Google Reviews are the lifeblood of business.
Nearly 90% of consumers consider reviews before buying, even from local businesses.
Consumers today give an online review as much power in their decision-making process as a personal recommendation from a close friend.
As business leaders, we often think of reviews as a very natural process. If you provide exceptional service, won’t you get stellar reviews? But unfortunately, it doesn’t often play out like that.
Find out how to get more of those great Google reviews that you know that your business deserves with these important tips.
Why the Odds Are Not in Your Favour
On top of this, customers are more likely to leave a review after a bad experience than good.
And to add yet another layer, there are many places to leave reviews. Getting the right reviews on the platform where you need them — Google reviews — is tricky.
Improving these odds is a very important part of your marketing, branding, and relationship management strategy. Sitting back and waiting can be detrimental to your brand because — as you can see — these odds aren’t in your favour.
But they can be with proactive review management.
There are, however, certain techniques to use to both increase review frequency and improve the likelihood of positive reviews as we’re discussing today.
Ask in Person
As a small-to-medium-sized business, you often have the opportunity to ask in person. This — in-person — could be over the phone during a sales or assistance.
The important thing here is that it’s one human being connecting with another. It’s not a recording.
Even a customer challenge call can be an opportunity for the bond of human connection between a customer and a customer rep.
This customer rep is primarily positioned to ask for a review once either the sale has been made or a challenge resolved.
Identify who in the company develops the closest bond to your customers, and leverage this relationship to increase reviews.
When asking in person, the rep should clearly state where you want the review. In this case that would be Google reviews.
Obtaining a review on a certain site requires providing a link to that site, so the rep should state that the link will be sent in a follow-up email.
Ask Via Email
Emails can seem a little impersonal. But that shouldn’t make us shy away from using them because they can be very effective at getting more Google reviews when done right.
When requesting email reviews, the following will help you increase response rates:
- Make email personal. If the customer worked a specific rep, the email should appear to come from that person. Seeing the name will trigger something within the customer, prompting them not to ignore it.
- Making the review seem like favour is another effective strategy. If a customer loves what you do they’ll want to help others find you. That’s what reviews are all about.
- This email should have a clear link to the Google reviews page. You will create a Google My Business Link for your email. Customers can follow this link to write a review and visit your Google My Business page, learn more about you and even explore your business with a 360 virtual tour.
- Perform A/B testing on your emails to understand which get the best results. You may find that plain text has a higher response than HTML. Certain subject lines may work better for you. This or that type of language may be more compelling to your target audience.
This can stand alone if needed as a review request strategy. But often works best as a one-two punch — in person than email
Make It Part of Your Culture
Companies who are able to integrate obtaining Google My Business reviews into their culture see the greatest success.
While treating customers right is your first goal, obtaining recognition that you treat customers right should be seen as a close second.
After all, the more people who know you’re awesome, the more customers you can help with your product or service.
- Develop company-wide top-down initiatives. From executive-level to front line, the importance of Google reviews and the strategies that the company uses to obtain them should be clear.
- Make this part of your training and provide ongoing structured training as strategies change. Avoid initial training and then updates by email, as can happen when companies don’t really value initiatives.
- Create team incentives and friendly competitions. Incentives should be valuable to employees. This is worth the c-suite investment.
Automate Review Management
As a small-to-medium-sized business, if you don’t put some of these vital functions on autopilot they either don’t get done. Or worse, they’re done inconsistently, which creates a sense of unpredictability about your brand, in addition to being ineffectual.
Review management software works in several ways to make your life easier while increasing reviews.
- Funnel great reviews to the sites where reviews matter most to you. For example, when someone leaves you a great review on one site, you can prompt them to leave a review on the site of your choice.
- Resolve problems that may prompt a changed review. For example, someone leaves you 1-3 stars and is prompted to contact you where a rep helps the customer resolve the issue.
- Monitor reviews left anywhere, so you always know what’s being said about you. If it’s something you can fix, you’ll have the opportunity to fix it.
- Generate easy to understand visual reports to clearly see review trends. This way you know when you’re on track and where you could use a little work.
- Auto-post positive reviews on social media to keep the positive sentiments flowing and to remind others to leave reviews. Some may even be encouraged to leave Google reviews because they see that it will show up on your Facebook, Twitter or other social feeds.
Imagine the impact that doing these things will have on your business. You could do this manually, but how much time or money (in wages) would you spend?
Start Getting More Google Reviews
Reviews matter to your customers. Getting more reviews isn’t just about providing great service. You have to manage your reviews to get results. Automating review management is an effective way to do this.