Customer reviews speak louder than carefully strategized marketing ads. Just as asking a neighbor or friend for recommendations on their preferred plumber or local handyman, online reviews offer an inside look at customer satisfaction, your business practices, and the quality of your products.
They help develop trust with the potential customer and gives them confidence that your company may be worth trying.
In fact, 78% of people say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Your customers’ words break through the marketing verbiage and offer potential and returning customers a sincere view.
Here’s how you can make it happen!
#1 Way to Get Reviews: Own Your Online Listings
Nearly all businesses are listed online. The thoroughness and quality of those listings, however, varies.
Take ownership of your business listings across larger directories like Yelp or Google My Business, as well as local directories. Ownership validates the listings and gives you an opportunity to create a wider net to reach new audiences.
Reputable directories improve your business’ online reputation and offer yet another way, beyond online searches, to quickly view ratings, reviews, and website information locally.
According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local mobile search visit a business within 24 hours. Consistent information across directories, however, does ultimately help to improve your business’ online reputation, as search engines like Google rank businesses they “trust” than businesses with inconsistent listings.
#2 Way to Get Reviews: Physical Review Request Card
In an increasingly digital world, handing out a physical card may seem silly but offering something physical to hold puts the task of leaving a review right in front of your customers. Like they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Physical review request cards are also incredibly easy to share. While a customer may forget or decide not to leave a review, they may hold on to the card to share your contact information with a friend.
Print some business cards with links to your review sites.
76% of people who conduct a local mobile search visit a business within 24 hours
#3 Way to Get Reviews: Send a Note
Reviews are more often left when a customer has an unexpected very positive experience with your business or when they have a very negative experience.
Keep your company’s products and services at the forefront of your customer’s mind so you encourage reviews outside of those anomalous, by-chance moments.
Send an email or SMS text message as a follow-up to a customer’s purchase. According to Power Reviews, up to 80% of reviews originate from follow-up emails asking for shoppers to rate their most recent purchase.
An email or text can be kept simple: “How are we doing? Please review us here [link].”
You may consider taking the opportunity to include a brief customer satisfaction survey. This helps you get ahead of any negative reviews plus identify the best way to improve your products or services.
#4 Way to Get Reviews: Ask In-Person
It never hurts to ask. At the end of a transaction, you may ask your customers if they were satisfied with their service or if anything could have been done to improve it. This is an opportunity to capture positive and satisfactory reviews.
Follow-up the initial question with a request to leave a review on your website or directory listing. According to studies, it works!
Consumers are more likely to leave a review for a local business after being asked. In fact, BrightLocal found that 70% of consumers will leave a review when asked to do so.
#5 Way to Get Reviews: Connect to Your Customers and Reply to Reviews
Online customer reviews are an opportunity to publicly show your business’ interactions with customers and how you value them. Whether reviews are positive or negative, replies from your business can change potential and current customer’s opinions 7 out of 10 times according to reports.
According to Grade.us 42 percent of complaining customers expect a response to their review in 60 min or less (Source: Convince and Convert) and 30 percent feel reading how a business owner responds is key to judging their business.
Your reputation is greatly influenced by what customers are saying about you. While you can’t control what people will say and how potential customers will view your business, you can enthusiastically participate in managing your reputation.
Responding to all reviews— the good, the bad, and the ugly—can boost your reputation and help you avoid losing potential customers.
78% of people say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
#6 Way to Get Reviews: Turn Your Google Reviews into Marketing Materials Promoting Your Business
If you have a brick and mortar location, use reminders in your store to encourage customers to leave reviews. You can post them at the checkout counter, at the entryway, or wherever you feel works best.
If you have a Google My Business profile, Google offers free marketing materials to help with this: stickers, posters, social posts and more.
Simply go to https://marketingkit.withgoogle.com/ enter your business name and pick the materials you would like to use. Easy as that.
Improve Your Reputation and Your Bottom Line
The power of your customers’ words can work to attract potential customers and also improve your online reputation, search engine optimization, marketing content, products, and services, as well as your business revenue. Customers spend 31% more when a business has positive reviews, according to studies. But first, you need to encourage reviews!
Want a free review scan? See how your business compares and how you can dominate your market. While you can’t control the content of your customers’ reviews, you can certainly lead them in the right direction. Get your free review scan here and let’s start setting up your review funnel!