Word of mouth advertising is by far the most effective method of promotion. No matter what industry you’re in, what you sell, and even who your employees are, play a huge role in somebody telling friends about you and your services.
Think about when you’re looking for something to buy. Where’s the first place you go to look for the product? Google right? People choose where they spend money now based on a business’ online reviews. The higher the reviews, the more eventual reviews a company gets. The more overall reviews, the more sales.
Not only do consumers receive a huge benefit from using review sites, but businesses do as well. Reviews let businesses understand customer pain points a lot better and give them ways to strategize business plans.
Reviews let companies know their strengths, weaknesses, and even give them opportunities. Customers leave great ideas for businesses, and sometimes an idea from a customer can turn into a pillar of profit.
Well, did you know Google takes the number of reviews a business has into account when showing search results to a user?
The rating a business has doesn’t impact relevance, but the more reviews a business has gives Google the impression that more people interact with said brand.
So, how do I collect reviews for my business?
First steps first, you are going to need to set up a “Google My Business” account. This gives your business the ability to be looked up and reviewed on Google.
“Your Business Profile appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your Business Profile—so you can stand out, and bring customers in.” -Google
To the right, you can see an example of what it would look like for your business to have a “Google My Business” profile.
Also, set up and claim your Yelp business account to get reviews there too.
Another crucial one is to set up and verify your company’s Facebook account.
A verified company page instantly boosts credibility and gets customers to engage directly with you, and leave reviews easily.
You don’t have to limit yourself to these review sites either. There are plenty out there that you can take advantage of.
The more sites you are on, the better! Another notable site would be the Better Business Bureau. This is a well respected site and claiming your business on it would be highly recommended.
Now that you have a Google My Business and Yelp Business account, you’re ready to start collecting reviews!
With the widespread use of social media, and review sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and even Facebook reviews, it’s easier than it ever has been to get real feedback from real people who have had engagements with brands (good and bad.)
This is where it gets a little tricky. You CANNOT respond to negative reviews in an unprofessional, angry manner. No matter how frustrating, or unreasonable a customer’s review is, you NEED to know that these reviews are visible to the general public.
If you respond in a negative manner, you will come across as an unprofessional business – plain and simple.
Respond in a friendly, positive manner to everyone who leaves a review. It doesn’t stop on review sites either; responding to people on social media is a great way to build customer engagement, and work toward generating more social proof.
4 Simple, effective ways to get great customer reviews for your business
1) Give a token of appreciation for leaving a review
A common, effective way to generate great reviews is by offering customers a freebie for leaving a review. It’s easy getting negative reviews from people who were upset, but the happy ones need some enticing.
Freebies are how a lot of companies are doing this. One example is leaving a URL on a receipt to the business’ review page. When people show proof of review, they can get something like a free appetizer if you own a restaurant. They can get a % off an order, free tote bag, the possibilities are endless.
You may think “hey if I’m giving away free product, how am I making money?” Well, the social proof and power of a positive review, paired with making a loyal customer happy does wonders for long-term profit. If you gain even one more customer from your reviews, the small freebie paid for itself and then some.
2) Simply Ask People To Leave A Review
This may seem like common sense, but simply asking regular customers to leave a review does wonders for your business.
These people are loyal to you, and most likely would not mind taking 1 minute out of their day to support you online. A lot of people think this would annoy customers but it typically doesn’t.
According to a survey put out by Bright Local, 68% of customers are willing to leave a review when asked. It doesn’t get more clear cut than that. There is no harm in asking!
3) Conduct a marketing campaign
A great way to get more reviews is by promoting it. Have an email database? Make use of it! Why not send your list a special offer in exchange for a review. Give the customer a “reward” for going through the review process where at the end you can offer them a coupon, or small freebie.
You can make this a normal part of your communications with customers. You can actually set up automation where for every time a new customer is added to your email database, you can send them a follow-up email. Going one step further, you can automate a review email for somebody who has purchased something on your website!
4) Make it easy for customers to leave a review
A lot of businesses today are actually making it easier than ever for customers to leave a review. Our local Canadian Tire actually has several iPads set up on stands near the doors.
They have only 1 app open on them (a review page) asking how they did in serving the customer. You can implement something like this in your store too. It doesn’t have to be an iPad either! You can offer customers a simple pen and paper to offer reviews or even a suggestion box.
Need help with your business’ review situation? We can help. Simply click the link below and we will get in touch.