You have a group of happy, satisfied customers, and your business is in good shape. Why should you worry about increasing your online reviews?
1. Reviews establish your trustworthiness.
If customers take the time to say things about your business, it means that you’re doing something right. People searching for your product or service want to do business with a company that is doing things right.
Also, the more reviews you have that offer real information, the better. (For example, “Bob’s House Painting stuck exactly to the schedule they promised and the color they helped me select is perfect. I’m very pleased with the quality of work they did and the way they cleaned up completely afterward,” carries much more weight than, “Bob’s a great guy! I like him.”)
2. Google likes it.
These days, online reviews are an important signal to both consumers and search engines like Google that you’re doing things right. Google can drive a lot of traffic to your business website, so it’s nice to know what things will help your rankings.
Google has some pretty complex algorithms that determine where your site shows up for a given search. One of the things that factors into that formula is how much your customers like you – so online reviews, especially positive ones, help reinforce that you’re a legitimate business.
3. Reviews let you communicate things about your business that you can’t say as effectively.
In the example above, having a customer testimonial that says your company arrives on time and cleans up after themselves is more convincing than having you tell people how great you are. While your marketing copy should certainly explain the benefits of working with you, real reviews that drive home those points can help emphasize why you’re the best choice to work with.
So, now that you know why you need reviews, how do you get them?
You have to be careful about how you ask customers for reviews. Many review sites frown on you offering something in exchange for a review or even having customers create reviews from your physical location.
Here are a couple ideas for getting reviews:
1. Make requesting reviews part of your follow-up meeting.
Many service businesses check in with their customers after the work has been done, to make sure there are no issues. This is a great time to ask for a review.
2. Set up a page on your website at YOURDOMAIN.com/reviews.
This is a handy way to put all the info you need to give a customer about leaving a review in one place. You can explain (briefly!) why reviews are appreciated, ask that customers who were dissatisfied with you talk to you and give you a chance to make it right before reviewing, and link to the various review sites, including Google, that you use. Check this out for an example of a car dealer that used this technique effectively.
3. Create a review card.
The card can have information about leaving reviews, as well as the logo and link for each review site you prefer.
Making online reviews a more important part of your business feedback can help you improve, can help your potential customers feel better about deciding on your company and can jump up your rankings in the search engines.