Reviews Are Everywhere
Reviews seem to be popping up everywhere, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the different sources and strategies.
Comments on Yelp, Facebook and Google influence perception of your brand. Business ratings tools, such as Shopper Approved and Google Costumer Reviews (formerly Google Trusted Stores) can boost consumer confidence. And other resources, like Yext, can project a star rating to make your business more competitive in paid and organic search results.
But in order to determine what to do with reviews, you must first develop a strategy to get them.
Ask For The Right Review: Product vs. Service
I recently purchased a monitor stand on Amazon. After a few days, Amazon’s automated email asked for a product rating with the option to write a review. Amazon didn’t ask me about their service as a vendor, the delivery, the packaging, etc. If someone else searching for a similar product gets a result for the item I bought, the aggregate of positive reviews demonstrated by stars next to Amazon’s listing would likely influence the searcher’s decision to click their listing to buy.
Purchases that involve a high level of service require a different kind of review. Think restaurants, mechanics, florists, doctors. While searching for those services, people are likely to use more general, location based terms rather than specific menu items, types of repairs, products or procedures.
When asking customers for a review, service providers want the comments about their brand and overall satisfaction to match the key words searchers are using. Someone looking to buy flowers for Mother’s Day would be more likely to search by service and location based terms such as Mother’s Day Flowers Los Angeles, instead of the name of a specific bouquet or type of flower. So be sure to ask the customer to review your brand and service, not just the product.
How To Get The Reviews?
Every retailer and service provider should develop a procedure to ask for customer reviews after a purchase or point of contact. Setting up an automated email to say thanks and ask for the review is an efficient tool, but email is passive. It’s easy for the customer to overlook or get busy and forget.
Consumers can wield formidable power by threatening to trash a brand’s reputation if they aren’t satisfied. So make a strong enough impression that the customer wants to become your advocate.
#1 Delight Your Customer
Mistakes happen. And they can also become your shining moment. Right every wrong, every time. Make sure your customer understands the reason for the mistake and how much you value their business. Establish a negative review policy so you can handle negative comments consistently and quickly.
#2 Get Personal
Ask your best customers to write the review right at the point of sale. Set up an iPad at your sales counter with your social channels cued up so customers can see what others wrote. When you’ve connected with a customer, offer to text them a link to review site right from their phone.
#3 Say Thank You
Publicly reply to the review in a genuine manner. Make sure the reviewer knows you saw their comments and how much they matter to you. Some businesses will even send a surprise thank you gift to customers who have taken the time to write a review.
Small businesses can use Yext’s Ultimate package to collect and set reviews to appear adjacent to products on a website, which will improve consumer confidence and rank in the long term. But it’s the overall level of satisfaction that will influence customers to buy a service-oriented product. So don’t be afraid to ask for the review. It’s one of the most important ways you can market your business.