Seeking Positive Reviews
When scouting a new place to eat, or a trustworthy hair stylist, one usually asks family or friends for their trusted opinions. A quicker way to get information on a prospective purchase is through online reviews. In fact, according to a BrightLocal survey, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Growing Importance of Online Reviews
The internet is growing to be a space where consumers can share their opinions on the quality of businesses, and the service industry is no stranger to it. Determining which business to trust with your needs can be done with a couple of swipes now.
Your Online Presence
Maintaining positive reviews online is crucial to retaining customers and attracting new ones. These reviews will likely be the first thing a customer sees when searching your business online. Here is a guide to gaining and maintaining positive online reviews.
How to Ask for Reviews
Who to Ask
It can be tricky to navigate the taboo of asking customers to review your services online. Customers you have built a rapport with are the primary candidates to ask for a review. They will most likely be glad to write a review, especially if you have a friendly and trusting business relationship. First-time customers who go out of their way to notify you that they are pleased with your services are also great candidates for a positive review.
When to Ask
These customers should be asked to provide a review either after your technician has completed the job and is closing out the service appointment, or through a follow-up email or call.
Friends and Family
If your business is new and does not have many customers to ask for reviews, there is no shame in asking friends, colleagues or family for their honest opinions of your work
Venues for Online Reviews
Many websites offer customers the venue to leave online reviews of businesses. A common site for review contribution is Yelp. Because Yelp crowd-sources reviews, business big and small can be reviewed by anyone.
Facebook is a little more personal, as it shows the personal profiles of users who leave reviews. This is an accessible option for your customers as they are likely to already have an account.
Google also provides users the option to leave a review on a business’s Google Maps page. It is likely the top result for your business will be its Google Maps page, making it an extremely visible option. If you have not done so already, it is advisable to claim your business’ physical address on Google Maps to show legitimacy.
Better Business Bureau
One of the most credible platforms for business reviews is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Both businesses and users must be verified to be listed on the site. Customers need to provide proof that they have received services from your business in order to leave a review. A BBB accreditation and positive reviews page can go a long way.
LinkedIn and Glassdoor
LinkedIn and Glassdoor are great websites for your employees to share their opinion on working at your business. While they are not often searched by potential customers, it adds to your business’ credibility and professionalism.
Creating optimized venues for your customers to provide reviews should be a priority when maintaining your online presence. Designate a “leave a review” or “contact us” page on your website for your customers to share their thoughts. Create links to the previously mentioned review platforms. Your customer can likely find you on these sites on their own; however, it is convenient to have the links to those pages on your website.
If you do not have a website, provide URLs to your business’s profile on review platforms and printed marketing materials.
Receiving Positive Reviews
Keeping Things Positive
Receiving positive online reviews instead of neutral or negative reviews is something to strive for. Since it depends on the quality of your services, there are some tips you can follow to encourage positive reviews.
Replying to online reviews, even negative ones, is a good way to show your business cares about its customers and their satisfaction. It adds dimension to your brand and a personal touch if the reply is signed by a team member. Replying can be as simple as acknowledging the dissatisfaction of your customer and promising better service next time, or more complex by offering the customer further reconciliation.
The Impact of Customer Service
Acknowledging reviews shows those reading the review that you are trying to provide reputable services. You can refer to our infographic about great customer service for more on how to actively communicate with your customers.
Reviews can sometimes be incentivized by offering your customers a future discount or value in exchange for a review. However, do not bribe your customers for exclusively positive reviews, and offers should not be too frequent.
It is important to showcase the positive reviews you are receiving either on your website, online profiles or marketing materials. A “testimonials” page on your website is a great way to show potential customers the real feedback you have received.
Making the Most of Online Reviews
Your customers trust you to come into their homes and provide high-quality services. Their feedback and appreciation can be the easiest and most effective form of marketing your business utilizes. A real customer’s honest review will show others you are a credible and legitimate service provider. As you make providing reviews more optimized and accessible, customers are more likely to provide a (hopefully positive!) review.