Reviews. 61% of customers read them before purchasing. They can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. People want an un-biased review from people that have spent their hard-earned money with your business. Was it what they expected? More? Or was it a great disappointment? We’ll give you the skinny on what you should (and should not) be doing with your reviews, and how to make them work for your business, instead of against it.
Taking the plunge
Having reviews on your site can be scary, asking customers to give their honest opinion of your business can leave you open to remarks you might feel are uncharacteristic of your business, but having reviews is important. If you aren’t comfortable with an open forum, star rating style, consider posting testimonial videos of real people enjoying your product or service. Warning: these may be perceived as biased by the consumer but a biased review from a real person is still better than no reviews at all.
Monitor your reviews
Keep on top of your reviews. Read them. Respond to them. Regardless of how inaccurate the persons perception may be, keep your responses calm and professional. Your public reviews will be read by other users who will draw their own conclusions about how credible the reviewer is.
Fact check your reviews
A bad review is bound to come in now and then. When they do, 1) follow up on what happened and 2) check to make sure the person who wrote it is an actual customer. If they aren’t, it’s possible they reviewed the wrong business or are simply an internet troll looking to cause drama. You can sometimes petition Google to pull down a review that wasn’t made by a customer, but it can be a lengthy process. Your best course of action is to publicly respond to the review stating that they are not a customer, or in the event that they are, that they speak with you directly because customer satisfaction is paramount to your business.
Believe it or not Google gives better ranking to sites with reviews. It shows the search engine and visitors that you are a legitimate business with lots of customer interaction. Google will combine this data with other information retrieved from crawling your site, to determine your overall Google ranking.
Google business listing
If you haven’t already, ensure your business has a listing on Google. When you Google a business, you will usually see a business listing on the right-hand side with contact details, map and pictures. This will also be where users give you Google reviews.
Being setup for reviews is one thing, collecting them is another. There are lots of ways to solicit reviews from current and past customers.
- Include a link in the footer of your email asking for reviews
- Offer customers a % off in exchange for a review
- Run a promotion to give away an item to a lucky reviewee and be sure to tell all your past customers about the promotion
- Put a sign up on the inside of your door asking for a review so a customer sees it upon exiting
- Ask for a review in your invoices or email newsletter footers
- Include a link to reviews directly from your site
Google reviews are great if someone is Googling you, but what if they arrived at your site by another avenue? Maybe they got your card from someone and typed in your website address, maybe they came from a Facebook or Instagram ad. In these cases, you want users to be able to see your reviews not just in the Google listing, but also on your site. There are many integrations that allow you to pull all your reviews from multiple platforms into one location and display them right on your site. It also allows users to review you directly on your site without the need for them to Google your business. This is a great option for pooling all of your reviews.