In 2018, a majority of people read online reviews before they hire a service or buy from a company. That's why it's so important to get great reviews. Here's how.
Everyone knows online reviews are important. But did you know 90% of customers use them to influence their buying decisions?
Clients constantly ask us what they can do to improve their review ratings. Most think they need to limit negative reviews. Yes, this is important, but you can't 100% prevent them. No matter what you do, there will inevitably be a few unhappy customers.
There are ways to keep bad reviews to a minimum. But one of the most important parts of reputation management is maximizing your positive reviews. After all, two bad reviews mean little if you have thirty great reviews.
As crucial as they are, positive online reviews can be difficult to come by. How do you get your customers to spend their precious time writing a review?
How to Get Great Reviews Online
Our pros have built a quick guide to help any business get more great reviews:
Set up Profiles on Many Review Sites
Different customers prefer different review sites. Few customers will sign up for a new site just to write a review. Your objective is to have a profile on sites your customers already use.
You probably know all the big ones - Google, Yelp, Facebook, AngiesList, etc. But look for industry-specific ones too, like law firm directories or doctor-rating sites.
Make Sure Customers Leave Happy
This sounds like an obvious one, but it's constantly overlooked. If a customer is unhappy, take the time to settle things with them (if possible) before they leave a review.
Train your staff to make this a priority. If there isn't a manager available at the time, tell staff to alert the manager if there is an issue. The manager should contact the customer as soon as possible.
Publicize Your Review Profiles on Social Media
Sometimes a happy customer just needs a reminder. Incorporate your review-gathering efforts into your social media marketing.
All it takes is a post every once in a while, inviting customers to leave a review. You could even post great reviews to thank the customers who left them, and link to the review page.
Respond to All Reviews
When you're responding to an online review (positive or negative), you're not just talking to the customer. Everyone who goes to your reviews page will read it.
The fastest way to get people to stop leaving reviews is to make them think you won't pay attention to it. If you respond to every review, it shows customers you care and encourages them to share their thoughts.
Offer Indirect Incentives for Reviews (Carefully)
Review incentives are tricky business. If you go too far and only reward great reviews, you'll be in hot water. It's against most sites' terms of services, and there are even laws about review incentives.
Instead, try doing a giveaway each month. Put the names of all the month's reviewers in a bowl and pick one to win a prize.
Some companies choose to incentivize their employees as well, offering bonuses if a certain number of reviews are posted. But only do this if you can trust your employees not to post false reviews.
Invite Customers to Review You and Make it Convenient
Start instructing your staff to send follow-up emails to happy customers and include links to your review pages. It's a good idea to include several of them, so customers can use the ones they prefer.
Just be careful not to pressure customers too much and to use the right wording. Ask for honest feedback - not a "positive review." This could be seen as coercion.
Set Your Sites on Five Stars
Now that you have plenty of tools in your toolbox get to work and round up those reviews! If you want more hands-on help, contact our digital marketing experts.