To fully comprehend the importance of reviews, it’s helpful to understand the way consumers use online resources to make their purchasing decisions today. Buyers are now in control of the purchasing process more than ever before since the advent of the Internet. Recent studies have shown that 94% of consumers conduct some form of online searches prior to purchasing a product or service. Consumers believe other consumers before they trust what a company has to say so it’s key that you get positive reviews for them to read.
During their online research, consumers invariably encounter ratings and reviews about the company and the products and services they offer. These reviews depict either a positive or negative perception of that company. If consumers can view unbiased reviews they are able to separate themselves from their need to engage with a salesperson and are able to educate themselves in a more objective manner. However, that does not mean sales and marketing do not need to play an important role today. In fact, it’s imperative for companies to still do this regardless so they can offer their unique selling proposition to consumers to tell their story and how they are different from their competitors.
So, you now understand the importance of review, but what’s next? Well, we suggest that we develop a plan for acquiring reviews in a manner that you have a simple approach for requesting them in an ongoing manner. The best approach is one that allows you to continually get new reviews to populate your online resources such as social media and your website.
It’s best to get an array of reviews so consumers can find them for the various services you offer from new pools to renovations. This is a broader approach that will make them understand you offer quality across the spectrum of what you do. Perception is everything so it’s our goal to create an overall positive picture of your business.
What is the most productive manner to collect reviews? We feel that soon after the project is completed is the best time to ask. We can assume that the process went well, they are excited since it is now completed and they are most apt to offer a good review. We do not fully understand your business process, but if you have them sign a final document after the punch list is completed, we can add a form field for a review on this document.
In addition, there may be other avenues to obtain reviews. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have your sales people follow up after a week with an email that contains a simple link to give a Google Review. We can assist in helping you to set this up.
- Follow up with a phone call to clients and note that you would like to ask for a positive review. If they agree, simply send them an email with a link like above.
- Social media followers of your company are the perfect target audience for reviews. These savvy consumers understand the importance of peer reviews and are more likely to provide a positive review because of that. Social media campaigns can also be a great way to target prospects. It can be as simple as sharing your favorite reviews and others may feel compelled to join in.
- Do you ever have a booth at local Home Shows or other similar trade shows and events? If so, events and trade shows can be a great opportunity for a face-to-face interaction with both potential and existing customers. They can offer a great opportunity to collect reviews. Consider setting up an area for people to give reviews at your next event using a custom review landing page and a laptop. Incentive them with a give-away item of some sort.
- Finally, consider offering customers a gift card such as for a restaurant or store that they can receive if they offer you a positive review. This can be offered in the closing of a project to incentive them at this opportune time. This has to be done carefully to comply with the FTC so you are not “buying” reviews.
The key is to make it as easy as possible so they do not have to work to give you a review. Follow these simple steps and you’ll find that it can be easier than you think.
- Make it simple, offer a direct link to a review
- Follow up on requests for reviews – it can be as simple as an email
- If you’ve had past negative reviews that you have corrected, consider asking for a positive one now that the situation has been resolved
- Add more new reviews to your site – this keeps fresh reviews for people to read
- Transparency is important – tell customers why you are requesting reviews in the first place
- Always thank your reviewers – this goes a long way to building lasting relationships
Make sure you are doing your best to thank those who have taken the time to offer a positive review. Here are a few ideas for extending your thanks:
- Share these reviews on social media with a call out thanking them
- Respond directly to a review where it’s posted – such as Facebook
- Send customers an email thanking them for a review you saw
- Good old mail – send a hand-written note to these helpful clients
What do you do when the review is not so positive?
Studies have shown that nearly 70% of consumers have a much greater trust for company if they are willing to show that they have both positive and negative reviews. Nobody is perfect and smart buyers know this instinctively. Companies are not always solely responsible for the bad review. Quite often the customer bears part of the blame and it can be seen in the review itself. Visitors can read the reviews and make the judgement call for themselves where the blame lies. You are showing them that you’re transparent and that is so important.
You should Always respond to these negative review when possible. You may be able to rectify the situation and save the relationship. Others will see that you have tried to make the situation right and they will appreciate your efforts. IF you are at fault, it’s best to own up to it and offer a sincere response. Although it may not alter the final outcome, at least you’ve made an honest attempt to make the client happy.
We hope you find this helpful. If we can assist you in developing a plan to obtain these important reviews, we’d be more than happy to do so.