Reviews 101: Why You Need Them, How to Get Them, and How to Manage Them


In January 18, 2019
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It’s no doubt that many, if not most, business owners recognize that online reviews, especially positive ones, can play an important role in promoting business. However, the topic of reviews can raise some concerns—what if reviews have been difficult to obtain from your clients? How exactly are reviews benefitting your business, and what about those pesky negative reviews?

 

To start, testimonials are instrumental when it comes to marketing your business—never underestimate the influence that a review can have on a potential customer. According to Rocket Digital, 88% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase. This means that consumers want to hear about your business from someone they can relate to, a third party providing an unedited opinion. They are also looking to educate themselves on their options, which will ultimately push them from consideration to a purchase or action. Consumers do highly trust each other, creating a valuable vein of authentic marketing that can be tapped into—better yet, this kind of marketing is free.

 

However, before you can reap the benefits that quality online reviews can provide, you need to first encourage your clients to leave reviews. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to obtain reviews for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that clients are unlikely to act on their own unless they have a strong emotion—positive or negative—driving them to do so. This means that most clients who fall in the middle, between the extreme positives and negatives, are being lost. According to The Drum, 77% of customers are actually willing to leave a review if asked—the key word being “willing.” In order to turn that willingness to act into an affirmative “will act,” you need to make the review process easy, quick, and accessible to clients. This may look different for each business, depending on the industry your business lies within and how your business operates. If you e-mail your clients often, provide a link in your email or email signature that directs clients to an area where they can leave you a review, such as your Google or Facebook profile. If you visit your clients in person, on the jobsite, or have a store-front, it may be helpful to have a printed handout you can provide for each client that thanks them for their support and invites them to leave a review of the services they received. In the end, the goal is to provide clients with the necessary resources and steps to leave an honest review.

 

Knowing these tactics to gather reviews, it’s important to also understand how reviews can function for your business. Each review serves as valuable feedback that can help you better understand what your business is doing well and what you can do to improve. Although bad reviews are sometimes difficult to hear, the criticism can be flipped to be productive. Pay close attention to your reviews and respond quickly. The highly-detailed feedback from a review allows you to be responsive to your customers and gives you an opportunity to adjust your product, service, and/or consumer experience. Plus, bad reviews are often highly subjective—a bad thing to one person may be a perk to another.

 

Because of this, you don’t need to be afraid of the occasional negative review—in fact, your business listing may benefit from them. Reputation management and consumer trust plays a huge role here. Although you strive for positive reviews, and should shape your services around providing the best possible client experience, the occasional bad review is inevitable and how it is handled is oftentimes more important than the review itself. Respond actively and attempt to resolve the situation as this will show consumers that you care about your clients and desire to provide the best experience possible for them. In fact, a few bad reviews will give consumers a reason to trust your good reviews—a business profile saturated by entirely positive reviews can look fake or unbelievable, whereas having a mix, of course containing a majority of good reviews, paints your business as authentic. Having one or two bad reviews actually encourages consumers to stay on your site or profile longer, as they will be more likely to read and evaluate each review. This creates highly-engaged consumers!

 

Lastly, and perhaps the most tangible, obtaining a large volume of reviews can improve your business’s relevance and visibility on local search. Collecting online customer reviews is a signal to influential search engines, like Google, of your business’s trustworthiness and authority. With reviews, you will rank yourself among other legitimate and trusted companies. As a small-to-medium-sized local business, Google My Business reviews including keywords are highly influential in Google’s decision of which businesses to include in the “Local Pack”—a box of suggested nearby businesses appearing at the top of a search.

 

 

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Besides ensuring your business’s website is SEO-friendly and has good organic rankings, reviews are the next best factor that can help push your site towards the top of Google, making you highly visible to those searching the web. Besides Google reviews, consumers also take to social networking sites to read product reviews. Many consumers even prefer to leave reviews on Facebook as they may already have an account and frequent the platform anyway. People who are following your business’s Facebook page are more likely to leave quality, positive reviews as well. Ultimately, those reviews will also make their way to Google as well, further influencing your search rank.

 

From SEO value to staying in-touch with your consumer base and increasing trust between your brand and your potential clients, placing a little extra focus on reviews is worth strong consideration. Allowing for natural conversation and proactively reaching out to your happy customers to encourage and invite them to leave a review will ultimately help you obtain more of the positive reviews your business deserves.

 

 

 

Madison Wayland

Marketing Assistant

 


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