We all know that reviews are crucial for restaurants and hotels, as well as other establishments within the service industry… but what about other local businesses?
The statistics are out and it’s clear that prospects are basing their buying decisions on social reviews…
- Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to try a business
- Review trust is at 88% compared to 83% in 2014
How do you maximize this information? How can you grow your business with a simple strategy you already know to be true?
Asking for reviews can be a simple and effective strategy to growing your business.
How Local Businesses Benefit from Online Customer Reviews
Having a ton of high quality reviews on the internet is not just fluff on social media. They actually matter and provide a big impact on your bottom line.
- Social Proof: 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
- Looking For Special Services: Prospects may be looking for a specific service or product and online customer reviews may indicate if they will get exactly what they want.
- Safe Investment: No one wants to throw away money- businesses with lots of reviews are proven, have been verified by the local community, and assure good investment.
- SEO: Google search factors in local business reviews when determining the ranking of their results (we are testing this to find the overall weight of reviews… its definitely important).
Why Customers Leave Local Business Reviews
- They Want Something In Return – What can you offer them to incentivize them to leave a testimonial online?
- They Want Recognition – People want their voices heard, they want to be noticed. How can you leverage this?
- They Want to Help – Altruism really exists. I personally know a great mechanic, but his shop is always empty. Automatic 5-star review.
Asking For Reviews… Is That OK?
It’s definitely okay to ask for reviews on Google and Tripadvisor but with Yelp, its a big no-no. If you want to grow your social proof, you’ll need to get the ball rolling. Here are the proven methods to get clients to leave a review for your business on Google or Facebook.
Ask Via Email
Ideally, you’re communicating with your clients through an email newsletter. Providing ongoing value via newsletter is the best way to keep clients for longer, to build their loyalty, and to get them spending more, more often.
Send an email in your newsletter sequence that asks “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer us to a friend/family?” Then make sure you group the 9s and 10s, and lead them to your Facebook or Google Review page!
This makes sure that you only get 4 and 5 star reviews! This is also a done-for-you service that we offer called Touchpoint 80/20. Check it out!
Weed Out The Bad
Customers are more likely to leave bad reviews. You’ll find many businesses online with nothing but negative comments flooding their page. These negative experiences can end up dominating the social sites. Meanwhile, majority the of silent yet content customers is the group you absolutely need for your business to stand out. Touchpoint 80/20 can help you acquire these reviews that are crucial for your business.
Communicate In Person
Train employees to communicate with clients at the point of purchase. Let them know that you value their opinion and the benefits they bring, that their experience can help your brand grow!
The Kind and Personal, Bonus Approach
Here is a perfect example of the personal ‘bonus’ approach. At a resort, the waiter approached tables that he worked with and said:
“I am Ramon. It has been my pleasure to serve you tonight. As you may know, Le Kliff is very popular at certain times of the year, but in the summer we are closed in July, August, and September. I do not work at Le Kliff those months, so I am not paid in the summer.
We rely very much on reviews from TripAdvisor to generate our customers, since we are far from the city center. Our manager knows this (note: his name is Everado Vazquez. I talked to him afterwards, and he is an extraordinarily good restaurant manager), and he encourages us to ask our happy tables for reviews.
The way it works is for every review that shows up on TripAdvisor mentioning my name – Ramon – I am paid for one summer day.”
You’re On Your Way To Testimonial Throne
Implement these strategies and get the ball rolling on referrals to Google and Facebook (those are the most important). It will take a bit of leg work but the benefits can ensure your business stands the test of time.
If you want to see our done-for-you service and the larger client retention system it is a part of, visit our page to learn more.