You have a business that you’re proud of and have an amazing new website but that’s not necessarily enough to help move your potential leads through the sales funnel.
Customer reviews have an undeniable impact on a consumer’s decision making process. They are incredibly persuasive and quite possibly one of the most effective ways to boost your credibility and gain new customers. Reviews will help to build your reputation in ways that a website simply cannot do on its own.
If you’re not actively seeking out reviews from your customers here’s why you should start now:
• 88% of consumers have read customer reviews to help them determine whether to choose a local business or not (brightlocal.com)
• 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review (brightlocal.com)
Customer reviews convert leads into sales
An overwhelming amount of consumers read online reviews and use that information to help them make a decision. Those little yellow stars are very powerful marketing tools. Consider the search results for ‘car rental’ below. Before even reading the reviews I think it’s pretty obvious who gets the most phone calls or visits to their website.
Reviews can help you rank in Google
Not only will your potential customers appreciate the vote of confidence, Google will respond favorably as well. Most people think that ranking well in Google is all about keywords and yes while keywords are very important but there’s more to it than that. Google wants to provide users with the best results all around, results that will ultimately be the most helpful. Positive reviews give your site more authority by validating your business which can help improve your ranking.
How do I get reviews?
Now that you understand how important reviews are, here are a couple of tips to help you get the ball rolling:
1. Just ask. Your satisfied customers will be happy to give you a review so don’t be shy.
2. Know when to seize the perfect opportunity. If a customer reaches out to you to tell you how happy they are, take the opportunity to ask them for a review. Don’t delay. The longer you take to ask, the less likely you are to get the review.
3. Be honest. Let your customers know how important reviews are to your business. If they had a great experience dealing with you chances are they will be more than happy to help you out.
4. Make it simple. When reaching out to your customers provide them with links to your Google My Business listing or reviews on your Facebook page. The easier your make the process the more likely they are to leave you a review.
What do I do if I get a negative review?
Negative reviews can be upsetting but believe it or not, a bad review can be good for business. Yes you read that correctly – good for business. A study by Reevoo found that 68% of consumers trust reviews even more when they see both negative and positive feedback. Nothing but 5 star reviews often leads people to believe that something is not quite right. A negative review here and there can help build trust as it boosts your authenticity because let’s face it – no one is perfect!
If you get a negative review always make sure to reply. This shows your potential customers how much you’re invested in resolving those less than ideal situations and it lets people know that you care. This is also a great opportunity to show people how you interact with your customers which will ultimately help boost your credibility and gain new leads.
Tips on how to take action if you get a negative review
1. Respond in a timely manner. A prompt response shows that you care and that you take customer feedback seriously.
2. Keep your cool. When you’re a business owner it can be very difficult not to take negative personally. Take a minute to digest what you’ve just read and collect your emotions so you can approach your response without being defensive or aggressive. This is not the time or the place to try to set the record straight.
3. Don’t be a robot. Write professionally but honestly and with a personal touch. Your response shouldn’t come off as generic or manufactured.
4. Say you’re sorry. Regardless of who was right or who was wrong, apologize for the negative experience that your customer had. Showing empathy is always a good place to start and a simple apology can go a long way.
5. Keep it short and simple. Be specific but don’t go overboard with the details.
6. Take things offline. Offer to connect offline to discuss further.
For most people (88% of consumers!) reading reviews has become an important part of decision making process. Reviews help to build your reputation and gain trust from your potential customers and they are a powerful marketing tool that may convince someone to go with you rather than the competition.