In an age where your average consumer is bombarded with thousands of ads every day, your reviews from satisfied customers and clients are your most valuable marketing asset. Prior to becoming a raving fan, your audience seeks out reviews as a way to build trust in your product or service and confidence in your message. People are more likely to purchase products or services when they see positive feedback from previous customers because they don’t see it as being advertised to. Customer feedback is also essential in learning how to improve your business. This article will walk you through key steps and understandings of how to receive more Google reviews and power your business for success.
Ask for What you Want
How can you get more Google reviews? It’s obvious but true:: you have to ask your customer.
If you’re concerned about being pushy, congratulations–you’re a considerate business owner. However, asking for reviews in regard to your product or service is completely reasonable, and there’s no need for timidity. According to Searchengineland, 70% of consumers will leave a review when asked. Now that you are willing to ask for what you want, let's get into the “how”. What are the best avenues for reviews? Where do you place them? What is the proper cadence?
The Importance of Placement
The timing and location of your review requests can affect their quality. You can go about this in a number of ways – from adding a link in emails or newsletters that encourage customers to leave feedback on their experience with your business through Google reviews, including QR codes at check-out points that allow customers to rate their experience instantly; or incentivizing customers through discounts or offers if they leave a review on Google.
As always, put the consumer first, and put yourself in their shoes. Keeping your customer personas in mind, ask yourself: what stage of the buyer journey are they in?
The Strategy of Customer Follow-Up
Following up personally with previous customers is an extremely effective way of increasing online reviews organically. What’s more, you can learn different things based on the stage of your follow-up. For example, if you follow up immediately, the customer has limited experience with your product, but your marketing and customer service are fresh in their mind. Inversely, a longtail follow-up will reveal the longevity of your product and customer satisfaction.
Monitor Feedback Elsewhere
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects in gaining more Google reviews is looking outside that platform itself – monitoring feedback elsewhere, such as social media profiles and other review channels like Yelp can give you greater insight into how people feel about your product/service before they even stumble upon your Google page. A simple tweet asking for feedback might result in someone leaving a review which not only helps those researching online -- so make sure to keep track of all corners of the web!
Benefits of Bad Reviews
You read that correctly! While bad reviews may be concerning at first, there are multiple ways to make them work in your favor. Bad reviews can enable you to:
- Correct a misperception and possibly gain a new fan
- Learn what you can improve about your business and where you can take corrective action
- Show current and potential customers your commitment to customer satisfaction
How to Respond to Bad Reviews
First, when possible, we don’t want negative reviews in public, where other customers can see them. How do we manage this? Again, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. More often than not, a displeased customer would rather be heard than put a company on blast. Posting publicly is a last resort. Pre-empt this by providing customers with a direct outlet.
Whenever you ask for feedback and link to Google reviews, include an easy input item (e.g. a chatbot) underneath where they can feel like they can complain and be heard. This next step is essential: You must be sure to respond. If done correctly, you can reassure unhappy consumers and hopefully convert them into pleased customers.
Google reviews can boost your search engine rankings, increase customer trust, and even help you attract new customers. But the benefits don’t stop there. Put yourself ahead of other businesses by repurposing reviews to extend their reach and maximize their potential.
We’ll get into how to do just that in our upcoming article: Follow so that you don’t miss a thing.