Reviews are online “word of mouth”. These tips will help you start building business reviews today.
Reviews are the online “word of mouth” and are statistically the most important deciding tool for customers choosing between competitors and your business. In fact, 2020 Marketing reports show that 90% of customers use reviews in their purchasing decisions.
In our opinion, Google reviews are the digital top dawg and therefore, a primary aspect to improve. A close second is Facebook and the third being other appropriate review sites that you are on which allow for reviews (sites that are able to be searched, attract your target audience and align with your industry e.g. Yellow Pages, True Local).
Google business reviews appear next to your Business Profile in Maps and Search. This placement is valuable in helping your business stand out on Google. The goal is to be right up there on the first page of a relevant search. Key review metrics that are important in helping your listing include:
1. The amount of 5 star reviews. The amount trumps the quality, but who doesn’t want to show off as top shelf.
2. The keyword quality of your reviews. “Great work” just doesn’t cut it. Customers listing services and specifics about their experience with your business matters.
3. Customer engagement with reviews. The more engagement the better, from other customers but also from your replies to customers to say thanks for a review or to help them navigate through an issue.
Remember to verify your Business so your information can appear on Google Maps, Google Search etc.
Below is a list of useful tips to encourage more reviews. Apply any or all of these depending on your bandwidth, priorities or business lifecycle to get your brand’s digital word of mouth cranked up a notch.
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Make reviewing easy!
Verify your business on Google Business and set up accounts or take ownership of your business pages on appropriate review sites. Put a review option on your website, automated emails, in your email signature or at the end of a phone call that you feel was positive for the customer.
It never hurts to ask and making it easy for a customer = more reviews. A great place to garner reviews is by using a review link that opens a platform to give customers direct access to review you instead of having to follow a series of steps. Adding this link into your team’s signatures instantly presents the perfect opportunity to garner a new review simply by keeping it present in all emails.
Encourage quality reviews
Reviews that have specific information are more valuable than a one lined “great product”. The best reviews offer a wealth of details and a helpful tip or two for others considering your business services.
Wherever appropriate, provide customers with a guide of what to write about in their review, which could include:
What service did we complete for you?
How did we go?
What did you like about visiting us?
Did you work with any specific people you'd like to mention?
How do we compare to other services you've tried?
Are there any tips you would offer others about our business?
Define your best reviewers
The goal here is to aim for positive and current reviews so it’s important to have an awareness of those who have had a good experience with you recently. Reviews are different to feedback and a feedback survey may be a better platform to gather information on how to improve your business. Remember to thank your reviewers! They are vouching for you and putting their reputation out there, so make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
Friends and family
This is for sure the best starting point for any company new to reviews or in need of refreshing the reviews. Utilising this group of people is a great low impact way of building reviews. You can send a message or email to your close contacts, or even just pick and choose who you know will help you and can vouch for you as a person. Include in your email/message links to 1-3 places that you want to build reviews means you will likely have them complete more than just one review in one place.
Get reviews in person
At the completion of your services or a job well done, it’s the perfect opportunity to guide a customer through a review of your services while you’re with them.
Review with a buddy business
If you know other people that are also running a business, you could swap reviews. You already think of each other highly so why not? This improves your own business reviews whilst also improving your friends business.
Timing is everything
If you’ve done a good job and know that the customer is happy, asking for a review while it’s fresh and they’re motivated to thank you will give you a better chance at gaining a positive review. Walking them through the process to leave you a good review means that you can guide them to the finish line. People get busy and push things to the side. It’s also ok to ask again if a customer hasn’t reviewed you.
Monitor and comment back on reviews
Commenting back on a review and showing appreciation to the person who wrote your review is a great way to encourage more engagement with your customers. It also promotes more reviews on your services as customers see that their reviews are getting read and that your business values their input. This may mean that they are more likely to leave reviews again in the future.
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Share positive customer reviews that you’ve already obtained! This is a great way to show that you’re reading reviews and to build brand trust. Sharing reviews promotes you from a third party perspective AND it often leads to more customers giving you a review as there is a chance their review may be shared.
Utilise an email signature link
A call to review on your email signature is great to encourage customers to review you following great work and increases the accessibility of people being able to provide you with a review.
Automating review request emails following a customer receiving their goods is is a brilliant (and automated) way of building customer reviews ongoing, without any need for manual work to stay on top of your reviews.
By automating a review email, you can worry about the work you’re doing for the customer, leaving the automation to follow up your customers for reviews. Remember to monitor reviews that are posted, engage and tweak your automation email if you aren’t gaining any traction.
Monitor & comment back
Share positive customer reviews that you’ve already obtained! This is a great way to show that you’re reading reviews and to build brand trust. Sharing reviews promote you from a third party perspective AND it often leads to more customers giving you a review so that they may have an opportunity to see their review shared.
Make it last
Build your review strategy into your bigger marketing strategy and develop internal SMART KPIs around reviews to eep your reviews current and build the quality and quantity and to identify the best and most useful approaches to building reviews.
Want to learn more? Reach out to the GRAVITATE team today for a chat.