In a time where people can do research on a company within seconds of searching the internet, a company’s online presence matters more than ever. I mean, I don’t even go to a restaurant without basically memorizing the menu on their website, first.
In a 2018 study, Review Trackers found a lot of interesting, and some eye-opening, facts about how consumers use online reviews to make purchase decisions. In fact, of all the review sites, Google came out on top with 63.6% of consumers surveyed saying they search Google before visiting a business. When they Google a business, two things matter the most and are something you should know when owning a business. First, 80% of consumers surveyed said they would not trust anything rated lower than a 4 star, and a whopping 94% say that a negative online review has driven them away from a business. Whoa! That goes to show that your star rating is not only a bragging right but a crucial part of getting people to choose your business.
So how do we get that elusive 5-star review? Do we sit around and wait for the golden ticket to, by chance, fall into our laps? Do we chase it like our lives depend on it? Maybe somewhere in between is the sweet spot for getting and maintaining a high rating on Google.
Setting yourself up for success from the start is going to build your reputation and your reviews. Fighting to make up for a 1-star review is a lot more difficult than striving to obtain good reviews before a bad one hits. A good customer experience nowadays goes beyond them being satisfied, it now turns into them being an online advocate for you. So, how do you go about asking for reviews without being too passive, but also too pushy?
Respond to Customers Singing Your Praises
If you have a customer tell you in person how awesome you were, and how grateful they are to have worked with you, or purchased your product, take that opportunity to mention them leaving a review! “We love that you feel that way, and if you feel so inclined, would you possibly leave a review for us on your review platform of choice?” Being conversational with your customers right off the bat when they are happy and satisfied, is the perfect chance to get ahead of the game and get that 5-star review.
Ask in Person
In line with piggy-backing off a customer compliment, the best way to get them to potentially leave a review is to ask them in person. You can give them a card with instructions on how and where to leave a review if they like, or kindly ask if they mind being a testimonial on your website.
Mention an Incentive
A nice push to get someone to leave you a review, if they are happy with their service, is to mention aa corporate incentive. “If you leave a review on our site, I get a $10 gift card from the company, and I would really appreciate that feedback.” This especially works if you helped the customer in a way that they don’t know how else to thank you. They can feel good knowing if they leave this review it not only helps the company but you as well.
Request Reviews via Email
We’ve all gotten them. When we purchase something online we often receive a follow-up email from the seller asking us to leave feedback if we were or were not satisfied. Depending on your industry, these emails make look very different but can be very effective in getting people to leave your company reviews. Some people may want to leave their review on their own time, after having plenty of time with the product, or time to stew over the service they received. Sending an email reminder for reviews is also effective because people may have had an amazing experience, but maybe don’t even think about leaving a review, aside from word of mouth with friends. You should see this as an opportunity to ask people in a way that isn’t pushy or demanding to leave a review.
Amplify Their Feedback
Customers may feel more inclined to leave a review if they know this company or product they love, ends up sharing what they said and that feels pretty cool. It’s kind of like if a celebrity responds to your DM, or that one time Taco Bell followed me on Twitter. It makes them feel special, and maybe give them a little bit of fame! People love to be heard and seen, and by sharing what they said, and turning them into testimonials, may incline more people to leave reviews. Also if they see you at least RESPOND to reviews left on your Google page, they know that you see them, and hear them and that their voice and opinion actually matter.
Simply Make Customers Happy
Happy customers, give good feedback. It seems like an obvious practice but treating your customers with respect and giving them the time they deserve is going to lay that groundwork to good feedback. Having quick response turnaround times, follow through with promises and guarantees, and make customers a priority, you can be on the right track to great reviews.
Understand the Search Queries
As it is right now, if a customer is searching city + service in Google, like Dallas plumber, for example, the results are not going to be simply organic results. Only the top 3 results of the area map will show first. These can be found under the clickable Google map, and have a “more businesses” click through that will expand to include the top 10 organic results, plus more depending on the number of businesses in the area.
Above those results, you will likely see sponsored ads that look like the top 3 results for the area but those companies paid for that spot which can throw off search results as those may not be the actual best companies in your area.
It’s good to keep in mind these search results, and how it fuels the importance of having those 5-star reviews. Not having any reviews means you don’t have those gold stars visible, and customers eyes are going to glance right on past you on the page. The number of stars, plus the number of reviews are a combination that is going to get the customer to click on your page. The more reviews, the higher reviews, the more people click. More click-throughs mean more confidence from Google to place your business closer to the top of the page.
Finding & Sending Your Review Link
Coming up with a seamless way to send your customers to leave a review for you can be a struggle. Sure, you can say Google us, and click on the number of reviews, or click Write a Review when you find us in the search. This doesn’t sound very cool. What you can do on your own, and how to actually send a link or tag a link on your site. All you have to do is click Write a Review or click # of review yourself, then copy and paste the URL from that page and make it a clickable button on your page, or create a bit.ly link to send customers.
We love to help companies get traffic, be seen, and hook more leads. Google reviews play a big part in that. We hope these tips help you build your brand and your high reviews. For more information or to chat, give us a call or comment below!