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How to Get More Reviews
Over 70% of customers won’t take any buying actions until they’ve read reviewsThere’s no arguing that with numbers like that at stake, you can’t afford to ignore online reviews. Some directories online, like Google, will display your reviews regardless of your strategy- but that doesn’t mean you should leave these reviews to chance. Having a system to handle reviews will not only give you peace of mind but will pay for itself. We call this system of online reputation management Review Generation.
What is Review Generation?
Review Generation as a term encompasses a business’s strategy to get its customers to leave a review and includes a plan for responding to these reviews. These strategies range from a simple verbal reminder to a customer all the way to incentivizing reviews (a potentially problematic plan). Reviews, more than ever, matter and contribute to the success of a business. And while review generation and management can be complicated, it isn’t something you can keep kicking down the road, hoping it will sort itself out. Leaving reviews to chance is like not investing in an “open” sign. It is another crucial way to communicate with current and prospective customers.
This page provides an overview of review generation and management and will answer these questions:
Why Reviews are Important for Your Business
Knowing why reviews are important will dictate your strategy for dealing with them. Whether your business sells socks, stocks, or anything in between will determine how you should handle reviews. However, the four main reasons for having a strategy in the first place remain consistent and are as follows:
Reviews are the front line for your online presence. They vouch for the value your business provides to customers. 87% of customers surveyed report reading reviews of local businesses before making a purchase. The public reviews page for your business is a second storefront where current or future customers learn what to expect from the experience of your product or service. They can also see how you handle those reactions- whether you rectify a bad situation and how your business learns from its mistakes.
The importance of reviews rises when buyers are choosing high-priced and consideration products and services. One study saw that the availability of reviews increases conversion rates for both high and low ticket price items but at wildly different rates. Lower price items saw an increased conversion rate of 190%, while high priced items can see an increase of 380%. This makes sense when you consider the first point, the value of reviews. A product or service that has a higher price(like jewelry) or takes more consideration(like baby formula) will likely require more credibility before a purchase is made.
Social proof is an important part of an online presence. Proving to potential customers that you are a real business with real customers does more than you might think. Having a constant stream of feedback from your customers will show new ones the current state and quality of your business. Reviews and how you respond to them also show a willingness to receive feedback. All of these personal factors play their part in shaping an opinion about your business from people who aren’t customers yet.
The personal component, however, is just one slice of the review pie. Search engines like Google factor in review content and frequency when determining a business’s local search ranking. The context of where your reviews show up and how they influence your audience’s buying decisions will make all the difference. With 68% of searchers claiming they place the most trust in Google’s “Map Pack”(the businesses that appear on the map when you search with local intent), it is important to cater to the current algorithm that decides which businesses to include in the Map Pack. Currently, we know that a large part of the Map Pack’s shown business is dictated by their reviews. That means that being included on the Map Pack for a certain search term will directly impact your monthly revenue.
How do you Get More Reviews?
You know how important reviews are, so how do we get them? To start, always keep the customer in mind. Start by making sure you a providing an exceptional experience that warrants a positive review. Then let the customer know you value their feedback. This can be done in person at the end of the exchange or with a follow-up email/text message. A personal note from your business that links to a survey or review site can be exactly what you need to take advantage of the nearly ¾ of customers surveyed that said they have left a review for a local business. In fact, studies have shown that up to 80% of reviews came as a direct result of an email following up on a purchase.
You’re Getting Reviews, Now What?
So you’ve implemented a review generation strategy that is raking in reviews. Don’t get comfortable just yet, there’s work to be done. Responding to reviews can be tricky, but can be as important as the reviews themselves. There are lots of guides online for responding to reviews. In short, they all say: be personal, be helpful, and be gracious. Good and bad reviews alike are a chance to improve your operations, so treat them accordingly.
Being personal is imperative online. If you’re familiar with the comment sections on popular Twitter and YouTube accounts, you might know a thing or two about a tendency of toxicity online. Being personal reminds a reviewer that there is a person on the other side of their screen, which decreases the likelihood of toxic behavior.
Being helpful shows you care about the customer, not just their spending habits. Inviting a dialogue positions you and your reviewer for a positive experience and increases your odds of turning around a negative review. Keep in mind that the customer experience offers invaluable insight into how your business is perceived and how it could improve.
Every customer you’ve had made the choice to support your business- thank them for that. If you’d like to read an in-depth post on responding to reviews, Hubspot has a blog post that we highly recommend.
Now that you’ve gotten great reviews and your speaking to your customers online in an organized fashion, don’t let your hard work go to waste! Instead of letting reviews stay stagnant and get lost in your review timeline, use these reviews as testimonials on your own website!
Outsourcing Review Generation and Management
Running a business is more than a full-time job. Delegating review management seems like a no-brainer, but deciding who to assign the task to gets complicated. You want the person or entity responding to your reviews to be able to communicate effectively and do so in a timely manner. Knowing your business well enough to navigate reviews but without getting emotional when responding further complicates delegating review response. So instead of giving the task to your front desk attendant or second-week intern, we suggest outsourcing.
Having review response and generation can be a huge help and will pay for itself. Outsourcing these responsibilities should be a careful consideration, though. Make sure that the agency or individual meets the criteria we’ve listed and can form a relationship with your business that allows them to respond to your reviews as if they were a part of your team.
Second Nature as a Partner for Review Generation
Second Nature understands the importance of Review Response and Generation. We take the time to understand your business and brand so we can speak confidently on your behalf. Most importantly, if you ever have a question or need help with any of our services, we are a phone call away. We pride ourselves on being problem solvers so that you can focus on your business and what you do best. If you’d like to hear about how Second Nature could help your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call!