How do you get great reviews for your business online and improve your reputation? Follow these tips.
Consumers are becoming more sophisticated, more knowledgeable and more informed. They're looking for more than just what you choose to show them on your website — they want real experiences. For this reason, review sites such as Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List and more are becoming a necessary tool for your business. Even Facebook business pages now have a review tool to maximize this opportunity.
According a recent study published by Zendesk, 90 percent of participants said that a positive review influenced their buying decision, while 86 percent said the same about a negative review. Those customer experiences have a heavy hand in shaping our brand-identity, so how can we make sure our brand identity is safe in the hands of the masses?
The answer of course is to provide exceptional service — which is something that all companies should aspire to, but did you know that while 80 percent of companies say they provide “superior customer service” only 8 percent of consumers said that those same companies delivered (Lee Resources)? Or that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience (“Understanding Consumers” by Ruby Newell-Legner)?
So what do you do? You get more reviews. Here's how to do it.
Sign Up on Multiple Review Platforms
The easier you are to find, the easier you are to review. Set up profiles on all of the major review sites — Google, Yelp, Facebook — and also search for industry specific review sites, such as Urbanspoon for restaurants or MechanicRatingz for auto repair. Added bonus? Some review sites such as Yelp and TrustPilot show up on Google — your great reviews will be front and center! Just make sure that you stay connected with all of your profiles; there is nothing worse than a negative review left unresolved.
Think of every customer who doesn’t review you as a missed opportunity for an amazing testimonial. You may not get that outstanding review if you don’t ask for it. Make asking for a review part of your customer service routine by letting customers know at the end of each transaction where they can tell you about their experience. Many companies put requests for reviews on the bottom of receipts or on the back of business cards. All of these messages serve to request and remind customers that their review is important.
Make it Simple
When customers are willing to give a review, make it easy for them. One-click on your website, a button in a newsletter, a link in your follow-up emails — there are many ways that you can bring the review to the customer because studies have shown that, unless a customer as a negative experience, they are unlikely to actively search for places to review your business.
If the site allows it, thank your reviewers for taking the time to provide feedback. You could send them an email with a personal message, draw a name from a list of past reviewers monthly to receive a prize, even offer a bounce-back discount code for reviews. Just be sure you are clear when providing incentives that you are rewarding the act of reviewing, not the act of providing a GOOD review. You want your responses to be honest and straightforward, because as we will discuss in the next point — negative reviews are valuable, too.
Embrace negative reviews
Negative reviews are an opportunity. Don’t rush to delete them (you can’t) or bury them (you shouldn’t). Meet them head on. According to Ruby Newell-Legner's “Understanding Consumers,” a company will only hear from approximately 4 percent of their dissatisfied customers. Scarier still? Even if you don’t hear from them, they are telling their friends. Listen to what the customer has to say, respond in a timely manner outlining a plan to correct their issues and do everything in your power to ensure that customer leaves the transaction satisfied and happy. They may even return to the review site with an update! Transparency is key here, remember that potential customers may be reading these reviews, and deciding whether or not they are satisfied with your handling of the situation.
Make positive reviews more visible
With permission, share positive reviews across your social media networks or as testimonials on your website. This not only increases the visibility of your review platforms but serves as a no-cost promotion that you may find works better than any words your marketing department could dream up.
It goes without saying that, for any company that prides itself on the customer experience, more reviews means more great reviews. You’ll find that the information gained, as well as the effect of the great reviews on your bottom line, will make all of the effort worth it.
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