Reviews matter, period. Customers use reviews to make purchase decisions every day – whether it’s where to book their next holiday, who to entrust their property portfolio to, or where to take their car to be fixed.
According to the Local Consumer Review Survey 2022 carried out by BrightLocal, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read reviews when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020). Your customers are talking online, and with the world at their fingertips, reviews can make or break your business.
Reviews are therefore essential, but it’s equally important to generate them consistently. Customers want to see you maintaining a happy client base over a period of time – a good number of reviews all dating back ten years with no fresh content just won’t cut the mustard.
So How Do You Get New Reviews?
Some customers automatically leave reviews, whilst others need a little bit of encouragement – so do look at taking a proactive approach. Reaching out to everyone you’ve worked with and asking them to leave feedback is a failsafe way to increase those numbers, and it also shows customers you care about the service they received.
Choose A Review Site
Search your company’s name and the word ‘review’ to find out which top three sites you appear on, then assess where you are in the rankings for those. A focus on growing the top one is a good place to start, but do aim to increase reviews across all three sites.
Certain sites, like Google and FreeIndex, provide a free embed code once you hit a certain amount of reviews, which will then automatically pull reviews through to your website, enabling your visitors to see all of the latest testimonials straight away. It also involves less work for you in constantly updating your website as new reviews come through.
Get The Team On Board
Another great way to generate ongoing reviews is to get your team involved. Simply setting aside an hour each week can make a huge difference with that extra manpower. Divide your most recent customers between the team and have them call as many as possible within that hour. Making this into a challenge whereby the person who secures the most reviews wins a prize can be a good motivator in keeping them focused.
Don’t get too concerned with speaking to all previous customers at once, simply start with those you’ve had the most recent transactions with first, as doing this regularly will enable you to speak to everyone on your list over time. Keeping it a regular task factored into your entire team’s schedules will get everyone into the habit of proactively asking for feedback, which will soon give you a wealth of glowing reviews with which to impress.
LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: all have a place when it comes to online reviews. For some it may seem like an onerous task to specifically visit a review site or a business’s website to leave a review, yet people love to interact online and tell the world what they think. Never underestimate the power of social media and do use this to your advantage.
Respond To Reviews
Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they feel they will actually be taken on board by a company to better their offering. By taking regular time out to respond to the reviews you are generating, you are showing potential customers that their experience matters to you. The BrightLocal survey suggests 89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews, whereas 57% say they would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ likely to use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all. Even a ‘bad’ review can be used to your advantage if you respond to it in the right way, and again this is something you can get your team involved in too.