It’s Friday night and you’re looking for a place to eat dinner. You remember a friend talking about two restaurants he loves and you’ve been meaning to try them out. What’s the first thing you do? Look online and read reviews of both places.
In one scenario, you google Restaurant A and only see one 4-star review. The review simply says, “Good food.” Do you want to go there?
In another scenario, you google Restaurant B and see over 40 reviews. You see a few 5-star reviews that say, “Best place to get fish fry!” and “I’ve been going here for years! Love it!” You also see a 1-star review with a lengthy comment about an awful experience. On that review you see the owner responded a day later, “We’re so sorry you had a bad experience. We’d love to reimburse you and make it right.”
Which restaurant do you want to go to?
According to Bright Local, “97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.” With almost every consumer reading online review before making a purchase decision, why don’t more businesses have reviews?
Many businesses owners wonder why they need so many reviews, they aren’t sure what to do with bad reviews (especially if the review is uncalled for), and they struggle with the awkwardness of asking customers for reviews.
Why Businesses Need Good Reviews
Simple: you need great reviews because your consumers are looking for them! “Reviews are trusted as much as having a friend recommend a business. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Positive online reviews can also help boost your SEO and digital presence. Bonus! While Google constantly changes its algorithm, the search engine giant always places high value on reviews. If there are two businesses in a close geographic area with similar web presence, Google will usually rank the business with more reviews higher.
What to Do With Bad Reviews
Many business owners are afraid of the dreaded “bad review.” Some even dread the bad review so much that they neglect their online presence or avoid asking for them altogether.
Yes, bad reviews aren’t good, but there is good news. Remember Restaurant B in the example above? That business had a bad review. However, the owner responded and apologized for that person’s experience. Didn’t you read that and think, “Well, maybe that person had a bad night but it still seems like an overall good restaurant and honest good owner?”
If you receive a bad review: Don’t panic. You want to respond as quickly as you can, but you can take a day to think about your response. The best type of response accepts responsibility, provides an apology, and offers a way to make it right. Try to take the conversation off the Internet by encouraging the reviewer to call or email you.
Don’t promise something you can’t deliver like, “We’re sorry for you bad experience. Please call xxx-xxxx for free products for life!”
And never, ever respond negatively to a negative review! Unfortunately, that even means if the review is highly uncalled for or inaccurate. Remember, whatever you post in response to the review will stay online permanently. A potential customer might see this negative interaction and then have a negative view of your business.
If a review is slander or worse, most review sites do offer a way to report a comment and have it reviewed for removal.
How to Get (Positive) Reviews
This is the fun part! Here’s how to get more (great) reviews for your business. Many business owners feel uncomfortable asking their customers for reviews. Check out these tips and tricks on asking for reviews (without being pushy). Getting reviews from your customers can even be fun!
3 Tricks on Asking for Reviews
1) The Simpler, the Better
Make your review process as simple as possible. Don’t just say, “Please review us online.” Instead, give your customer a simple path to do so. Say, “Here’s a link to leave us a review on our Facebook page.”
2) Don’t Offer Prizes
This might seem odd. Why not offer an incentive to get more reviews? This practice tends to turn consumers off. A consumer might think a business is desperate for reviews if they’re offering prizes. Plus, giveaways can sometimes result in fake reviews just to win the prize.
If your business posts on Facebook, for example, “Leave us a review and receive $10 off your next purchase!” This may entice people to write a fake review. Not good.
“79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year, but a worrying 84% can’t always spot them.” – Bright Local
3) Ask for the Review Right Away
The sooner you ask the consumer for the review, the more likely you are to actually get one from them! Think about it: Are you planning on visiting a business you went to last week, last month, or even last year? Right after the exchange of services, just ask for it.
2 Tips to Make Asking for Reviews Fun
1) Hand Them a Physical Reminder
Create a card or flyer asking for a review and include simple instructions for how to do so. After completing a job or a sale, simply thank the customer for their business and hand them the card.
2) Be Genuine
Asking for a review may feel awkward. You can always crack a joke like, “My marketing team is making me do this,” or “I’ve been encouraged to ask and this would help me out.” Just be yourself when you’re asking for a review. Happy customers are often willing to help! 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked—out of 74% who were asked for their feedback.
How To Automate the Reviewing Process
Finally, there are tools you can use to help you gather and manage reviews. With these tools, you set up your profile, enter a customer email or phone number, and they basically handle the rest. Easy!
Get Five Stars
This tool is easy to use—and it has great reviews itself! You can gather reviews and monitor online reviews, plus, it integrates with your CRM to help you maintain your online presence.
Grade.us offers a one-stop-shop review management platform that they call your “review funnel.” This tool also helps you gather reviews and monitor your online presence.
Go Get Those Reviews!
Now go out there and start getting the reviews you deserve! Are you ready for more reviews, but need help with your review management strategy? Contact our expert team and we’ll set you on the right path.