Did you know companies compete for customer business via Google reviews?
No longer can your company just focus on page one search results, it must acquire and respond to customers reviews as a core marketing strategy. Customers are in control, and they are influencing purchasing decisions when they give a review and when they take action after viewing Google reviews.
As a business, your role is to not only secure customer reviews but also make sure you’re responding to Google reviews.
If you’re reading this, you might be one of those businesses still struggling to gain good reviews, let alone have a strategy for responding to both positive and negative feedback.
This article is on how to obtain positive Google reviews.
1. Ask Your Customers For A Review
Especially when you’re confident enough that you’ve served your customers well, don’t be shy to ask for customer reviews. In fact, on your website, you may even automatically have a reviews section pop up immediately right after the delivery of the product or service.
When your customers are satisfied, chances are they would be willing enough to leave you with an excellent review, regardless if you’ve asked for it or not. Also, try to naturally engage your customers in a conversation that will encourage them to leave a review.
Here are other ways for you to do this without begging too much for it:
- Integrate your request in your email. If your business has decided to adopt an email marketing strategy, you can integrate and incorporate your request in the email itself. Ask people directly what they think of your product or service. Then, ask politely if they can spare some time to leave a review on your page. With the right email format, you can immediately link it to your Google My Review page. That way, it’s even easier for your customers to leave a review.
- Ask for it at the right time. When your marketing team has studied your business cycle well enough, you’ll be able to accurately determine when it’s too early or too late to ask for a review.
Remember that timing is critical. When you ask too early, your customers may not have yet fully received the benefits of using your product. Hence, the reviews will be hanging and premature. If you ask too late, whatever pleasant experience they may have could have already faded.
- Make it easy to leave reviews. When you’re going to ask your customers for reviews, you’ll also want to make it easy for them to leave one. Else, chances are, no matter how impressed they may have been with your products or services, they will never leave a review. Enable and attach links to your reviews section. Encourage them to leave a review by showing them in detail how to leave one.
2. Send Follow-Up Emails After Delivery Of The Product
After the product has been delivered to your customers, you’ll most likely be notified of this. When this is completed, don’t just stop there. Take the customer service level up a notch higher by sending follow-up emails to your customers. In these emails, you can press on for a review.
Here are some ways for you to make your follow-up emails more pleasant:
- Provide a direct link to your Google Reviews page
- Be personal with your email messages
- Inform your customers of the importance of feedback
- Give a thank you letter to your customers for patronizing your products and services
- Give your customers a sense of appreciation for whatever feedback they can give you
3. Be Present In Other Business Review Platforms
When you have a business, you shouldn’t only confine yourself to Google Reviews. When you make this mistake, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantageous position.
While Google My Reviews remains to be one of the most effective means, it’s also not the easiest option for your customers. To be able to leave a review on that platform, the customer must also have a Google account. If they don’t, then they have to go through the hassle of making one, which they probably wouldn’t do.
Having positive Google Reviews, however, isn’t only limited to Google per se. Other business review platforms are just as effective, too. Examples are the following:
- Social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram
- Yahoo Local
- Trip Advisor
Social media sites are especially effective in boosting the number of positive reviews for your company. Even a simple comment on one of your posts already equates to one review.
4. Send A Leave-Behind
A leave-behind, also known as marketing collateral, is like a physical Google Review Card that you leave at your customer’s property. This kind of practice is especially prevalent in the construction industry.
For example, you’re a blinds and closets contractor, and you’ve recently completed an installation project in Paul’s home. Your leave-behind to Paul will include an envelope containing the following:
- Precise instructions on how to use your Google Review Card
- Care tips for the blinds and closets
- A business card for future reference of other projects
- A phone number or email address for any follow-up questions
All thanks to new technologies today, leave-behinds aren’t just limited to physical documents. If you have the email address or social media page of your customers, you can send an e-leave-behind to give you an even higher chance of getting reviews from your customers.
5. Optimize Your Content
If you’re well versed with Search Engine Optimization techniques, you’d know that content is critical. It still stands as one of the most effective ways for you to reach better rankings on Google. Along that line, too, good content can also help you gain better and more positive reviews.
You can start by making sure that once visitors are on your site, they’ll have a pleasant experience browsing through your content.
A portion of your site’s content should be an easy-breezy way for visitors to leave comments and suggestions. They should be able to write reviews through the following options:
- Employing short, sweet, and direct requests for leaving a review
- Setting up badges that link directly to your review sites, such as Yelp and other social media accounts
- Optimizing your website for mobile users to afford them a comfortable and pleasant experience when they’re browsing through their phones
6. Install Review Generation Tools
Another one of the most effective ways to gain reviews is through the installation of review generation tools. Remember that the key is to provide your customers with an easy way to leave a review. The easier it is, the higher the chances of your customers leaving something pleasant. Else, on the reverse, they will not even try to make an effort to leave a review.
Review generation tools provide a more streamlined means of leaving reviews. Examples of common review generation tools include:
- Nearby Now
7. Create Incentives For Reviews
Incentivize or provide treats for customers who leave reviews–why not? Although this may be an added expense, you can think of it as an advertising or marketing expense. Your incentives don’t have to be big or expensive. An incentive can even be as simple as giving them a discount code they can use on their next purchase. Such a thing is a win-win situation as it helps you hit two birds with one stone, in the following ways:
- First, you’re encouraging your customers to leave a positive reviews. In exchange for a few minutes of their time making an effort to leave a review, they receive a discount code. Think about it: if you were your customer, would you not be happy with that kind of offer, too?
- Second, you’re also sneakily encouraging repeat purchases. Because your customer now has a code they can use for their next purchase, chances are, yes, they’re going to buy something from you again.
Everybody loves a bargain; offering your customers discounts will surely generate more purchases from these people, as well as from folks with whom they’ve shared the great news.
Why do Google reviews matter? These things put your business at a competitive advantage over all other businesses in the industry to which you belong. With thousands of other websites on the Internet, plus the brick-and-mortar stores in your local area, you’ll want to know that you have a strong position against your competitors.
With a majority of customers reading through reviews first before even visiting business or eCommerce sites, you’ll want to ensure that you have good reviews all the time. Consumers value reviews, and by effectively implementing the above pointers to your business, you can be one step closer to gaining better Google reviews as well as higher sales.