How can your business dominate local search and truly stand out from the competition? What would it do for your business if you were able to dominate the first page of Google and have a constant stream of new customers coming into your business?
You need a constant stream of positive reviews posted online where customers are looking for businesses like yours. And we are going to cover several ways to get more reviews posted online, raise your local search ranking, and take your business to the next level.
You Need More Positive Reviews to Outrank Competitors
Research shows that reviews are a strong ranking factor for search results. Search engines like Google are analyzing your online reviews from several angles. They look at quantity, how quickly new reviews are posted, how many sites have reviews for your business, and product keywords.
With proven ranking influence, it is crucial to consistently gather and post positive reviews to help your business rank higher in search results.
Another clear benefit of reviews management is the strong influence customer reviews have on the purchasing decisions of future customers. Online reviews posted on review sites and your business website give buyers the social proof they are looking for when searching for reliable products and services.
1. Train Your Employees to Gather Feedback From Customers
Customer feedback is a crucial resource for growing your business. Train employees to listen to what your customers are saying. Use that information to make improvements with the knowledge needed to refine your products and services.
One of the most important and neglected steps in training your employees to handle customer reviews is arming them with scripting that encourages happy customers to leave reviews on the online sites that matter most to your business. A simple, “I’m glad you found this helpful. We’d really appreciate if you’d leave a review on Yelp.” reminds happy customers how they can help your business in return.
Training should include instructing customer-facing employees on the questions to ask to get quality feedback and the steps they can take to deal with dissatisfied customers.
2. Request Online Reviews From Your Happiest Customers
The best way to get reviews from customers is to ask for them and the right time is immediately following the service or transaction. The experience is fresh. Their appreciation is strongest, and they are more open to giving you feedback. When you pave the way for an easy and convenient process, customers are more likely to spend a little time and effort reviewing your business.
3. Make Collecting a Customer Email Address Part of Your Purchase Process
When you do business online, you have the benefit of collecting the email address of customers as part of the buying, opt-in, or customer service process. Whether you have a brick and mortar store or you’re doing business online, you need to incorporate the collection of emails into the buyer’s journey as well.
From prospect to sale, a customer email address is invaluable to growing your business.
4. Use a Cell Phone Number to Text Customers a “Thank You. Leave a Review.” Message
Did you know you can text a review request link to a customer? This is incredibly effective with businesses that provide services and already use phone numbers to contact their customers with text reminders and appointment verifications.
With the dominance of smartphones and mobile internet use, clicking a link in a text message is a very simple and fast way for a happy customer to leave your business a review. Customers who have dealt with you on the phone or received text messages from your business, are not surprised or put off by a text requesting a review.
This is only for customer’s who have opted in to your SMS marketing programs so make sure you have the proper permissions first.
5. Incentives Can Give Customers a Reason to Leave Positive Reviews Online, But Be Careful
Telling customers they can receive a 10% coupon or a free ice cream for leaving a review would seem like a harmless way to increase the number of reviews you receive. However, be mindful of rules against incentivized reviews on your chosen review sites.
Do your homework when creating your incentive to see what is considered “payment” for services on the review sites you use.
Beyond review sites, the Federal Trade Commission has its own rules which boil down to this:
It’s okay to invite people to review your business after an actual purchase if you tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you in exchange for the review and that the discount is conditioned upon their making that disclosure. This protects the consumer by giving them a choice to decide how much trust to put into those reviews.FTC Endorsement Guide
Make sure you aren’t violating any of the review sites’ terms of service or the specific laws in your industry governing incentives for reviews.
Make Your Reviews Work Harder for Your Business
We can’t overstate the importance of online reviews and protecting your positive online reputation. With several sites to monitor while working to gather good reviews and handle negative ones, this whole online reputation management process can seem overwhelming. Luckily, it’s simple to outsource or automate most, if not all, of your reputation management and marketing processes and activities.
Contact us to find out how to leverage your positive online reputation and protect future revenue without any extra work.