In today's competitive marketplace, the importance of having good online reviews has become clearer than ever before. The reality of the information age is that individuals no longer turn to the yellow pages to find businesses. Instead, internet users pull up one of the major search providers and do a local search for businesses. With such a strong internet search presence for services, the importance of online reviews becomes quickly apparent.
Adding to the regular internet searches, people are turning to their smart phones to get information for local and non-local results. In many cases, individuals will find a product they need in a local store and search online to make sure that they can't find a better price. When it comes down to finding these results, most online websites offer review services for the businesses in question. By using these review services, people can make much more informed purchasing decisions, and the businesses that do not get on the bandwagon find themselves losing valuable customers.
Why Are Reviews So Important?
For most internet users, the most important factor in determining a purchase decision is the reviews that are listed online. When searching for any product or service, most individuals will not make a purchasing decision without reviews to point them in the right direction. Internet reviews are highly influential, and a few positive reviews can mean thousands in additional revenue.
Beyond this reality about internet reviews, the simple truth about any business is that consumers are more than twice as likely to buy from a business that is recommended to them. Though not always as effective as personal recommendations, a large number of these individuals will take a positive business review just as well as a personal recommendation. Ultimately, these online reviews can results in significant amounts of new leads.
Where Should You Get Reviews?
There are literally dozens of websites online today that offer review services for companies around the world. For you as a business owner, the key is to make sure that you get listed on as many of these services as possible. To get an idea of how many sites are out there, one of the best ways to look would be to go to Google and search for "[insert your industry] reviews." In other words, you can type in your industry and add in the word "reviews" after it. Find the site that best matches your industry and take your time researching each site before partnering with them to build your name - as some review websites themselves have developed a poor reputation for not properly vetting reviews, allowing crooked companies to fraudulently enhance their own online reputation.
One of the easiest places to start is to make sure you have accounts on the major social media providers. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. all have useful tools to get free advertising. More importantly, having more followers, subscribers, members in your circle, etc. shows that you run a company that really is connect to the people. Beyond the basic social media though, start looking for more targeted websites.
Make sure you are on any local search ranking systems, and then start looking for industry specific websites. If you are in an industry where you can find specialty review sites specific to your business, make sure to join those. Get yourself a good reputation on these websites, and you will really start seeing traffic come in.
Who Should You Get Reviews From?
When it comes down to it, the best way for you to get quality reviews is to make sure that you ask all of your satisfied customers for them. It may seem strange at first, but the reality is that most happy customers will be more than receptive when asked to go online and compliment a quality service. The best key for those getting started is to really focus on one website that would be beneficial in your industry and ask customers to type of the review there.
Once that website is decided, you can simply add a follow up process. Maybe it would be the day of completion, or maybe it would occur a week after the service has been delivered. The key is to make sure that you get in the habit of following up with each customer to get feedback and ask for a review.
How Should You Ask For Reviews?
Regardless of how you go about asking for reviews, one of the best processes is to develop a brief "checkup" or "survey" for customer to fill out. Design a few key questions about how satisfied these customers are with your service, how well the product or service is working, etc. Once you have asked the questions, request that they go online and provide your business with a review. Put in wording like "If you are satisfied with SERVICE X, please go to WEBSITE Y today and share your experience."
It may seem basic, but so many companies are missing out on this simple step, and because of it they are failing to capture the widest range of business. Furthermore, this type of survey will really leave an impression with customers, and should they need service in the future you can feel confident that they will remember you more easily. To add to this, you could also get some valuable feedback, which could really help you improve your product or service.
When Should You Get Started?
If you are serious about getting your company recognized as being a real powerhouse in the industry, you should start immediately. Hop online and find out what websites you need to be listed on. If you don't already have them, set up Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages. If you provide a service that is visually appealing, set up an Instagram account too, and start taking before and after pictures to post with every job you do.
The reality is, technology has given business owners a very special and unique opportunity. Whereas many businesses of the past would have to spend thousands of dollars in advertising, modern businesses can get even greater exposure for free. Your best product is your product, so make sure that your satisfied customers share their experiences. Every positive review counts, so make sure to count them all.Posted by: TrustedPros