Online Business Reviews
Online business reviews are becoming increasingly important for all small businesses.
Have you noticed after you leave a place of business, you get a note from Google asking about your experience?
This is true for all businesses with a Google presence – no matter what products or services they provide. This type of technology and software will become more prevalent in our world, so why not get in front of it now?
In less than 30 minutes a month, you can improve your company’s online visibility and credibility.
Ask for online business reviews from your best clients and customers.
Why Online Business Reviews are Important
Online business reviews can help your small business in a variety of ways. They can help:
-Give your small business a credibility boost. Happy customers and clients giving your business a positive review online provides social proof that you company is as awesome as you claim.
-Improve online visibility. Online business reviews can help your small business show up more frequently, and more positively, on various channels.
-Close open deals. If you have prospects on the fence, you can use your online business reviews to convince them to go with you.
-Guide the online conversation about your business. Instead of leaving it up to fate, or robots, why not take control of your company’s online reputation? Guide the conversation proactively – that’s always better than waiting, and then reacting, to negative conversations.
-Identify customer service opportunities. Managing your online business reviews gives you the opportunity to find and address service issues BEFORE an unhappy customer gives you a negative online review. This often turns into a golden opportunity for your customer service skills to shine!
-Stay ahead of competition. It’s true that some small businesses, especially those in the consumer services industries (restaurants, auto-mechanics, veterinarians, etc.), are already managing online reviews. However, many other industries haven’t even started. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the game, and your competitors.
There are other ways online reviews for business can help your small business, but the above are the top reasons to get started.
How Often Should You Ask for Online Business Reviews?
This depends on your business and the volume of customers you see on a regular basis. As a rule of thumb, here are our recommendations.
If you have an ongoing, personal relationship (b2b services, etc.) with your customers and clients:
- Once a month, ask 1-2 clients for a new review.
- Once a quarter, follow up with those who gave you reviews in past and ask for review on a different site.
If your business provides a quick purchase, or you don’t have a personal relationship with each customer…
This process is quite different, since you don’t have a personal relationship. We recommend using a software to help you with your online reviews, because the volume of customers may be too difficult to manage manually. The process usually looks like this:
- Get an email address from the customer at the time of purchase.
- As soon as they make a purchase, enter their email into the software.
- The software will send them an email that asks the customer to rate his/her experience, on a scale of 1 to 5.
- Those who give you a 4 or 5, ask them to leave online review on Google.
If you follow these suggestions, you’ll build your positive, online business reviews in a consistent manner.
Step 1: Identify where you’d like to get online business reviews. Google is your top priority, so we’ll use it as an example. You could also focus on Facebook, Better Business Bureau, or an industry-specific site.
Step 2: Identify your Google online business reviews link to provide customers and clients, and save it in a file for later. You can find this through your Google My Business listing.
Step 3: Identify 2 of your best customers/clients – make sure you have their email address.
Step 4: Send them an email asking if they’d be willing to do a 5-star, online business review for you, on Google (or other channel).
Step 5: For those that say yes, send them the link (found in Step 2) to your Google review site.
Advanced tip: Give them some ideas for the online business reviews that would benefit your business.
Step 6: Marvel at how much better your small business looks on Google with just a couple 5-star, online business reviews.
The following shows the before and after for one of our clients. After adding only 2 reviews, we saw a 1.5 star increase in their Google ratings.
Before: 2-Star Rating
After: 3.5-Star Rating
Why Do Online Business Reviews Matter?
You can tell a potential client or employee how awesome your business is, but why not let the online business reviews of others tell the story for you? It will have a much bigger impact!
Online business reviews also help you proactively manage your company’s online reputation, instead of leaving it up to chance. Which would you choose?
Finally, online business reviews will improve your small business’ credibility, as well as its online visibility. Both of those elements make it more likely that a potential customer will contact you, instead of your competitor.
Why is all of this VERY important? Because…
As potential customers become increasing Internet-savvy, online business reviews will become a critical part of closing new business.
We know it can be difficult to ask for these reviews, but it’s worth it to do so. Don’t passively wait to get reviews; get in the driver’s seat with our online reviews for business services.
We hope this tutorial has been helpful to you! Please let us know if you have any questions.