Let’s start with a couple of hypothetical situations.
First hypothetical situation: you have a new air-conditioning system installed in your home. The installers are phenomenal, the job is done quickly, and the system is up-and-running in record time.
Second hypothetical: you get your hair done. The hairdresser doesn’t understand what you want. Your colour doesn’t match your expectations and they’ve cut your hair much shorter than you asked for.
Things like that happen to people all the time.
So, you compare notes with friends and family. One of the first questions they ask you is: ‘Did you read any of their online reviews or check their Facebook page?’
The number one method of advertising has always been word-of-mouth. However, in this day and age, word-of-mouth advertising is done online with stellar reviews.
91% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That’s a lot of people being influenced by reviews.
It’s easy to see how important these online recommendations become when you have a real-life situation like the two mentioned above.
Getting people to highlight those five little stars on any social media site can be the kiss of good fortune for your business. Plenty of studies show that most people are visual, so seeing multiple stars with multiple ratings can quickly generate the business and leads you want.
Great reviews generate great business leads. Bad reviews…well, too many of those and your business will suffer.
But, how do you get these positive reviews for your business? Read on to find out…
Generating Awesome Online Reviews
Generating online reviews can happen quickly if you have a database of customers to reach out to. Only 6% of happy customers think to leave a review without being asked, so that leaves a whopping 94% of your customer database that may just need a gentle nudge to leave a glowing review for your business.
Before you start requesting reviews, you need to have a place to showcase them. Profiles on Google, Facebook, Etsy, TruLocal and any other online review site relevant to your business needs are a must!
Now, let’s talk about how to generate some awesome online reviews and launch your business into the stratosphere of success!
1. Do Great Work
This doesn’t really need much of an explanation.
If you want positive customer ratings and reviews, then you need to make sure your business consistently provides quality products and/or services. The fundamental building block of a great review is a great customer experience.
Sure, there will be times when services are not 100% perfect. However, as long as you and your employees work to resolve any issues that may occur in a professional, courteous manner, you can still salvage a great review.
2. Coach Your Staff
Understanding exactly what leads to a great customer experience (and review) is key.
Things like having a positive demeanor, a can-do attitude and being approachable and personable will all directly impact your ability to generate great reviews.
Once a great job has been delivered, simply ask your customers for a review.
A short and simple phrase such as ‘We would really appreciate if you would review our business and/or services online if you have a spare moment’ is often all that’s needed to being fuelling your online reviews.
3. Make It Easy To Review
Even if a customer agrees to leave a review, they won’t always follow through.
The only way to be sure they’ll review you is to pull up a live review link on the spot in front of them, but that is just a bit weird and awkward!
However, there are other ways you can make it easier for them and increase the chances of your review coming through.
Make sure you have links to your preferred review sites in your email signatures, on your business cards or at your point of sale. Follow up your customers with an email or SMS with a direct link to your review sites.
Don’t be afraid to send a gentle reminder if needed.
4. Consider Incentives
You may also like to offer an incentive for a review.
Small discounts on future services or gift certificates are often all that’s need to increase your review response rate.
One note of caution. Be careful to not add any caveats that the review must be positive to qualify for the incentive. Most review sites are committed to keeping the reviews on their site honest and unbiased, and trying to influence the content of the review would not be viewed favourably.
5. Be Responsive
When a prospective customer reads through reviews, seeing how an owner responds to those that have used their products or services is a massive game-changer.
Your customers are taking the time, effort, and energy to write an online review for the services they were provided or the products they were sold. When the business responds to these reviews, it sends a clear message that the business values feedback from its customers.
Whether you have a happy customer or a disgruntled customer, make sure to respond to their reviews promptly and appropriately.
A simple, ‘Thank you for your business. We were happy to be of service,’ to a positive review can show a potential customer that you are not just interested in their money.
A quality, factual response to a negative review that outlines how you plan to remedy any issues show that you are an honest, reliable and trustworthy business.
Maximise Those Online Reviews
Getting customers to recognise your business and/or services online is not an incredibly difficult task, but it is incredibly powerful when it comes to attracting more customers for your business.
Ensure your employees understand that the value of great reviews and are confident enough to ask for them.
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave reviews for you and if needed, send gentle reminders if promised reviews don’t come through.
In this day and age, our global marketplace revolves around online reviews and ratings.
When you prioritise generating quality reviews for your business, you give yourself a competitive advantage and a clear strategy to grow your customer revenue.
Need some help turning your business into an online review generating powerhouse? Get in touch and we’ll help you make it happen!