More than ever, consumers get information and research a product or service before they even talk to a company! The new ‘word of mouth’ is using social media and online reviews. This change in the way consumers are shopping is vital knowledge for local businesses.
A cousin of mine posted a question on Facebook today that read, “Hey local friends do you know of a good electrician that you would recommend in the area?” This question sparked a series of people making their recommendations. Once my cousin had a handful of electricians to look at, she proceeded to look them up on Google. When she would do a Google search on each one, their Google rating and reviews would be attached to their website. Using the recommendations from her friends, combined with the reviews she found online, it was easy for her to determine the best electrician for her project.
This is a classic example of what consumers do when choosing a product or service. The need has never been greater to have as many online positive reviews on the sites that matter the most. However, even though 90% of people use online reviews to make buying decisions, only 6% of people write reviews.
How do you get more of your happy customers to write positive reviews on sites like Google or Yelp?
Here are three things that are needed to build those positive reviews:
- Ask them but not ask them- I know it sounds confusing but this is very important. If you are asking them directly to post a review online they are more than likely not going to. You need to find a way to make it their choice or ask them in a non-presumptuous way.
- Make it easy- if your customers have to go way out of their way to post a review they rarely do so. Consumers will post to your Google or Yelp page if it is presented in a way that makes it easy for them. People don’t want to go out of their way to figure out how to post the review.
- Incentivize- put yourself in their shoes. If they post something online about their experience what is in it for them? Studies show that your incentive needs to be worth it to them. The better the incentive the more apt they are to do you this favor.
Consumers today trust the ratings and online reviews of products or services. If you don’t have enough reviews or have negative reviews online, you will lose out on many potential customers. Follow these tips and you will increase the number of positive online reviews about your business.