Imagine you are a business owner with a decently successful local business. You have your fair share of regular customers, but you notice that you do not see too many new faces come in. This is a concern for you because you want your business to grow, so you begin looking into it. By utilizing your social media accounts, Google My Business, and Google Analytics to research your customer engagement and online perception, you notice something. Your local business is lacking in the number of online reviews that it has.
If you read our most recent blog post, you will understand why online reviews are incredibly important for the success of a local business. Make sure to read that blog post before you continue reading this one as it adds to everything you will learn here. The fact that you do not have a lot of online reviews should concern you. Now that you know how important they are, we are going to give you some tips on how to get online reviews.
How to get online reviews
Set up accounts on different review sites
We mentioned this in our previous blog post, but it is so important that we feel that it needs to be mentioned again. When you are learning how to get online reviews, it is important to have a profile for your business set up on multiple different sites. You should set profiles up on the usual places such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp, but industry-specific review sites can have a positive impact as well. If you are a restaurant, look for review sites that are specifically for restaurants. Same thing with retail stores because you are bound to find plenty out there. It is important to choose review platforms that you think potential customers will actually use, so keep that in mind as you are deciding which to use.
Ask customers at the right time
Depending on the type of business you are running, timing can be everything when you are trying to get online reviews. For example, if you run an auto repair shop you will want to ask your customers for a review after you have worked on their vehicle. It would make no sense to ask them before they have experience with your work. No matter which type of local business you own, it is important to be strategic when asking for reviews. Here is a very helpful blog post from Outbound Engine that gives more details on the right time to as for online reviews.
Ask for reviews both online and offline
Pretty much everyone has done business with a local business of some kind. Usually after you leave their business, you will get a text message or email asking to leave them a review. You may even get online ads relating to giving them a review. This can be pretty exhausting if you get too many of these electronic communications, so we suggest asking for reviews offline as well. When we say offline, we are talking about asking your customers in person or having stickers on your windows or flyers around your business with instructions on how to leave a review. This may take some pressure off them and make them more likely to leave that important review.
Make the review process easy but specific
After a long day of visiting local businesses, the last thing that a customer will want to do is spend a long time writing a review with complicated instructions. This is exactly why it is important to make your review process easy while also keeping the instructions specific. If you do this correctly, customers should have no problem leaving a quick review which will help your local business out a lot.
Create an incentive for a customer review
You are probably familiar with this one, especially from large businesses. When considering how to get online reviews, providing an incentive to customers is not a bad idea. We understand that it may not work for every business type and size, so do this with caution. Only give what you can as an incentive because it is not worth it to compromise your business just for reviews. If you are a restaurant, offer a free basket of fries or a free small appetizer. A shop could offer 10% off your next purchase, which is nice for someone willing to help you out with a review.
Focused Engagement can help you
Now that you know how important reviews are and some ways that you can get them, let us help you! We have plenty of experience getting our many clients reviews which have elevated their businesses. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you gain online reviews.