Picture this. You’ve just moved to a new city. You’re unpacking all of your belongings and then you see it—a cockroach. It’s the last thing you need after a stressful day of moving cross-country. So, you pull out your phone and do a quick google search for “exterminators near me”. Immediately, 25 results pop up on your screen. You skim quickly and see that three of them have 4.5 or 5 star reviews. You click the one with the 5 star review, fill out a contact form (asking them to please, please take care of your problem) and go back to unpacking.
Fast forward a few months. Your sister is pregnant and all she’s asked you for is a carseat. You head to Amazon and discover that the amount of choices is overwhelming. There are literally thousands of options and they all look the same. Where do you turn? The customer reviews. There are hundreds of satisfied customers praising the one you have picked out.
This all boils down to one point—we live in an age where consumers trust online reviewers more than their own friends.
In 2017, BrightLocal conducted a survey to discover how local consumers handle reviews when browsing online.
91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad.
This means that almost all of your customers are turning to Google, Facebook, Yelp or another review service to see how others feel about your business before engaging. Where word-of-mouth was once a crucial part of marketing a business, online reviews have replaced and multiplied the ability to spread a reputation—both good and bad.
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
In the same vein, people are more trusting of their internet peers. Where we used to ask friends and family if they knew of a good plumber, we now consult others who have used the service recently. This allows us access to a greater number of opinions.
7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
Getting a review is often as simple as asking. Many business owners believe that by asking their customers to leave a review, they are pressuring people into doing something they don’t want to do. Simply placing reminders around your store, on your website, or emailing and texting them to leave a review of your service can go a long way.
90% of consumers read 10 reviews or less before they feel they can trust a business.
This means that if the reviews you have are sub-par, the customer is likely to move on to the next customer who meets their needs.
54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews.
Where a website used to be a customer’s first impression, your digital reputation now begins before someone even opens your web page.
73% of consumers think reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant.
Customers expect businesses to keep up their good service, but also respect that attempts may be made to improve, especially if the page got bad reviews in the past.
Enabling customers to leave reviews on your website can be intimidating. You give them the power to say what they truly believe about your product, and it lives in a place where everyone will see it as they shop. But, enabling these reviews can also have some overwhelmingly positive results. Each new review written about a product on your site increases the amount of unique content your site offers on that product, meaning you’ll be seen as having higher authority, more relevance, and, as such, a higher chance of getting those pages ranked.
Reviews gathered, even off-site, can have a positive impact on your search rankings. Google’s local search algorithm incorporates data from a number of third-party directories and review sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Because these sites tend to review the entire experience, rather than a specific product, they can have a larger impact on your overall rankings.
The Best Practices
So, how do you go about getting people to leave reviews? There are a few best practices to keep in mind:
Respond to Reviews
Take the time to reply to all reviews, not just the negative ones. People like to know that their comments have been received. If someone leaves a comment about the great service they received from Jared, let them know that you will pass their comments on to him. Letting your customers know that you are listening to their feedback can go a long way.
Handle Negative Reviews
While it may be tempting to ignore negative reviews, they deserve to get a reply. If the review has made you angry, take some time to step away before replying. Own up to the issue. Customers need to know you care. Make sure to communicate that the issue is important to you and that you are sorry the customer had the problem. Depending on what the issue was, offer to fix it for them if you feel it would be appropriate.
Ask for Reviews
Most people just need to be asked to leave a review. Consider working the question into your customer service approach, and ask right before the customer leaves. Some other ideas include:
- Email blasts
- Text messages
- Thank you pages
Get creative with how you ask!
You want to make sure that all of your listed information online is correct, so that customers can easily find you. Follow the links below when you need to update the online profiles for your business:
When updating these listings, be sure to add images to your listing that reflect your business. Show happy customers, display your product and include your team in the photos.
Sound like a lot of work? We can help. Just let us know.