Updated September 3, 2020, 11:18 am
Of course, most people and businesses would say that they want to avoid getting negative reviews, but strangely enough, many are not actively pursuing good Google reviews, not realizing that this is causing them to lose out in the long run. How so?
Today’s consumers tend to be more informed about the purchases they make. Part of this is due to reading reviews online during the decision-making process. In fact, 90% of consumers are now going online to research the products and services that interest them before committing to a purchase. Not only that, Google’s famous (infamous?) search algorithm factors in your online reviews. If your business is receiving positive reviews, you are not only boosting your brand’s credibility but also encouraging Google to rank you higher in the search results.
Knowing that Google reviews can be so beneficial to you and your business, do you really want to turn down free advertising? We’d wager not. So, to help you out, here are some tips to help you start generating more positive reviews.
Ask for Them
Now, this might seem overly simplistic, but while dissatisfied customers like to spread the word of bad experiences, happy customers on average tend to be more reserved, unless they are asked. Taking a moment to ask them about their experience might reveal that they are more than happy to tell others about your great service or excellent products. Many customers are already in the habit of posting images and comments about restaurants, events they attend, and more. It’s a small step to have them start posting about your business as well.
In addition to the benefits of the review, you will also be hearing excellent feedback from your customers. You will likely find new ways to continually improve the customer experience by seeing where your weaknesses lay.
Include a Link in Your Signature
If you are going to increase the number of reviews you receive, it needs to be a part of your daily operations. In addition to requesting them from customers when they come to see you or make a purchase, you should be asking for them in your regular correspondence.
In all likelihood, you send out numerous emails on a regular basis. Including testimonials and embedding your Google review page in your signature turns every email into an opportunity to gain a new review.
Make sure you select a recent, positive review and include your custom review link so that those interested in leaving a review of their own can do so easily. You can set this up rather quickly and then let it do the work of gathering reviews for you.
Include a Google Review Button on Your Website
This is another simple and obvious one. Visitors to your site are probably used to seeing links to follow you on social media. But adding a review button lets them interact with you in another manner and show them that you welcome feedback.
Customers want to know that they are dealing with someone trustworthy before they spend their hard-earned money. When they see your Google review button, they know that you are serious about listening to your customers and it lets them know that you are proud of your products and services. A customer can check out your review page and see real reviews from other consumers – positive or negative – rather than the usual assortment of carefully selected testimonials that adorn most websites.
Engage Your Reviewers
Your reviews are a form of communication with your customers and supporters. Don’t let that communication be one directional. This is your opportunity to engage your clients and demonstrate your devotion to their satisfaction. It also lets them know that their reviews are being seen and appreciated, which will encourage more customer feedback. In fact, you should include a call to action for their return business.
So, what happens when you receive a negative review?
No matter how hard you try, you will simply not please everyone. Your service may be excellent, and your products may be of the highest quality, but there will always be someone who has a bad experience. Off days happen, defective products sometimes reach consumers, and even when you do everything right, the customer may simply be having a bad day.
In many cases, a proper response to a negative review is more important than responding to a positive one. In fact, your response will often carry more weight for a reader than the original complaint. If you can respond professionally and calmly even in the face of unreasonable complaints, you are demonstrating that you are committed to customer satisfaction. Every negative review is the opportunity to respond positively, and to improve your business. You may even earn the opportunity to win the unhappy customer’s future business.
If none of that is enough, know that Google notices when businesses respond to reviews. Engaging with your customers pays off in many ways.
Reviews and Social Media Are a Great Match
Posting your recent reviews on social media can be highly effective in catching the attention of your customers and encouraging more reviews. Customers who take time to review your business are giving you a helping hand, so why not give them some recognition on social media? It will demonstrate your appreciation and let them know that you are listening.
Overlooking Google reviews could end up costing you in the long run. Make sure that your team is committed to asking for, acknowledging, and responding to reviews, and enjoy the free publicity.