Online reviews can be really stressful for business owners, but they’re necessary for growth and success. Why are reviews so important for your business? Which online platforms are most important when it comes to reviews? How can you gain more reviews online for your business? We’re here to help answer all of these questions, and make obtaining online reviews less of a hassle for you.
Benefits of Online Reviews
More Business: 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone they actually know. Most people look at reviews before deciding whether or not they will work with a business. How often do you spend your money on a new product, without first asking for people’s opinions or reading reviews? Hiring a business to help with cleaning, landscaping, HVAC, plumbing, etc. is no different. It’s simple- if you want new customers, you need new reviews.
More Exposure: Google favors those businesses who have an optimized listing on Google+, and that includes having positive reviews. Business owners are always trying to achieve hiring rankings and more favor on Google. In order to increase this exposure, you need to build a positive online reputation. Online reviews are the first key to your online reputation.
Where Should Your Reviews be Found?
Google: Over 1 billion people use Google everyday. Google is the top search engine and the first place most consumers will go when they’re searching for a business like yours. Because of that, Google should be your top priority when it comes to online reviews. Most people have a google account and can easily leave a review for your business in a matter of minutes.
Facebook: Over 100 million people are active on Facebook. Facebook is becoming more and more relevant for businesses, and is definitely somewhere that you want to be, and you want your reviews to be there too. Facebook is, possibly, even easier than Google for your customers when it comes to leaving reviews. Consumers will likely search for your business on Facebook when deciding who to work with, and your reviews are just what they’re looking for.
Yelp: Yelp is trailing close behind Facebook as far as number of users. Yelp is a great resource for businesses and consumers alike. People can easily view photos, contact you, and read your reviews when they search for your business on Yelp. Similar to Google and Facebook, setting up a Yelp profile is free. It’s another great place to gain those positive reviews for your business. When it comes to online profiles for business, the more the merrier! Exposure is key.
How to Gain Reviews Online
Just Ask: It really can be that simple. Many people are willing to leave a review for your business, but maybe the thought just hasn’t crossed their mind. Don’t be afraid to ask your happy customers to help you out by leaving a review for your business online. Let them know how beneficial it will be for you, and that you hope you made them happy enough to deserve a review from them. Asking your customers to leave a review after each successful job will make a world of difference for your online presence, and it’s so easy to do!
Give a Reason: Be sure your customers feel like they were given a reason to leave you a good review. Unfortunately, many people are quick to leave reviews about poor experiences, but not so ready to do the same about good experiences. Make sure your customer service game is on par and your customers will be much more willing to leave you a positive review.
Responding to Reviews
Positive: Responding to your reviews online is a great practice to get in the habit of. Customers will feel like they are appreciated and that you value their opinion when you respond. Don’t stress about writing long responses that will be time-consuming for your to write. Instead, make it personal and full of gratitude. A great response to a positive online review would be, “Thanks for your feedback, Customer Name! We’re happy to know that you enjoyed working with us, and look forward to doing so again.” Trust us, this goes a long way!
Negative: Every business ends up with negative reviews, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, use it as an opportunity for training, growth and development. Negative reviews are a perfect time to show off your awesome customer service skills! Be sure to respond to those negative reviews, and keep it professional. An example of this would be, “Customer Name, we’re sorry to hear about your negative experience with us. Please give us a call at (555) 555-5555 so we can make this right.”
Online reviews are a big deal for your business, but they don’t have to be a big burden! Remember to ask each customer to leave you a review, and don’t forget to respond to those reviews once they do!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!