Businesses everywhere are looking for the best way to market themselves. From pay per click ads to search engine optimization, there are plenty of marketing channels out there to utilize. One of the oldest and best methods is word of mouth. In the digital age, we can interpret this facet as reviews. Getting customers to recommend your company to their friends and family is an excellent way to get more business. Online reviews are the best way for your customers to recommend you to others in their network.
Seems easier than it sounds, getting reviews may not be the hard part – ensuring that they are contributing to business positively is the hard part. Think you’re up for it? Here are a few simple tips on how to win at the online review game and build a better business.
Know the review websites
First things first, there are dozens of review websites out there, some you may not even know exist. Do you know which one’s your business is on? Understanding where you’re currently listed or not listed is crucial to winning. Simply search for your business’s reviews by using the search operator: website + reviews. The results will show you where are. You can also search for the industry-specific review websites. For example, if your business is in the home improvement industry, you’d want to check websites like Houzz, Angie’s List or Homeadvisor.
Join Review Networks
Dependent upon your business and the industry, you’ll likely want to have a page set-up on social channels that allow reviews. These networks include Facebook Business, Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, and the like. Not only are these widely used by consumers researching businesses, but they can also give you a way to communicate with your customers.
Sign up for Google My Business
Google is the most frequently used search engine, and Google My Business is one way to make your business visible in search results. It’s free to sign up and allows you to verify your business location and information. Verifying your location is what allows your business to pop up in hyperlocal search results and other places like Google maps. The best part? Your customers will be able to leave reviews through google. When someone searches for your product or business, they’ll see a snippet with your information, any images, and the reviews.
Respond to Reviews
Once you start receiving reviews, it can be beneficial to respond to them. Understanding that this is the more time-consuming part of winning the review game, but the response can be very helpful and shows other prospective customers that you care about their experience. Try to answer all your reviews, positive and negative. People like to see companies that actively communicate with their customers. One upside to responding is that you’ll learn more about how to please your customers. You’ll also be able to fix any potential problems.
Offer an Incentive
If you’re looking for more reviews, then make it a priority to ask your customers for them. Offer them a discount on their next service. This shows people that you value their opinion and are doing your best to please them. You’ll get many more reviews once you start asking for them. But keep in mind, you can’t buy a good review, you’ll have to earn it.
Give the Best Service Possible
The best way to ensure you’re getting the best reviews is to deliver the best service possible. Working hard to please your customers will help you in every way. You’ll be making sure that any reviews you’re receiving will be positive. This will translate into more customers, which means more reviews spotlighting your business.
The internet has changed the way we shop and the way we evaluate customer service. It’s easy for a bad customer experience to go viral in no time. It takes a little longer for the positive feedback to get out there, but it’s worth the wait. Keep in mind, you’re saving money on advertising with those five-star customer reviews.
Karen Squire is a marketing representative for LawnStarter and freelance photographer who enjoys traveling. When she’s not taking pictures of her kids, you’ll find her photographing wildlife and national monuments. For more information about LawnStarter in the Phoenix area, visit www.lawnstarter.com.