Word of mouth will always be the top dog in terms of marketing tactics for one simple reason: trust. When people are looking to buy something, they want to know that other people have had a good experience with the company that they are about to purchase from. Hearing positive feedback makes us feel like we can trust the decision that we’re about to make and that the product or service we’re about to acquire will be a good one. Today, digital reviews provide that “tried and true” word of mouth style feedback with the added benefit that they can be seen by dozens (or millions) of people. Believe it or not, a study by BrightLocal concluded that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
But what’s the point of reviews really? Most importantly, they help you look fantastic on important search engines and social media platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Think about it like this: say it’s your mom’s birthday and you’d like to get her a gift certificate at a spa. You want to make sure she has a great experience but you aren’t sure which spas are the best in her area. What do you do? You might Google “Spas in Connecticut” to see what comes up or jump on Yelp to find some local options. Either way, reviews will come into play to help you decide which spa is the best choice for your mom’s birthday extravaganza. As you scroll through the options, you’ll look to see how many stars the spa has been rated and what customers have to say about their experience. Then you’ll likely choose one based on those positive reviews and rankings.
This same methodology works for nearly every industry. When someone is looking for a trustworthy lawyer, a great pizza shop, or a professional contractor, they will look to reviews to aid in the decision-making process. So if you own a business and you don’t have any reviews, you might be letting potential customers pass you by.
Let’s not let that happen! But how do you start?
First, consider the review sites that are relevant to your business and set up a profile. Yelp, Google, and Facebook are very popular, but other sites such as Angie’s List or TripAdvisor might be "make or break" platforms in your industry. When setting up your profile, be sure to include all the relevant information and some great photos. Remember, these sites serve as an online storefront for your business, so put your best face forward to make a lasting first impression.
Once your profiles are up, it’s time to start getting some reviews - but how? It’s easy, all you have to do is ask! Start by making a list of your last 10 happy customers. Then just send them a quick email that says something along the lines of:
Dear [Insert First Name],
Thank you so much for choosing [our company] to [perform this service or provide this product]. We know you have a choice when it comes to [your industry category] and we really appreciate you choosing us. We are thrilled that you are happy with your [product/service].
If you feel that we did a great job and if it's not too much trouble, we would really appreciate it if you could submit a short review on one of our social media profiles to help us spread the word about our services. Please click any of the links below to submit a review:
Again, thank you so much for your business and please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need anything further.
It’s as simple as that. Know that for every ten reviews you ask for, you might only get two or three in return, so make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave reviews by giving them direct links to your review sites in your email.
If your business has a high volume of clients, sending individual emails to every person might not be practical. So once you get the ball rolling, it might be a good idea to engage in a service such as Yotpo or PowerReviews to acquire reviews on your business’s behalf.
So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to give your business a boost and we are always here to help if you need us. If you have a question, feel free to get in touch to say hey.