How to Get More Reviews for your Business
It’s 2019 and businesses are finally getting used to the fact that there’s no hiding from their online reviews. Your online reputation is like a shadow for your company, it follows you everywhere your business goes online. If you have bad reviews, new patients and customers are going to see them when they search for your business. If you have great reviews, new patients and customers are going to read them and use that social proof to choose your business over your competitors. That is the importance of online reviews 2018, 2019, and beyond.
Did you know that a recent study found that “Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business”? Do you have at least 10 online reviews? If yes, great job! If no, then you have to focus on getting MORE online reviews.
It doesn’t just stop there once you have 10 reviews, though. Did you know that “85% of consumers think that reviews OLDER than 3 months are not relevant” (Brightlocal). So the number of reviews matter AND the recency of the reviews matter.
Overwhelmed yet? Want to know how to get more reviews for your business on a consistent basis? Keep reading…
How to Increase Reviews on Google and Other Platforms
If you need to get more reviews each month then you have to have a plan and process in place in order to get them on a consistent basis.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. In fact, below we’ve outlined a simple 3 step process to help you get more reviews for your business and implement it right into your daily workflows:
- Ask for the review at the end of the transaction
- Make it easy for them to find your review page and leave a review
- Thank them (win a customer for life)
1. Ask for the Review
This is where most businesses go wrong is that they never ask their patients or customers for reviews. They just hope that the happy one’s will all run to Google and Yelp and start bragging about how awesome they are. Someone once said “hope is not a strategy”. That applies here.
If you don’t ask for reviews then the only people that are going to go out of their way to leave a review for your business are usually the people that didn’t have a great experience and they want to tell someone about it. This is very BAD for you and this is why you often see good businesses, especially doctors and dentists, with only 2-3 reviews that are all 1 star. Poor guys never stood a chance.
You will start getting more reviews as soon as you start asking for them.
If you are uncomfortable asking customers for a review in person then use other communication channels, like email, a postcard, a text message, your receipts, or put a big sign on the wall of your office. Asking directly is the first step so choose a method that you are comfortable with and get started.
2. Make it Easy for Them
This is a no brainer. If you want someone to do a favor for you then you need to make it simple for them. You can do this a few different ways and it will vary depending on how you are asking for the review. This step is also the basis for, and the reason we’ve seen success with our Reputation Marketing Services.
If you are asking for the review in person then be prepared to tell them how to do it. You can say something like “Google the name of my business + the city and then click on the stars”.
Another great option is to provide a short URL (or shortlink) that they can easily remember. Something like “www.yourbusiness.com/review” (replace “yourbusiness.com” with your business’s web domain). When they type that into their phone then it redirects them to the review page.
If you are sending an email or text then you can put the short URL in the message so they can easily click the link to leave a review. If you are sending a postcard then the short URL is very important so they can quickly type it on their phone. Remember, your goal is to make it easy on them so use as few characters as possible and make it something easy to spell; “yourbusiness.com/review” is much easier to type than “yourbusiness.com/BhdswJbwdks”, for example.
3. Take the Time to Thank Them
If you do this right then you have a great opportunity to create a customer for life. It’s important that you don’t incentivize customers to leave reviews because this is against the terms of service for most review platforms. However, you can thank someone after they leave a review. You won’t want them to know about this beforehand, but send them a hand written thank you card afterward. They will appreciate that you took the time to thank them, much like they took the time to write you a review.
If you really want to make them smile then include a discount for their next visit or service, or include a $5-10 Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks gift card. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to emphasize how grateful you were that they took 2-5 minutes out of their day to say something nice about you. It’s money well spent. Trust me.
Don’t Wait. Get Started Today
Now that you know how to do it, do NOT put this off. Get started today. Need a hand getting started? Enter your information below or contact us to learn more about how you can automate this process and start getting reviews on autopilot.