Okay, here's the recipe:
First Step: Do exceptional work.
Second Step: Ask for an online review.
Third Step: Get Online Reviews.
That's it. If you follow the plan above, you'll get at least one customer review. But... you need consistent customer feedback and to get online reviews like a boss, it's a bit more complicated.
But don't worry, we have you covered in this post. Let's dive in.
We'll assume your business has the "Do exceptional work" part figured out. Your customer service is outstanding, your customer's experience is top-notch, and your products and/or services are on-point.
We'll also assume that you're not into fake reviews. (Nobody's got time for those.)
So, let's dive into the "Asking for an Online Review" and "Get Positive Online Review"part.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a minute. They have a lot going on in their life. Would you put everything on hold to write a Google review for a company that you just gave your money to? Is that really how you'd choose to spend your time?
Now let's jump back in your own business owner shoes. You're a small local business and need business reviews. It's the lifeblood of your business. You need them.
You've read the statistics about positive feedback and positive customer reviews. And you just know that next google review will provide the social proof for that potential customer to take the plunge and give your business a shot.
(And once they do, you'll turn them into a happy customer. And your new happy customer will give your business reviews, which will turn into more social proof, which will lead to another happy customer and positive review. And snowball into prospective customers around the world giving you sweet business. And this will end with your business becoming insanely successful)
So, let's get this ball rolling and get you an actual review.
One of the most powerful things you can do as a business is to connect with your customers. This helps in a number of ways, including giving your customers a reason to head over to a review website to give you a review. And start raving about you on Facebook and social media.
So, don't be a faceless and generic business. Connect with your customers. Make them apart of your journey.
Your customer isn't just a consumer and you're not just a business. You're both on a journey. And if you can connect with your customers and foster a sense of loyalty, then your customer will be more willing to spend some time writing a review for your business.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. How do you connect with your customers?
One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to tell your business' story. Yep, your business has a story. Tell it. (If you're interested, here's our story)
You may not have thought a lot about what your business story is, but now is a great time to start thinking about it.
Why did you start your business?
What brought you to this point?
Where are you going?
What are you passionate about?
Your business story has touch points. And odds are that some will of them will connect with your customers.
Customer connect with stories and through them they feel a part of your businesses journey.
Explain Why Online Business Reviews Are Important
Your customers are on a journey with you. They're loyal to you. They want to help. But maybe they don't know how valuable honest reviews are. And that's why it's helpful to explain to customers why reviews are important.
Did you know that a single review can increase conversion by 10%?
Reviews are powerful. Let your customer know that they have the power.
And if your customers what to help you succeed, there isn't much more powerful than positive customer reviews. (Similarly, a bad review is pretty powerful too. Although, they can also be helpful. Kind of. More later.)
A client review is social proof and affects your business' online reputation and a customer's purchasing decision. A positive review is like a built in marketing asset for your business.
Reviews are also important for building up your online business profile. And also for reputation management. Online reputation management is more important than ever.
You've read the stats about reviews holding as much weight as family member's personal recommendation. (Is that really true?? Crazy...)
But it's not just for your business, it's also for the potential customer, who, just like them, need your product and/or service. Your business can help them. And your customer's online review can be the match maker that brings in that new customer or client.
And it doesn't stop there. A glowing review does wonders for the moral of employees. Everyone likes being recognized by a happy customer. Also, working for a company that has a fantastic online reputation is just awesome.
Finally, a good review is great for local SEO. When a customer writes a review, a search engine comes a long and takes note of the keywords they used. So, when a potential customer searches for a service or product like they one in the customer review, it sends the potential customer to your site.
Here's some great news. According to a study by BrightLocal, 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked. Here's the not so great news, asking for reviews falls through the cracks ALL THE TIME. The ask seems easy when you're focusing. (Like now) But when you're trying to focus on a million other things, it's easy to get lost.
Maybe you've already thought through this and you wrote up a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for your employees to ask for an online review. Or maybe you have plans for a follow-up review request email or message with a review link for an online review site. But things happen, people forget and the review request often falls through the cracks.
And of course, you knew we were going to bring up our review system. Don't worry, we won't bore you with details (we could talk about it all day about it.) Now isn't the time. That being said, if you want to learn more about our review platform, you can read about it here.
This one can be hard. It's nice and fun when you get good reviews. Learn from your reviews. It's nice to get a positive review (and great for bringing in new business) but even a negative review is valuable.
Obviously, it would be best if the negative review was in the form of customer feedback that only you saw. But even if it's shared on social media or a review site, learn from it. without being shared with the world, but make the most of it. Learn from their feedback.
Last, but far from least, thank your customers for giving your business a review. It's important to let them know you appreciate their time and effort. You might even want to send them a follow-up email and say "Thanks."
Even if it's a bad review that contains negative feedback, it's an opportunity for you to respond and let the customer know you appreciate their feedback, you're sorry for their bad experience and you'll work hard to improve.
Your response to their negative experience can be a path to turn an unhappy customer into someone who will give your business another chance. It will also show future customers that, while not perfect, you are willing to work hard to become better.
Thanks for reading this post. Hope you now have a plan and are excited about connect with your customers and asking them to help your business with an authentic review.
So, having fun diving in. Make sure your review strategy is working. It's a huge part of online marketing and improving your customer experience.
Let us know if you need any help with your review process. We love helping businesses, it's part of our story. (Just know after we help, we'll be asking for your customer feedback and sending you a review link)