Thanks to Google and social media, it’s easier than ever for customers to learn about your business. Positive reviews are critical in today’s marketplace; it’s been proven that reviews – both positive and negative – from real customers influence others’ decisions to buy from a business.
Many local listing sites offer places for customers to leave reviews, but Google remains the most visible and trusted source of reviews. That isn’t to say that other sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Yellow Pages aren’t important – we just suggest that B2B companies start by focusing on Google reviews. (Google reviews for local rankings are necessary even if your business doesn’t compete on a local level out of a brick-and-mortar store.)
Getting More and Better Reviews
Now the question is, “How can I get more – and better – reviews for my business?” Obviously, if your product or service stinks, not much will help you get good reviews, so start with a quality product and top-notch customer service. Being proactive about getting good reviews will help offset bad reviews that will undoubtedly come your way.
Consider these suggestions:
- Make sure your business is verified with Google through your Google My Business page. To learn more about Google My Business and how to get started, click here.
- Ask! If you don’t ask, 90% of the time your customers won’t leave a review. The best time to ask is right after you finish a successful job and they’re excited about the results. You can even have fun with it by incentivizing employees to ask for reviews. For example, at the end of every month, the employee who gets the most five-star reviews can leave an hour early!
- Make it easy for customers. If it requires too much effort to write a review, people are unlikely to complete it, so make it as easy as possible for someone to leave a review. Get the link for customers to leave a review on Google and send it to them, or create an easy-to-use form on your website.
- There’s no shame in getting a little help. There are plenty of online tools to help you reach out to your customer base and ask for reviews. Review-management software like Grade.us or ReviewPush are great places to start.
- Get customers to want to leave you a good review. How about sending a $5 Starbucks gift card to every customer who reviews your products/services? Or a percentage off their next purchase for every referral? There are plenty of ways to get creative here.
- Don’t forget to follow up! Designate a person on your team to publically respond to every review – positive and negative – to thank them for their time and acknowledge the time you spent working with them. When responding to a negative review, use it as a chance to make amends and win back your customer while also proving to other review readers that you’re willing to do what it takes to prevent similar bad experiences in the future.
Don’t take the management of your online reputation lightly. Check out our Reputation Management and Local Listing Package if you'd like to learn more about improving your local online reputation.