Creating a robust online profile for your business often hinges on your reviews. It’s not only about positive ratings but how many reviews you have in total. The more reviews the more legitimate your business looks and the more social proof comes into play when others are looking at your page. More reviews also means a higher local search ranking, which can be important to set your business apart from the competition.
Reviews are crucial but they are also easy to overlook. When was the last time you checked in on your Yelp or Google reviews? When was the last time you suggested to a customer that they leave you a review? Taking the time out of your day to care about your reviews is crucial to the ongoing success of your business.
So how do you grow your reviews? It’s actually pretty simple but does require a little legwork. Even with the added effort this is critically important for your business and is well worth your time!
ASK IN PERSON
The easiest way to get reviews is to ask! It may seem annoying but customers that have had a good experience will be happy to leave a positive review. You can do this easily in person or on the phone when wrapping up an interaction. All it takes is a simple prompt: “Please leave us a review on Facebook, we would love to hear about your experience!” The key is telling them where to review you. If you are lacking reviews on Yelp send them there, or Facebook, or Google. You will be surprised with how many people actually leave a review! Practice this interaction and make it a part of your routine to keep it going.
Another way to implement this is to create business cards with the URLs and a reminder to leave a review. Make it easy for people to grab one and remember! And no, you are not going to annoy your customers.
USE AN AUTOMATED TOOL
If you do a lot of business through email, or sell online use that to gather more reviews! Set up an automated campaign with your email marketing application to send out an email asking for a review after a completed purchase. Simply ask the customer how their experience was and to share it with others. Be sure to link to the exact pages you want them to leave feedback on.
You can also use a tool like MyReviewDashboard that will do exactly this for you as well as quarantine negative reviews. An email can ask a customer if they had a good experience. Pressing yes will link them to a review page like Yelp, Google, or Facebook and pressing no would lead them to a form that will only be sent back to you. This is a great way to get honest feedback from people who had a positive or negative experience with you. This way also gives you a chance to resolve negative experiences before they are published forever on a public review site.
Tools like MyReviewDashboard can help take some of the weight off your shoulders and make it easy to collect and monitor reviews across all platforms for a small monthly fee. If you want to grow and watch your reviews easily then it’s definitely worth the investment!
RUN PERIODIC CAMPAIGNS ON SOCIAL AND EMAIL
If you don’t want to appeal to customers individually then you can opt to run periodical email and social campaigns (or do both). What this means is that at regular intervals you will send out an email or publish a social media post asking for feedback. This will not yield as much success as the more personalized automated approach but you should see some activity.
Another way to do this is to feature positive reviews in email and on social media with links to the review sites. Seeing people leave positive reviews may inspire others to share their experience as well.
Online reviews are critical to the success of your business. If your competition has 100 reviews and you have 3 who do you think people will choose to do business with? Probably your competition. Reviews show potential customers that you are good at what you do and that people are happy to have done business with you. That kind of confidence cannot be bought!
Read more on how to get your business found online at BryanCaplan.com