Reputation Management | 10.10.13
A couple of months ago, Search Engine Land complied some interesting stats about the impact of online customer reviews from a 2013 BrightLocal Customer Review Survey. What the great pile of data unearthed will hit some businesses with a big rock of reality. Online reviews are incredibly important to consumers, they rely heavily on them, and it’s critical for all businesses to maintain and build a strong fortress of positive reviews.
Why Your Business Needs More Positive Reviews
- 73% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58% in 2012).
- 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Word of mouth remains the primary route for recommending a local business (72%).
If your business is based on providing a good quality experience over price, listen up! Last year, A couple of months ago, Search Engine Land complied some interesting stats about the impact on online customer reviews from a 2013 BrightLocal Customer Review Survey. What the great pile of data unearthed will hit you with a big rock of reality. Online reviews are incredibly important to consumers, they rely heavily on them, and it’s critical for all businesses to maintain and build a strong fortress of positive reviews. Why Your Business Needs More Positive Reviews 73% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58% in 2012). 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Word of mouth remains the primary route for recommending a local business (72%). If your business is based on providing a good quality experience over price, listen up! Last year, a Bazaarevoice survey noted that 51% of people actually found user-generated content on review sites to be more important than opinions from friends and family. Bazaarevoice survey noted that 51% of people actually found user-generated content on review sites to be more important than opinions from friends and family.
This is great because it means that businesses can take control of how they’re perceived online (if they choose to do so).
So what are some ways that businesses can get active in collecting more positive online reviews? Here are some ideas we came up with:
1. Claim Your Review Turf
If you’d like more reviews, open the floor to receiving some. Sign up and claim business directories that are relevant to your business. Make sure your social media accounts are active and invite users to speak up. Facebook and Twitter are both growing strongly as recommendation channels because of the amount of time users spend on these sites. It’s typical for users today to be accustomed to sharing experiences so they’ll most likely want to share their experience with your business.
2. Create a Review Email Campaign
Just ask for reviews through an email campaign sent to your customers. Note that we said, “ask for reviews,” not “ask for positive reviews.” Many folks will get turned off if a business gives big incentives or overly begs for a positive review. If you’re embarrassed to ask for reviews, try being as candid as possible. Simply letting the customer know that you’re in the works to improve your business and you’d like to honestly know how you can improve it will work. Send out the email as promptly as possible so the customers can provide feedback while it’s fresh on their minds. You might want to consider a follow-up email a couple of days later as a friendly reminder.
3. Leverage Your Leads
Have you ever thought about generating new reviews from your leads and prospects? Going after leads as well as customers can open more opportunities for online reviews. When a lead clicks on an eBook or fills out a prospect form, include a link they can access and fill in a quick review. Usually, those leads who visit your site frequently and are downloading your content are already interested in your business, give them the opportunity to share it. Have everyone at the company include links in their email signatures as well to throw in extra opportunities.Be sure to include links to all review sites so reviewers and access the ones they’re most comfortable with.
4. Dedicate a Place on Your Website
A testimonial or review page on your website will provide a hub for prospects to see how great you are and for customers to easily go on and write a review. A major way to get more (positive) online reviews is to make it as easy as possible to access. Your leads and prospects are on your website all the time, so why not make reviews accessible there? This will save time for site visitors who are reading about and considering all of your products and services. They’re already on your website reading, so why not provide that extra “by the way, look how awesome we are!” without having them go on an external site to see it? A dedicated review section on your site also allows you to resolve any negative reviews right away, before they spread publicly to social media outlets.
5. Catch a Review at the Point-of-Sale
For those who are asking, “Well what if I don’t close a business online?” If your way of interacting with customers is in-store, on the phone, in-person, behind a register, you can still generate great reviews online. At the point-of-sale is where customers are the most satisfied. And it’s where the experience they received is at the top-of-mind. This might require you to train your front-line staff to feel out a potential good review from a customer, but simply asking for some kudos on a comment card or on your website, external review site, or social media account will work. If it’s on paper, be sure to ask for permission before posting online.
6. Post the Good and the Bad
This might seem counterintuitive, but trust us when we say that’s perfectly okay to show both positive and negative reviews. It’s a numbers game – the more online reviews you get, the more likely you are to receive one of two bad reviews every once in a while. It’s fine!Customers actually expect to see some negative reviews at times. It’s only when they see that ALL you have are positive reviews that they start to question your credibility and trustworthiness. The important thing is that if you do receive a bad review, that you respond to it right away in a respectable manner. Believe it or not, customers are listening and reading your responses. Posting both types of reviews will reassure customers of their purchasing decisions, lets them know that you respect their opinion (whether it’s good or not so good) and encourages them to share their thoughts.
How are you getting more positive reviews? Share your ideas by leaving a comment!
If you need help monitoring and managing your online reputation, feel free to learn more about our reputation management services!