What’s The Easiest Way To Get Online Reviews For Your Business?
Online reviews are one of the key drivers of buying decisions today. Whether you?re talking about trying local services like doctors and plumbers, or buying products online like laptops and cameras, reviews matter?.. A LOT! Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses miss out on the benefits of online reviews because they don?t realize their importance, or simply because they don?t know how to get the ball rolling.
How do you get more online reviews? The easiest way is something so simple that most businesses just never even think of. Just ask for a review.
Here are 5 reasons your company should start asking for online reviews.
1: Most Customers Don?t Think About Reviewing You
Let?s look at two scenarios.
Scenario 1: A customer schedules an appointment to receive a massage at your salon. They come in, the receptionist is very kind and helpful. The massage therapist gives them an amazing, relaxing massage and the customer feels reinvigorated. After the massage, they go to the receptionist, pay, tell them that they?ve had a great experience, and then they go on about their day.
Scenario 2: A customer schedules an appointment to receive a massage at your salon. They?re extremely stressed out and rush to make it to the appointment, and they?re a couple minutes late. When they arrive, they have to wait a little while for the receptionist to finish helping other customers first. They start to grow agitated.
When they get to the receptionist, they find out that they were accidentally scheduled for a facial, and not a massage, so they?ll have to wait a couple of minutes. When it?s time for them to get their massage, they?re extremely irritated. Once the massage is over, the customer goes to the receptionist, and without saying a word, they just pay. They go home, head to Yelp, and leave a negative review.
Now in the first scenario, the customer had a wonderful experience. In the second scenario, their experience wasn?t so great. But you?ll notice that the customer with the negative experience is the one who took the time to leave a review, not the satisfied customer.
Unfortunately, this happens all the time with businesses. Customers who have a good experience don?t usually voluntarily leave reviews of your business. On the flipside, when they?ve had an unpleasant experience, they can?t wait to tell everybody about it. Call it vengeful, retaliatory, or whatever you?d like. But it?s the way things tend to work out.
This is when asking for reviews becomes extremely important. And it?s usually the reason why a lot of small businesses that have an overall great reputation offline, end up having a 2-star average rating online. Because the people who have great experiences think that everyone knows how great your company is, and recommend you to their friends in person, but don?t do it online unless you ask them.
2: Reviews Help Local SEO
According to the annual local search ranking factors from Moz, online reviews play a pretty large role in your local search rankings. It?s important to not only have a lot of reviews, but a lot of positive reviews, that come in over time.
That means that having a stream of positive reviews that come in over time is more effective than just having 10 positive reviews from 5 years ago. That?s why asking for reviews is so important. After every transaction with a new customer, you should ask them to go online and leave a review.
The impact of positive reviews for local SEO is even more evident when you consider the fact that Google?s entire purpose is to provide people with the best search results. It doesn?t look very good for them to serve up a bunch of restaurants with one star reviews when people are Googling a place to go for dinner.
3: Reviews Can Help Improve The Way Your Business Works
Reviews aren?t all about improving your search presence. Honest feedback helps your company improve the way you do business. Sometimes it?s hard to hear criticism about your business, but if the feedback is genuine, then it can be a real learning opportunity.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of only looking at the extremes, the glowing 5 star reviews, and the horrible 1 star reviews. But the reviews that you really need to focus on are the ones in the middle, the 3 stars. Because 5 star reviews are generally filled with praise. And the 1 star reviews (hopefully) are rare occasions that don?t reflect the overall experience people are having with your company. The 3 star reviews are usually people who aren?t evangelists, but also aren?t simply hating on your business.
Another good thing about 3 star reviews is that they?re not completely lost customers. If you reply to the review, apologize for the issue they had, and let them know that you?ll be taking action to correct the problem, the customer will appreciate it and more than likely be willing to give you another shot. Also, since replies to reviews are public, people looking at the review will see it and not be so quick to dismiss your company.
4: Online Reviews Are The New Word-Of-Mouth
Remember the days when if you wanted to know how good a restaurant was, you had to know someone who has eaten there before? Well, the times have changed and sites like Yelp and Google have made it so that online reviews essentially function like word-of-mouth advertising.
A study from BrightLocal showed that people really trust online reviews. They found that ?79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?. And 73% of consumers say that positive online reviews make them trust a business more.
Because of this, you have to make sure that your online reputation is solid. And that starts with having positive reviews of your company on the top sites. If your company has dozens of positive reviews, people will be confident that you?re the real deal, and that they?ll have a positive experience.
Also, with search becoming more personalized, people can see what businesses their friends recommend. That just further pushes the power of online word-of-mouth.
5: Reviews Help You Outshine Your Competition
Last, but certainly not least, having reviews of your business online lets you stand out above your competitors. When people search for different services online, Google lists local businesses along with their average online review ratings. If you have an average of 5 stars, and your competitor has 2 or 3, guess who has the edge?
On the same note, if you?re the one with a 2 or 3 star average review score, and everyone else has 4 or 5, you?ll be overlooked.
And the truth is, most people won?t even click to read your actual reviews, they?ll look at the average that displays in Google, and make their decision based on that. So even if there?s just a couple of negative reviews that throw off your average, it still impacts the way potential customers see your company.
Start Asking For Online Reviews
It all boils down to, ?Just ask?. It?s as simple as that. Build it in as a part of your overall sales process so it becomes natural. Taking that one little step can have a huge impact on your online reputation and your entire business as a whole.