You have a Facebook profile, Instagram page, YouTube channel and maybe a Twitter account. But if you want to get found in Google Search results, you need to get 5 Star reviews, especially on your Google My Business listing, let’s look at a few techniques you can start implementing to win high-quality social proof quickly.
Incentivize Online Reviews
People love free stuff. Getting something for virtually nothing feels like a reward. You can tap into this emotion by incentivizing your audience to leave you a review.
Offer a discount code on a future purchase, gift card, or cold, hard cash. Not only will it boost your brand’s positive reviews, but it inspires customer loyalty.
Monitor All Review Platforms
You want to stay on top of your online reviews. It will help you find your raving fans and disgruntled customers before things escalate and damage your reputation.
You can manually monitor your reviews or invest in software like Podium or Birdeye.
Both platforms monitor conversations around your brand and send you instant, daily, or weekly email updates about what your customers are saying about you.
Quickly and Politely Address Negative Feedback
Businesses screw up. It happens to everyone, but how you handle it will define your brand.
Don’t ignore bad online reviews. Respond as quickly as possible and focus on solving the problem.
Approach each case Disney’s H.E.A.R.D. Technique:
Hear: Let the customer tell you the story and genuinely listen to what they have to say.
Empathize: Show the customer you understand why they are upset. You can use phrases like “I understand why you’re frustrated. I would feel like that, too.”
Apologize: Give a sincere apology. No business wants its customers to feel upset.
Resolve: Do your best to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. If you’re not sure what’s the best solution, ask the customer what you need to do to make the situation right.
Diagnose: Figure out what caused the problem and fix it, so the issue doesn’t happen again.
By using the H.E.A.R.D. approach, you can potentially save the relationship and prevent losing the customer for good.
With the cost of acquiring a new customer seven times more than retaining one, it’s in your best interest financially to address negative reviews as quickly as possible.
Ask the Right Customers to Review Their Experience
You don’t need every single customer reviewing your product or service.
You want your top fans. The people who love your products who have had incredible results with your business and are getting real value from your service. These customers write powerful reviews that can sway someone on the fence to sign up for your latest offer.
Here’s how to identify the right customers for reviews:
Referrers: If someone is sending people to your business, then they’ve experienced success with your product or service.
High customer feedback scores: If clients rate their experience with you a 9/10 or a 10/10, those are the people you want to write reviews.
Engagement: If a customer is engaged with your offer, it means they’re happy. Who is using your product the most? Who is a repeat customer?
Spotlight High Quality Reviews
Don’t let your best reviews collect dust in your inbox or on Google My Business. Put them to work!
You can use reviews as testimonials and add them to your:
You can go one step further and highlight reviews by sharing them on your:
social media (e.g., create an Instagram Stories highlight)
For stellar reviews, you can turn a customer’s success into an in-depth case study. Case studies are valuable pieces of content that can help your sales team sell your offering and demonstrate to clients how your service or product can change their lives.
Ask at the Right Time
One of the biggest faux pas you can make is asking for an online review at the wrong time.
For example, if you ask customers weeks or months after their last interaction with you, you’ll get a lackluster response (if you get one at all).
The reason? The client has to dig up memories long after it’s happened.
Your best reviews come from clients when the experience is fresh in their minds. It will make it easy for them to write a review and recall all the details of what made the experience special.
Here’s when it’s usually a good time to ask for a review:
Your customer hits a milestone (e.g. earned a free coffee filling the loyalty card up).
A day or two after your product is delivered.
After having a positive interaction with your team.
Before leaving an event you have hosted.
Use QR Codes For Reviews
More than ever before, we are using QR codes to Check-In to supermarkets, cafe's, medical centres etc and probably also for your business as well.
So why not also have a QR Code linked to your Google My Business or Facebook Page where customers can leave reviews in an unobtrusive manner.
QR codes can be embedded on the receipt or tax invoice or maybe placed on the counter next to the till so customers have easy access to it.
Online Reviews: FAQs
What are the best review sites?
The best and most popular review sites are Google My Business, Amazon, Facebook, and Yelp. However, you should investigate review sites within your niche. E.g., authors should focus on GoodReads for book reviews, and companies should look at Glassdoor for employee reviews.
Why are online reviews critical?
Online reviews are critical because it impacts your company’s reputation and bottom line. It’s also a Google ranking factor, meaning reviews can boost your business up the search engine results and increase site traffic.
How do online reviews influence buying decisions?
If you have too many bad reviews, it can influence people not to buy your products and services. Similarly, good reviews foster trust, help consumers feel confident in their purchasing decisions, and increase sales.
How many people look at online reviews?
According to a BrightLocal study, 87 percent of consumers read online reviews.
Online Reviews: Conclusion
Online reviews are a vital method of winning new business in every industry. They’re seen by almost everyone and play heavily into your success both offline and online.
Prioritize your customer’s reviews on platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Amazon, and Google. Then be active in your approach to winning more positive than negative reviews.
Successful reviews may not happen overnight. Think of it like any other process in your business. It takes work, but it sure feels good when you finally get there and start seeing the customers roll in from it.
What hacks do you use to get positive online reviews for your business?