Reviews for your business are incredibly helpful. They can seem unimportant, but ensuring that you actually get online reviews, that you react to them properly and use them to your marketing advantage can help them drastically influence your sales, SEO and ROI.
Why are reviews important for business?
Online reviews are virtual word-of-mouth advertising. They help to validate you as a genuine business, they can show off your company’s reputation and they can improve search rankings. Think about when you shop for products or services online… you want to know if “real people” have used this business and what they thought of it. You probably head straight to the reviews to find out. And from a Google search perspective, reviews are part of the intricate algorithm they use to rank businesses and show them to searchers. In short, they help to get your business seen on Google.
Why do reviews help sales?
Many people tend to “follow the crowd” or do the popular thing other people are doing when it comes to online purchasing. Good reviews can help show social proof… “Other people (even strangers) like this product so I will probably like it, too!” It helps to know what you’re getting and how it worked out for others. So instead of debating, the “buy now” button gets hit more often. We also see this trend in the restaurant industry. More stars equal higher sales, according to a study done by Harvard Business School. * Encouraging your customers to leave reviews could lead to growth for your business, too.
Where can people leave reviews for my business?
There are many ways for your customers to leave reviews and feedback for your business. Each location will have varying degrees of impact on your SEO, rankings and sales and some are better than others depending on your industry and whether you sell a product or a service.
A few locations (there are many others) where you can find and get reviews are:
- Google Business Profile
- Facebook (Recommend)
- Better Business Bureau
How do I get reviews for my business?
Encouraging people to leave reviews for your business can feel awkward, but it must be done. The easiest way is to work it into your regular marketing, content creation and communications. You cannot pay people for good reviews, but you can ask for reviews in ways that make sense. Be sure that you have claimed you profile on the site in which you are asking for the reviews. You need to have access so that you can respond. Here are some ideas we’ve used in the past to encourage reviews:
- You can send an email to your current client base and ask them to review your services with a link to where you’d like them to leave the review.
- You can have a sign in your store with a QR code that leads customers to the place where they can leave a review.
- If your company sends technicians, installers, or any other person off site to a client’s home or business, have them leave a card with a QR code where the client can leave a review.
- Mail a card with a QR code after service is completed.
- Ask for reviews on social media.
- Add a link to reviews from the checkout or thank you page of your website.
- Send a text following a transaction and ask for a review.
- If a client verbally gives you a positive review, ask them to write it up and post it to Google! Yes, they do have to post it from their account.
What do I do with the reviews I’m receiving?
When your business receives a positive review, shout it from the proverbial mountaintop! The first step should be to thank the reviewer in the same format that they’ve left the review (so others can see that you thanked them).
Then use those reviews in your marketing! Post the review to your social channels with a cute graphic or picture of the products purchased; it’s an easy way to fill out that social content calendar. Use the reviews throughout your website to show off those “real-person” experiences. Put the review on a marquee or a t-shirt or a mug or a menu… There are so many ways to celebrate your happy clients.
What if my business gets a bad review?
It’s bound to happen. It is often much easier to get a negative review than a positive one. But, there are steps you can take. If you do find that you get less-than-stellar feedback, here are some tips:
- Take a deep breath and try not to let it get you too upset. Negative reviews can be an enlightening experience.
- Always respond to the review in the same manner in which the review was left.
- If there something you should apologize for, do so. Taking the higher road and learning from mistakes is always admirable.
- Try to keep the defense reflex and customer blaming to a minimum. If the customer is being unreasonable or you find you can’t remedy the issue quickly, try to take the messaging offline to a phone call or email.
- Accept the fact that some people don’t want to have their problem solved. If that’s the case, just seek out as many more reviews as you can from your happy customers. One bad review does not make a bad business.
- If the review is threatening, not for your business, a lie or any other reason that would make it go against the site’s review terms, dispute it. But remember, you cannot dispute it just because you don’t like it.
Business Reviews Overview
The bottom line is that your business is probably going to get reviews. If you take control of asking for them, responding to them and advertising with them, you’ll be able to use them for the good of your company.