regularly and respond to them in a timely and professional manner. You may be surprised at the positive impact it can have on your business!

Pro tip: Don’t have the time or resources to reply to all your reviews efficiently? Our AI Reply Assistant generates unique, personalised review replies in just one click.

Follow these simple steps to get more 5-star reviews

Collecting more 5-star reviews is crucial for building a strong online reputation. As a marketing manager, you can use these tried-and-true strategies to unlock the potential of online reputation management, attract more customers and distinguish yourself from competitors.

Setting goals, choosing the right approach for asking for reviews, and getting a clear picture of customer satisfaction through surveys are essential pieces of the puzzle. With the right approach, you can increase brand visibility, generate new business, and achieve even greater success.

If you found this article helpful, go ahead and share it on LinkedIn to help other marketers implement a 5-star review strategy.

FAQs about getting more 5-star reviews

What are the ethical considerations when implementing strategies to increase 5-star reviews, and how can businesses ensure they stay within these boundaries?

Ethical considerations centre on authenticity and transparency. You should ensure strategies for garnering 5-star reviews do not mislead or deceive customers. This means being honest about your products and services and not manipulating reviews through practices like review gating.

Can incentivising customers for reviews, even if not explicitly for 5-star reviews, affect the authenticity or credibility of the reviews?

Incentivising reviews can be a grey area. While not necessarily unethical, it’s important that incentives do not bias the review content. Customers should feel free to provide honest feedback without feeling pressured to leave a positive review.

The effectiveness of review strategies can vary significantly across industries. For example, healthcare and legal services might require a more nuanced approach due to the personal and sensitive nature of the services provided. Tailoring strategies to fit the specific expectations and norms of your industry is crucial.