Getting good reviews for your business is more important than ever, and it’s likely to become even more valuable in the future. Business owners who have Googled their own brands know it. Increasingly, consumers think so too.
Getting these reviews may be easier than you think. First, you can read about the statistics behind customers and online reviews. Then, read some tips on how to get your own.
Your Customers Want Reviews
According to a 2013 survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of customers say their decisions are influenced by online reviews. Fortunately, they are savvy enough to be more influenced by positive reviews than negative ones.
The survey’s findings on Gen Xers and why they write reviews was even more striking. Reportedly, 99 percent share information about bad experiences and 95 percent posted reviews or comments about positive interactions. Wealthy customers had even higher rates. Among people making more than $150,000 a year, a full 100 percent wrote about bad experiences and 99 percent wrote about good ones.
Figures from a 2011 study funded by bazaar voice and conducted by Kelton Research found that 51 percent of people trust online reviews by experienced customers over opinions of friends and family members. Word of mouth has been turned on its head! See more from this report by checking out this sleek infographic. Consumers are good at spotting fake reviews and are very suspicious of reviews that are always positive, so don’t worry too much about getting negative reviews removed unless they’re blatantly dishonest or incorrect.
Additional studies have shown that reviews directly cause increases in revenue, too. Cornell University found that hotels can safely increase their room rates by 11.2 percent if their score on review sites raises by one point on a 1-5 scale. Harvard University found that an increase of one star on Yelp increases revenue by 5-9 percent and consumers respond more strongly when ratings provide more information.
So How Can You Get More Reviews?
Check Your Existing Reviews and Pay Attention to Suggestions
If you want more reviews, you should first check out what people have already said. You can Google “(your business name) reviews” to get started. Then, take action. If all your good reviews are about one or two things, do more of that. If your reviews aren’t so positive, work to solve the problems right away. You should also respond to negative reviews right away, but don’t start by asking unsatisfied customers or review sites to take them down. Instead, reach out to the unhappy person directly and work to solve the problem. The best way to get good reviews is to earn them by providing excellent products and services.
Find a Few Top Review Sites for Your Industry
There are dozens of review sites all around the web where people can leave reviews, but the most popular sites for your industry will do you the most good. Look carefully at the results from your brand brand + reviews search and select the best three or four sites to focus on.
Make Reviewing Easy for Happy Customers
You will get more reviews when you make it easy for your customers. Your next step is to find the exact URLThis type of uniform resource identifier (URI) is the name for essentially all addresses online, but specifically ones that use the HTTP or HTTPS protocol. where users go to leave reviews. Then, post this information all over the place, and be creative. You can put it on the back of business cards, and then hand them out to happy customers. You can also print it on the back of receipts, staple cardstock flyers with the information to order sheets, and put a sign on your counter with the URLs and possibly a QR code. Additionally, you can try requesting reviews on the messages that play for customers who are on hold on the phone. If you’re feeling particularly confident, offer free Wi-Fi or put a computer or tablet for customers to use for reviews in your store. You can offer this as “free Internet access” as a value-added service.
Don’t Forget Your Website
It’s also wise to put links to your selection of review sites right on your website. You can include them on the contact page or any other landing pages, and you can also create a page just for reviews. If customers find anything there they particularly agree with or find reviews they don’t agree with completely, they’ll be tempted to chime in. Consider asking in email marketing campaigns as well, but try not to ask any customers who might be unhappy. It’s best to do this as a footer in emails that are educational or that offer something such as a deal, whitepaper or free trial. You can also put links for reviews on your social media sites. Only ask for reviews in your posts every once in awhile, however.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Most customers don’t mind being asked to write reviews, and the best time to do it is right after a sale. Psychologically, customers are most satisfied at that time. Be sure not to ask for positive reviews, but instead request honest and accurate ones. We don’t recommend paying customers or unscrupulous reputation management services for reviews, partly because it’s frowned upon by search engines and legitimate review sites. Furthermore, four separate experiments studied by Insead showed that customers who are paid for reviews write more informative ones but if your other customers find out, they then perceive your products as less valuable and subsequently write reviews that are less favorable.
Make it a Contest
The employees who work at the counter or who take customer calls may be hesitant to ask for these reviews, but motivating your staff is a great idea. Create contests for employees who get the most reviews, for example, or reward them for simply asking. If you start a contest, keep it going for as long as you can because customers pay attention to not only how good your reviews are, but how regularly they’re posted.
Foster Relationships with Reviewers Who Like You
If you can, try to personally thank your customers who have already left positive reviews. You can even reward them by offering deals or providing giveaways after the fact. You can also turn those happy customers into brand ambassadors. Ask if they are willing to be featured in promotional videos on your website or on TV or radio commercials, and ask them to spread the word about you to their friends and family.
Help Us Follow Our Own Advice
Search engine marketing firms also need reviews too, and we would love to hear from you about your experiences with Online Image®. In keeping with our advice, here are some links where you can leave your thoughts: topseos.com, Yelp, and Facebook. Thanks in advance.