December 09, 2013
Happy customers can bring you more business with a great online testimonial!
By Maureen McCabe
The great thing about your existing customers is that they can bring you more customers. Happy customers have the power to influence your potential customers.
But how do you get these happy customers to deliver more customers to your business? By having them write great reviews about you.
If you don’t have any customer reviews posted online, it’s harder for potential customers to decide whether they want to purchase from you or work with you instead of your competition. However, this is an area where a lot of small business owners face difficulties. They don’t know how to ask customers for reviews, or how to explain to their customers exactly how to post a review online.
Since online local review listings like Bing Place and Google Places are displayed prominently in web search results, your customers’ opinions are extremely important in today’s era of online research. More reviews make you more relevant to users in the eyes of search engines.
If you don’t have one already, set up your free business listing on Google or Bing today to ensure your customers can write rave reviews!
TIP: You may already have a Google Places local listing. Over the past few years, Google has used multiple names for its free local listings. You may know this service as follows:
- Places for Business
- Google Places for Business
- G+ Local
- Google Places
- Google Plus
So, how do you go about getting great customer reviews?
Creative Strategies for Getting More Customer Reviews
Remember, if you don’t ask, the reviews just won’t happen. Therefore, you’ve got to ask multiple times and in multiple ways. Here are a few suggestions to get those reviews happening:
- Ask for feedback right away after a customer makes a purchase. If you’re an online retailer, do it in a followup email. If you’re a brick-and-mortar location, print out a card with instructions to leave a review.
- Let customers know why you’re asking for the reviews – explain that you are using it as a new strategy to bring in new business.
- Don’t just ask for reviews on Google Places or Yelp.ca. Customers can also leave recommendations on your business’ LinkedIn Company or personal LinkedIn profile page, 411.ca, and Yellowpages.ca to name a few. Some industries even have niche-specific review sites such as HomeStars and RateMDs, and cities such as Toronto have regional directories like insidetoronto.com where users can leave reviews of local businesses.
- If a customer gives you a compliment or positive feedback in person, in an email, or over the phone, request that they turn that into an online review.
- If you regularly send email promotions or newsletters to your customer base, include a link to leave a review in your next email blast.
- Create a handout with instructions for posting a review on Google and give them to customers in-store.
- Send personalized emails to VIPs or regular customers requesting reviews.
- Set up an in-store review station using a laptop or tablet, and encourage visitors to leave their reviews immediately.
TIP: You can get a link that directs your customers directly to the reviews page on your Google business listing. Just use the following URL and enter your page’s unique ID number. You can include this link in emails, on your website, your email signature, and more.
For example, entering my Google listing ID into this URL takes you directly to the page where you can review McCabe Marketing. Click here to see it in action.
Tips to Maximize the Impact of Your Reviews
Once you’ve secured some online customer reviews, take your efforts a step further to really maximize their effect and even encourage more reviews. Here’s how:
- Ask reviewers to review you on a variety of sites. Even if they’ve written a review on Yelp, ask them to write you one on Google or Facebook as well. The more people who see the review, the better!
- Ask multiple people involved in the purchase to review. Several people may be using your product or service – say a new roof, car, or home alarm system – so they could each leave their own review.
- Plan for managing negative reviews. If you get a negative review, respond to it immediately and try to resolve any issues – turn a negative into a positive by replying politely and quickly.
- Consider featuring a “review of the week” on your LinkedIn page, or on your website. Not only will this be seen by potential customers, but will also encourage others to write their own reviews.
If your small business needs advice on how to get more customer reviews, contact McCabe Marketing today. Online reviews are essential for driving more business and can give you an excellent advantage over your competitors.
I suggest you check out the other blogs in this series; after all, you wouldn’t want to miss one juicy morsel. Or better yet, subscribe to my blog!
Why Customer Reviews are Important for Small Business Internet Marketing
Which Review Sites Should I Be Listed On?
How Online Reviews Can Impact Your Business
6 Things to Know About Yelp Reviews for Your Business
How to Get LinkedIn Company Page Recommendations
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