How To Get More Local Reviews From Customers
When you own a local business, you know that online local reviews matter a lot. From Healthgrades to Yelp, Trustpilot to Angie’s List, millions of people are sharing their experiences on everything, and what they say definitely has an impact.
These days, it’s important to get local revies as they can shape your business far more than a paid online Ad. According to a recent Zendesk survey, 93 percent of participants were of the opinion that positive reviews definitely influenced their buying decision, and 78 percent said their decision was influenced by negative online reviews.
As social media expert, James Baker said, “Welcome to a completely new era of service and marketing in which your brand is defined by all those who actually experience it.”
Some businesses focus on strategies to tackle one or two negative reviews, but the best way to combat few negative words on your business is to load up on rave reviews. This means, you should encourage all your happy customers to take time to write about their experiences. Let’s have a close look at some tips to get you started.
Ask Your Customers
The best way to get more reviews is to simply ask your customers to post them. Your customers know how important positive reviews are to your business. As long as you provide excellent service or products they won’t be annoyed if you ask for a review. However, don’t wait for long as customers are likely to offer you feedback right away.
So the next time any of your customer compliments you via phone, email, or in person, make sure you convey that you would appreciate if they can leave some kind of feedback in an online review on sites of their choice, or the ones preferred by you. This is the easiest way to get the testimonials from local customers you want.
Set Up your Profiles on Multiple Review Sites
To get reviews, consider all websites that are relevant to your business: Angie’s List, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Googel Local, TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, and CitySearch. Even if you’re not in a review-driven industry such as hospitability and restaurants, some general review sites such as Trustpilot and Trustlink are great. Infact, Trustpilot has an added benefit of showing up high on Google!
Make your Web Presence Known
Sometimes encouraging your customers to post reviews may turn them off. So what’s the best way to get customer reviews in these circumstances? Well, try to engage them in the online world, by creating a Twitter account or a Facebook group for your business. Many customers prefer to share their experiences online and you can encourage them there to post online reviews. You can also build your company blogs to get local reviews – it does not have to clutter up your nice homepage. Make the review placements and review forms intuitive and in the right spots for customers.
Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
Unless someone has a completely negative review to share, the average person will never look for ways to leave your business a review. That’s why you must ask them to post reviews and make it really easy for them to do so. You can put direct links on your review profiles at multiple places; for instance, a follow up newsletter, email, or your own websites. In fact, Yelp now offers a downloadable “Find Us on Yelp” banners that can be used on business websites ofr you can print out for your store.
Thank your Reviewers
If review website allows it, you should thank each person who’s posted reviews. This will encourage others and you will get more reviews. In fact, you can also surprise top reviewers by sending them freebies or discount codes after they’ve posted a review. This simple act can turn a satisfied customer into any incredibly loyal evangelist.
Make Local Reviews a Part of Your Work Processes
Make sure that all your customer service and sales representatives understand the significance of soliciting reviews from the customers they work with. In fact, you can see a significant increase in the number of reviews once you implement a incentive program where your employees receive some cash bonus for any reviews (for instance, 5 reviews-=$50; 20 reviews=$200)
Choose whatever kind of bonus/program makes sense for your local business. It’s just an added incentive to help your employees remember to ask for each of your customer a review. This will help you get lot of local reviews. Given the importance of reviews in the customer decision making process, this is one of the best and most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars.