A customer review acquisition strategy is a necessary component of a marketing plan in 2017. As a business owner, you rely on your reputation to be able to compete in your market. If you don’t have a process to manage your reputation, you risk losing it. If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to leave you positive reviews, then sadly they are not likely to leave your business one. Your happy customers will remain silent, while the unhappy customers will leave negative reviews that harm your reputation and profits.
Consumers love reviews and rely on reviews to make buying decisions. A study has shown that 60% of sales involve researching a business’s online reputation. So leaving your online reputation up to chance is something that you can’t afford to do. Consumers are growing more accustom to relying on reviews when searching for a roofing contractor.
Customer reviews are not only essential to helping you win new customers, but reviews are a necessary factor for ranking in local search results on Google and Bing.
The search engines, Google and Bing, will display the highest rated business with more prominence when consumers are searching with local intent. In other words, searching the term, “leaky roof repair”, Google will show the business with the highest quality reviews first, resulting in more online exposure to the consumers.
Four best places to get online reviews
- Google is driven to become the primary source for local information, so it is safe to say that a review on their network will likely be seen by consumers first and the reviews on their network will give you the biggest local SEO boost.
- Yelp is an excellent site to secure reviews. Google prominently displays Yelp ratings in local search results.
- Facebook is the largest content distribution network and is the likely place that you will interact with your customers. So gathering reviews on the Facebook network is worth it.
- Better Business Bureau is another excellent place to garner reviews. Reviews submitted on your BBB profile will boost your business’s BBB rating, and the BBB has long been a trusted source for consumers to review a company’s reputation.
What to focus on
When customers conduct a local search or even a search for a particular business, you can see right away how reviews become part of the search experience. Here I did a search for a local contractor by typing in Roof Repairs and Google returned results for a local roofing company, Roof Repair Solutions, and here along the right-hand side, we can see their rating, along with how many reviews they have. Google displayed this company to me because they had good reviews.
Selecting the reviews link on the right, you can read the reviews without leaving the search results.
Another popular search is “company name + reviews.” Looking at “Roofer Repair Solution Reviews,” Google is going to show the most relevant reviews in the search results. Google displays search results from Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Facebook. It’s easy to see how reviews not only add visual appeal to search listings, but they add credibility to your business.
How to more reviews from your happy customers
Reviews are a huge key to your success with winning new customers and higher rankings in the search results. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask all customers to write you an online review. Customer reviews should be genuine, and the number of reviews should build naturally over time. You should have a system in place to ask customers for reviews. Here is an example of a simple review system.
Once the job is complete then follow these easy simple steps.
Send all customers an email asking about their experience working with you. In the email, the customer should have only two choices, either to select that they had an excellent experience or to select that your service needs improvement. If the customer selects that they had an excellent experience it routes the customer to a web page that politely request they leave a review on either Google or Yelp. (It is a good idea to recommend that your customers leave you a review through your Google or Yelp listings first.) The web page has links to both your Google and Yelp profiles.
If the customer selected the option that your service needs improvement, they are sent to a page where they can leave a comment or call the office to resolve any issues. Being proactive does two things, first, it keeps customers from leaving you a negative review because you are proactive in resolving any issues and two it gives you valuable feedback about your business. A bonus is when a customer has a problem that you a are able to resolve that customer may become some of your biggest fans. If you are able to resolve a customer’s complaint then you should ask them to leave you a positive review.
Another strategy is to use a tool we created here at Dig Deep Marketing. This gives you the capability to send a hyperlink to your customers to ask them about their experience. Your customers only have two choices to pick from, either “happy” or “sad”. If your customers picked the happy face they will be taken to a page that request him to leave a review on one of your select networks. If he is “unhappy” with your service it allows him to email directly with any issues they may have. The idea is to curb any negative reviews before they are posted on your Yelp or Google page. For a sample of how this works view Our Review Page Here.
The final step is responding to all reviews. Respond to all reviews whether they are positive or negative. If the review is positive, graciously thank the customer for the review. If the review is negative, sincerely apologize for the poor experience and try to resolve the issue. If you can resolve the issue politely request the customer to remove or revise the review. Responding to customer reviews shows consumers and future customers that your business is attentive and sincerely cares about its customers.
Important factors when starting a review strategy
Gather customer reviews naturally over time. The search engines are ensuring that customer reviews are genuine and their algorithm is fairly good at determining whether reviews are natural or fake. The search engines do this by monitoring the frequency of the number of reviews a business gets month-to-month. The search engines determine the trend and if admiralty appears in this trend, it signals to the search engine that something fishy might be going. For example, if a business regularly gets 2 – 5 new reviews per month, but suddenly 25 new reviews appear, then Google may flag this as a suspicious activity because it doesn’t match the trend. Google is quick to punish those businesses that buy fake reviews, by deindexing their website or with lower rankings.
For example, if you a business tries to “game” the search engines by buying 25 fake reviews from an online review service, the business will likely have to continue to buy new fake reviews each month to keep up the trend. Besides being a waste of money, it is entirely unethical.
Get quality reviews from customers that are more than just one sentence because consumers actually make buying decisions from reviews and more content helps future customers make better buying decisions. An ideal review is when one of your customers describes the problem or challenge she was having and how your company solved her problem.
Don’t submit fake reviews and don’t buy fake reviews online. Fake reviews are unethical and if you are paying someone to write you fake reviews it will likely gain no ranking benefits.
A brief review
- Reviews are important for reputation and search rankings
- Have a system for gathering reviews
- Continually ask for reviews
- Google and Yelp are the best places for reviews
- Comment on all reviews, whether negative or positive.
- Don’t buy fake reviews
About Dig Deep Marketing
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