Trust. It’s what most local businesses need to thrive in the convoluted world of business. Which elements help build trust among modern consumers? Local business online reviews are a great place to start.
Online reviews have become a double-edged sword for many local businesses.
Too many negative reviews scare customers because, well, because they don’t make anybody look good, naturally. Too many positive online reviews could also turn customers away. After all, they make local businesses appear ingenuine or “too perfect.”
I know it’s a challenge to find the perfect balance in terms of online reviews. Some marketers take years to figure it out, and some, sadly, choose to give up.
But even if local businesses have a love-hate relationship with online reviewers, online reviews still matter. I’d say now more than ever!
According to BrightLocal,
97% of consumers use business reviews when they search for local businesses.
Online reviews don’t only influence customers, but they provide local businesses with credibility. Plus, the Speigel Research Center found that products with reviews are 270% more likely to be purchased.
These stats prove that entrepreneurs must prioritize getting local business online reviews and jumpstart a solid ORM strategy (Online Reputation Management) or else risk losing business SLOWLY AND SURELY.
“But how do I get more local business online reviews, Tim?”. Well, in today’s article, we will talk about useful tips and tricks on how to get online reviews that not many marketers know.
All set? Let's jump into it.
Local Business Online Reviews Tips And Tricks
In getting more local business online reviews, it’s essential to build a review funnel.
A review funnel is an automated process that helps you to get customers to leave a review, guide them through the review process, and manage online reviews through appropriate responses.
It’s essential to build a review funnel because it makes the whole customer review process so much easier. It's also a helpful tool in getting more local business online reviews.
With that said, here are five useful tips and tricks on how to get more local business online reviews.
Use Physical In-store Prompts
According to a study, 85% of consumers prefer to shop at physical stores vs. online. That’s a huge percentage! It only means that you have more chances of getting local business reviews from in-store customers.
- a note at the bottom of a receipt
- a sign next to a cash register
- a door sticker about leaving reviews
All of these things can remind your most loyal returning customers that reviews can help their favorite local establishments succeed.
Provide The Best Customer Experience Possible
Provide the best customer experience possible, because ultimately your product is what drives the review. Most people only leave a review if their experience was extremely good or extremely bad. Your quality control measures will funnel directly into your reviews.
Customer experience can also grow your small business by increasing:
- the number of customers attracted by favorable word-of-mouth marketing.
- the money spent by each customer per transaction.
- the number of times your customers buy with you.
I’d also like to add that aside from getting reviews and growing your business, an excellent customer experience is sometimes the only way your company can differentiate itself from your competitors.
It's not just about the way you greet and serve your customers. It also involves many aspects of how you do business, including:
- products and services information
- face-to-face interaction
- telephone support
- order management
- follow-up procedures
- billing and payments management
- complaints management
In my many years of experience in providing marketing services, one of my favorite tips on how to develop excellent customer service is to treat your employees right first and foremost, and the rest should follow.
Ask For Reviews Often And Actively
According to BrightLocal,
70% of consumers who were asked to leave reviews for local businesses do.
What does it mean? You need to OFTEN and ACTIVELY ask for reviews!
How? Just ask for an online review after every online and offline transaction.
- online payment
- online order processing
- chatbot inquiry
- social media
- in-store payment
- direct mail
- trade shows and events
- phone or SMS
Have Staff Prompt For A Review During Service
Saying something like “it would help us out so much if you would leave a review on Google” makes consumers feel important and like they’re taking action to support something they enjoy.
It might not work in all businesses, but it works exceptionally well for independent local businesses.
Teach your employees these three things when asking for online reviews:
- The importance of leaving an online review.
- How to leave an online review conveniently.
- When to leave an online review.
With these three elements in mind, customers would feel more obligated to leave a review.
So how should your staff ask customers for a review? Here are three sample scripts:
If we’ve done an excellent job for you today, would you mind taking 20 seconds to leave us a review? We are trying to grow our business, and online reviews help to do that.
Would you mind taking 20 seconds to leave our business a short review? It will let my manager know that I’m doing what I need to do. Plus, it would help our company out.
Can I ask you for a little favor? We’re a new local business, and we’re trying to grow and get more customers, and online reviews could help, would you mind leaving us a review? It will only take a few seconds.
Gather Emails At The Time Of Service
Even if you’re a brick-and-mortar location, gathering emails at the time of service could help. When a customer supplies an email, follow up with them in a few days, and ask them to write a review.
There are tons of email automation tools that can help you generate more local business online reviews.
Another benefit of gathering emails at the time of service is to build a strong email list.
And those are the five tips and tricks on how to gather more local business online reviews!
It takes time and effort to gather more reviews for your business, but with the right strategy in place, online reviews will pour in quickly.
To know more about local business online reviews, I put together below a list of resources for you. Also, if you need to learn more, don’t hesitate to TALK TO US! We are here to help.
Recommended Local Business Online Reviews Resources
Why Reviews Are More Important Than Ever for Local Search
20 Examples of How to Ask for a Customer Review (Plus Templates)
How to Use Email to Get More Online Reviews
So what do you think about this article? Is it helpful in getting your local business more online reviews? What other tips did I miss that are worth mentioning?
Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!
Lastly, if you think this article is worth SHARING, it would be a great honor.
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