Google search your business name. Try it now. See what comes up? How often do you do this?
Now Google your business name and the word ‘reviews’. How does it look now? Hopefully all 5-stars? If not, let’s talk about your next steps to make your online review presence top notch.
When a customer is thinking about doing business with you, one of the first things a savvy prospective customer will do is search your online reviews.
I do it all of the time when trying to decide between various retailers, services or anyone with whom I’d like to purchase from. Do you?
What can your small business can do to help amp up those online reviews? Several suggestions below will do the trick:
1. Ask for reviews via phone calls to happy customers.
Your salespeople are in touch with your customers on a daily or weekly basis. Their goal should be to call satisfied clients periodically inviting a review.
Request their reviews on a specific site such as Facebook, Yelp, Google + or other popular review platform best for your business. Most likely, the customer will need to have an account on these platforms. Provide the URL to your review page. Make it as simple as possible for them to accomplish this.
2. Answer all reviews whether good or bad.
Post an apology for a bad review stating that you appreciate the feedback and will use their comments to help better your business. Offer a discount the next time the reviewer purchases from you. Additionally, give positive reviews the same attention. ‘Like’ the post and thank the customer for taking the time out to review your business. Be sure to have an administrator monitoring online reviews every day.
Do you have any testimonials on your website or social media pages? By creating a testimonial page, especially on your website, you can periodically share it to your social media followers.
The most effective way to elicit testimonial responses is to ask customers for a 2-3 sentence summary of their experience with your location or services. Video testimonials, as you can imagine, are even more powerful. If a happy customer walks in, use your cell phone or tablet to video a 20-30 second clip of your customer giving rave reviews. Always ask for permission first! Use the video clip on your website and social media sites.
We all know ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising is the most enterprising tool to grow your business. How much do you or your staff ask for referrals? Make referrals a priority when dealing with every satisfied customer. If your business is doing a stellar job, customers enjoy spreading positive experiences via the grapevine.
Reviews, testimonials and referrals are a key piece of the marketing puzzle for small businesses. If business owners focus on sales and customer service, 5-star reviews, outstanding testimonials and widespread referrals will be an easy prospect.