Reputation Management may or may not be a term that you’re familiar with but Wikipedia defines it as the influencing and/or control of an individual’s or business’s reputation. So I ask you this, “how are you controlling your businesses reputation?”
To give you an idea of the importance of influencing your reputation, let these stats soak in:
- 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. *
- A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. *
- 78% of Americans aged 18-44 agree that online reviews help them decide whether or not to purchase from a specific business. *
- 85% of consumers use the Internet for research before making a purchasing decision. **
- 65% of Internet users see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. **
I could go on and on but in the year 2015 (already!?) it’s very possible that you are already using reviews yourself to make purchase decisions. For example, did you scroll down and take a look at the reviews before buying a book on Amazon? How about before deciding on a new restaurant to try out? What about before buying a new car? Odds are your answered yes to one of those, or can think of another time that you read a review before making a purchase. How did that those reviews influence your buying behavior? How many of your customers, or future customers, are going through that exact same thing with your business at this very moment?
Those are a lot of questions to answer, but answer them you should. Think about this scenario: a potential customer of yours goes online and does a search for both your business and your industry, trying to find out the best place to do business. What do they see? If they see a bunch of negative reviews they keep looking. If they don’t see any reviews, they keep looking. If they see just a few reviews, but they are all good, they still may continue looking, especially if a competitor has 1o times the reviews, even if they have 4 stars and you have 5. Having said that, the only viable solution is to go on the offensive and get as many reviews as is organically possible. I use the word organically because you shouldn’t fake reviews, buy them, or incentivize your customers to leave them for you.
A Few Tips To Help You Generate More Reviews
There are a lot of different ways to generate reviews for your business, more than I will list for you below, but I encourage you to put a plan in place. The sooner the better.
Increase Your Customer Service
That may sound like a crazy thing to say but it’s true. Take a look at your current level of customer service, how can you make it better? It’s a proven fact that people have a stronger motivational force to leave a review if they had a bad experience than if their experience doing business with a particular company was good. So, it goes without saying that if you give people something more than whats expected, they will talk about you in a positive light. Think about it, we all expect a certain level of customer service, if those expectations aren’t met, it could possibly lead to a negative review. If you go above what’s expected, it could possibly lead to a positive review. What about meeting those expectations perfectly? Correct, nothing! Why? Because you’ve don’t nothing to stand out. So, increase your customer service.
Ask For Them
If you’ve increased your customer service then consider asking your customers to leave you a review. Don’t ask for a good review, just a review and don’t be pushy about it. If they ask you where, you can mention a few different sites, sites such as your Google my Business page, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. Or, you can put a button in the header of your website that links to a page on your website that lists 5-10 different sites that your customers can leave a review on. Ask them to pick just one.
Make it Part of Your Process
Post reviews around the office, create posters or tent cards for your desk/counter, make them readily available. By doing this people start to understand that their opinion counts and when it’s time to ask them for a review they will better understand why. But, further than that you need to ensure that asking for reviews is part of your process. It shouldn’t be a here or there thing, it should be an all the time thing. By making it part of your routine asking becomes a routing. Remember, your business is counting it.
Follow Up on Negative Reviews
Reach out right away if you see a negative review. Follow up immediately, fix the problems and then ask the reviewer to update their review. You would be surprised at how many times you can turn a one star review into a 3, 4 or 5 star review, just by fixing the issue and asking!
Ask Your Vendors
This is a great way to get reviews. Just make sure to tell them that they shouldn’t leave a review as if they were a customer, unless of course they are. Instead ask them to leave a character review about your business.
Ask Your Followers
Ask your Twitter follows, Facebook fans and other social connection to leave you a review, just make sure to say something along the lines of, “If you’ve done business with us…”
There you have it, 6 tips to generating more online reviews. What ideas do you have? Leave a comment in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what you have to say!
It can be a pain to keep track of all your online reviews, not to mention the millions of sites that people can say something about your company on. That’s why it’s important to have some sort of software to help you save time and your sanity. At 3GEngagement we’ve developed Reputation Manager, a cloud based reputation management software that takes all the hard work out of keeping track of what people are saying. That’s not to say there aren’t other products you can use, learn more about Reputation Manager here.
* iSocial Reviews - Online reputation statistics ** ReputationX - 10 online reputation management statistics that may blow your mind