What You Need To Know About Building A Review Funnel

Reviews are super important for local businesses. Building a review funnel will ensure you have a system to consistently get new reviews for your business.

It's a known fact that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. What does this stat mean? Well, here are a few key points:

  • Online reviews could bring in more customers to your business.
  • When left unmanaged, online reviews could damage your business through bad word-of-mouth.
  • Consumers rely and will continue to rely on online reviews for as long as the internet exists.

These are the reasons why building a review funnel today matters more than ever. First, let me breakdown what a review funnel is.

What Is A Review Funnel?

A review funnel is an automated process that helps you manage online reviews for your business and customers as easy as possible.

It has three vital steps:

  • Step 1: Get customers in the funnel.
  • Step 2: Help the customer through the review process.
  • Step 3: Watch or respond to reviews.

I will discuss each step next.



Steps For Building A Review Funnel

Building a review funnel is vital for your business because it puts you in the drivers seat of your online reputation. It's easy to freak out when you see negative comments popping up in Google and other review sites like Yelp. I understand. Let me help ease your worries.

Here are the steps on how to build a review funnel:

1.

Get Customers In The Funnel

The first stage of a review funnel is to invite customers to leave a review. Most customers aren't motivated to write a review unless they have a negative experience, or if they're a superfan.

Here are a few things you can do to get customers to leave a review:

Just Ask

There's nothing more effective than asking customers to leave an online review right after a transaction.

Doing so, lets your customers leave a fresh and honest review. Plus, it humanizes the whole online experience because it makes them feel special.

Depending on what type of customer info you collect, you can use email, text, receipts, invoices, and point of sale info to ask for reviews.

Simplify The Review Process

Have you seen Google or Facebook use star or emojis ratings when they want you to leave feedback for their app? It could be a little annoying sometimes, but it’s their way to simplify their feedback process. I think it’s brilliant.

You could apply the same features on your order confirmation page, or in your follow-up emails.

The bottom line is for you to create a review system that is simple and easy to follow to prevent customers from closing their browser.

Be On Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are excellent places where engagement happens every second. Ask your social media community to leave a review on their favorite product or service.

Publish

Another way to encourage customers to leave a review is to publish your current reviews on your website and social media profiles.

An excellent example of displaying reviews is by creating a testimonials section on your site. Testimonials build trust, which is vital in building a review funnel.

2.

Help The Customer Through The Review Process

The next step in building a review funnel is to help customers through the whole review process.


Because different review sites rise to prominence over time, it's essential to use a landing page you control. You can lead customers to post reviews on YELP, Facebook, or other pages, depending on which sites you want to boost your reviews on. 

It's a good idea to let customers choose from several of the top review sites. Here's an example of our review landing page.


Here are other things you can do to guide the customer through the process:


  • Use an easy-to-remember URL of your site or provide a QR code on any printed invite.
  • Your website should ALWAYS be mobile-friendly.
  • Always limit their choices of sites to leave a review from your landing page. Highlight the ones you care about the most.
  • Inform customers about the entire review process for each review site. A simple mind map or infographic would do.
  • Make it easy for customers to opt-out of the review funnel before posting a review. A good example is activating a prompt to contact the business directly when they are upset.
3.

Watch And Respond To Reviews

The point of a review funnel is to turn reviews into an effective marketing method, and to do that, YOU MUST ENGAGE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS!

Almost all review sites allow you to respond to customer reviews and offer to find solutions to problems, thank them for positive reviews, and more.

Now, you don't need to respond to all of your reviews, and it's more important to respond to negative reviews. If you respond to all online reviews, it can read as less genuine, and responding to only positive ones can seem self-flattering.

Here are simple tips on how to respond correctly to positive, negative, and neutral reviews.

For Positive Reviews:

  • Step 1: Say, "Thank You!"
  • Step 2: Highlight the positive things in the review
  • Step 3: If the customer mentioned a name, and it's a compliment, pass it along.
  • Step 4: Let the customer know that you'd love to have him or her back.
  • Step 5: Don't forget other products or services that the customer might need.

For example:

Hi (CUSTOMER'S NAME), thank you for leaving us with such excellent feedback. We are happy that you loved your experience with us; our agents will be glad to read what you wrote. We put excellent customer service and satisfaction a top priority, and your feedback proves the hard work we put in every day. So thank you for your encouraging words, and we look forward to seeing you again.

For Negative Reviews:

  • Step 1: Address the reviewer by his or her name.
  • Step 2: Say, "Thank you for your feedback."
  • Step 3: Apologize and empathize.
  • Step 4: Take ownership and responsibility.
  • Step 5: Make things right.
  • Step 6: Handle the concern via email or phone or in person. Take the communication offline.

For example,

Dear (CUSTOMER'S NAME), thank you for your review. We apologize for the experience you had with our business. It was an unusual situation, and we promise to do better.

Feel free to contact us at (INSERT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION). We'd love to make things right and address your concern.

For Neutral Reviews:

  • Step 1: Say, "Thank You!"
  • Step 2: If the reviewer mentioned something positive in the review, mention it.
  • Step 3: If the reviewer mentioned something negative in the review, mention it too.
  • Step 4: Handle the concern via email or phone or in person.

For example,

Hi (CUSTOMER'S NAME), thank you for your feedback. We would love to hear more about your experience with us so that we can use it to deliver an even better customer experience next time. Connect with us at (INSERT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION) with any further comments or suggestions you wish to share. Again, we appreciate you for leaving feedback for our business!

And that's a wrap!

Building a review funnel is vital for a business to thrive, especially in today's digital landscape. You can't deny that reviews could bring in more cash to your doorstep.

In building a review funnel, remember these things: Get, Help, and Respond. It's that simple! Just keep them in mind, and you'll build a review funnel in NO TIME!

I put together a list of online resources that you could check out to help you more with review funnels. Also, don't be shy to TALK TO US if you need more information.

Recommended Online Reputation Management Resources

10 Tips to Convince Your Customers to Review Your Products and Generate Social Proof

Niche Review Sites by Business Category

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to Positive and Negative Google Reviews [+ Examples]

So what do you think about this article? Is it helpful in building a review funnel?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below and let's discuss.

Also, it would be a great honor if you think this article is worth SHARING with your friends and family.

Need more local SEO tips? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local SEO.



Header image courtesy of JumpStory.

About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help small businesses & entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing by focusing on the fundamentals. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. All you need is a plan.

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