No news is good news, right?
Well, not when you’re referring to your company’s online reputation.
You may have built a phenomenal business that provides great service, exceptional value, and phenomenal customer experience. But your people are much more likely to trust online reviews, ratings, and testimonials from customers than the things you write or say about your own company.
Why are customer online reviews important?
Positive reviews that showcase customers’ great experiences and demonstrate the outstanding results you deliver are key factors in winning and keeping new business:
- Online reviews drive web traffic. 50% of consumers will visit a business site after reading a positive online review.
- There’s a strong relationship between star ratings and conversions. One study found a 1.5-star improvement led to 13,000 more leads!
- Positive reviews can also help boost your SEO and where you rank within Google. Improving from 3-stars to 5-stars can even result in 25% more clicks for Google’s local search results.
- Online reviews build a business. 90% of people report that positive ones help them assess the quality of a local business.
- People trust online reviews. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 trust them as much as personal recommendations!
- Every star matters. Just a one-star increase in Yelp rating can boost your revenue by up to 9%.
In addition to driving more traffic, leads, and business, building an arsenal of positive reviews also help minimize the impact of a negative review. Just a single one-star rating on Yelp can drop your average significantly if you don’t have plenty of 4’s and 5’s to counterbalance it. But if you have dozens or hundreds of great reviews and just a handful of negative ones, the goodwill overwhelmingly outweighs the bad.
People trust online ratings, and consumers’ opinions are more important than ever. In an era where every rating matters, you need to proactively solicit great reviews. Here’s how:
- Get over your reservations. If you’re intimidated by the thought of asking for a review, remember what’s at stake. Asking for reviews is a business best practice you need to get comfortable with. People are generally willing to leave reviews and like being heard.
- Create a great process. Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? Are you on Facebook? Is there a review form somewhere on your site? Before reaching out for reviews, make sure you have a simple, effective process for capturing them.
- Ask! Kindly ask for reviews from happy customers:
- Ask in real-time: When a customer sings your praises, explain that those types of comments help prospective customers feel more confident in choosing your business. Politely ask for them to write up the positive experience they just shared.
- Create opportunities in everyday conversations: Train your entire staff to gently ask questions that prompt conversations about reviews, such as: How was your experience with our company today? Is this your first time using this product or service? What did you think? Use these conversations as stepping stones to requesting reviews.
- Ask via email: Create standard verbiage your team can customize and send out with a link to an online form for submitting a review. Keep the message short, polite and direct – and be sure to thank customers in advance. Your team can send these out individually as they interact with customers, or you can send an email out to all your customers at once.
- Ask after an online purchase: If you have an e-commerce site, add a review/feedback request to your order confirmation page. A simple message like: “Thank you for your purchase! If you enjoyed your experience, please tell us (and others) about it,” can automatically garner fresh online reviews.
- Ask on a card in product packaging: Add little cards to packages to encourage reviews. Again, all you need is a simple message with a link: “Have feedback? We’d love to hear it. Please leave us a review at [link].”
- Follow-up with everyone who leaves a review. Send a handwritten thank-you note to show your appreciation – and remind them why they left that positive review in the first place! And if the review is neutral or negative, reach out to diagnose the issue and put your service recovery process into action.
- Skip the incentives. Whatever methods you choose to solicit feedback, never incentivize customers to leave positive reviews. Besides being unethical, it’s also against the terms and conditions of review platforms like Yelp and Google.
Take control of what customers are saying about you.
BARQAR’s online reputation management services make it effortless to improve your online ratings by garnering positive reviews (and preventing negative ones)
Want to learn more? Request a free demo from BARQAR today.