Where do you turn when you need a new pet sitter, hair dryer, yoga studio, date night restaurant or sofa? The internet, of course! And if you’re like 92% of consumers, you read online reviews to get the truth about what to expect from a product or service before you buy.
Online reviews are incredibly powerful – a product with at least 5 online reviews has a 270% higher purchase likelihood than a product with 0 reviews. Why? Because we’re inundated with options and information about those options. Online reviews help us cut through the noise, weed out the good from the bad, and (hopefully) make worthwhile purchasing decisions.
Online reviews & search marketing
Online reviews are also vital to your company’s position in online search. Search engines like Google prioritize businesses that have online reviews because they know that consumers want to read them. Therefore companies that have numerous, recent reviews rank higher in online searches.
The 4 keys to getting more reviews
A whopping 70% of consumers will give your company a review if you ask them in the right way. Here’s how to do it:
- Ask at the right point.
Every business has a different right point. For example, at a medical practice it wouldn’t feel appropriate for the doctor to ask a patient for a review at the end of their appointment. A better option might be as they’re getting ready to leave the office – maybe with the nurse who schedules the next appointment or the person who validates their parking ticket. Think about when makes the most sense for your business.
- No strings attached.
Don’t offer a discount or freebie in exchange for a review because it can feel forced and inauthentic. Instead, explain how online reviews help your business improve and serve customers better.
- Request with humanity.
Make your ask personal. For example, an HVAC service provider could have their technicians ask for reviews once they’ve solved their customers issues with their heating or air conditioning. By that time, they’ve hopefully built a friendly rapport with the customer and have proven their skill at fixing the heat or air.
- Follow up and thank them.
Publicly thank customers that leave online reviews because your gratitude creates positive reinforcement. Others will see your acknowledgement and know that you pay attention to customer feedback. Also, active online engagement with customers will encourage more customers to write reviews.
What to do with negative reviews
You might be wondering…what if we get negative reviews? We recommend that you monitor and reply to ALL reviews, even the not-so-kind ones. Respond calmly and thoughtfully, showing that you care about their feedback and their experience, while working to get the conversation offline (to email or a phone call) as quickly as possible. Again, your willingness to respond shows other customers that you care about their experience.
Ready to hone your online review strategy? Get in touch.
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