If you’re someone who questions the importance of online consumer reviews, here are three stats you need to hear. According to BrightLocal’s 2020 Survey of Local Consumer Ratings:
- The vast majority of consumers, 87 percent, read reviews online in 2020.
- It takes on average 10 reviews before trusting a company.
- About three quarters of consumers will write reviews – if requested.
When you follow up with clients after a real estate, mortgage, or title transaction to thank them for their business, ask them to review their experience. Let them know that it will help you grow your business and fix any issues that could be improved. It will generate permanent content for your social media efforts, and besides investing a little time, it’s completely free.
Reviews can really be the motto of your company moving forward. They bring your marketing voice to self-promotion To Customer testimonials. Your customers are now telling the world how great you are rather than saying it.
In this article, I’ll outline several simple but effective steps to create your online reviews and show you how to use them in your social media marketing.
The good, the bad and the mediocre
But before we begin, a word about managing reviews. If you are good at what you do and maintain conscientious customer service practices, you will get positive reviews. However, you must respond to every advice, even to the Karen.
Ninety-seven percent of those who read reviews want to see how a business is reacting. If you don’t respond, the comment becomes stale and irrelevant, a one-sided conversation in which you are the one to drop the ball.
If a comment is negative, respond promptly with a commitment to resolve the issue. Negative reviews are a great opportunity. If someone is passionate enough to write a negative review, that passion means there is a chance to turn that detractor into an advocate.
Show them that you understand and want to rectify the situation. If the consumer is wrong, clarify what really happened. Often in a comment like this I say, “We are so sorry that you had a negative experience. We would love to have a conversation and see what we could do to help.
Sometimes I even leave my name and phone number, and if they call, we talk about it. I’ve seen a lot of times that they come back and update their review, change the star rating, or in some cases delete the review all together. So respond thoughtfully and courteously to this review, and you will be amazed at what will happen.
Step 1: Find your link
To start generating reviews, you need to grab the link that will take the author to where you want them to leave the review. Two of the easiest places with the heaviest traffic are Google and Facebook.
You should already have a Google My Business page. (If you don’t have one, this Google My Business help page shows how easy it is to create one.) Search for your business name on Google, and in the Google My Business profile that appears on the right side of the search results, click and copy it ““Leave a review” link.
For Facebook, go to your business Facebook page and grab the review section link. If you get a url with additional data in the beyond link facebook.com/yourcompanyname/reviews, just delete the extra copy.
Step 2: perfect your “request”
The first free way to solicit customer reviews is to send an email. Do not use a database or contact management program. These emails must be personal if you want a response. Part of the message can be copied and pasted to save time, but wrap this text with information specific to the person you’re speaking to.
A second method is to use QR codes. I think the QR code, which stands for Quick Response Code, is the 2021 comeback story. Everyone knows how to use them, and there are websites that will create a personalized QR code for you at no cost. In the QR code you create, you will integrate these links to your review pages on Google and Facebook.
FlowCode.com is a site to generate your QR code. I love it because it allows you to create circular codes and further customize them with colors and your own brand logo. Another free source is QRcode-monkey.com.
You will add these codes to your solicitation email and other communications. Some people even put them on business cards, add them to pre-registration or pre-closing checklists and promotional flyers.
A third method is the handwritten note. I am a huge fan of handwritten notes. They may take longer, but because they are rarely used, they will have more impact.
Include the QR code to scan and remind customers that you really appreciate the opportunity to serve and that you would like them to leave a review of their experience. You can say, “Reviews are the heart of our business. We really appreciate this. “
Sending a thank you in the form of a $ 5 Starbucks Card or other gift card can also make a lasting impression. But check your regulatory environment to avoid the appearance of solicitation. You could send it as a last thank you after they publish a notice.
Step 3: Develop Evergreen Social Media
These reviews will provide great content for social media. Set a goal of collecting 52 reviews, and you’ll have a year of weekly posts that are evergreen and will not go out of fashion.
Use them for a “Testimonial Tuesday” campaign, incorporating new ones as you go to expand the offering or just using those 52 again. They never get dated. And don’t forget to label! If you can find this customer on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever, tag that person.
Remember that at the heart of this process is gratitude to your customers. You will stand out from the crowd because people rarely take the time to do so. I thank everyone. I will say, “Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. This is how we can develop our business. If there is anything we can do let me know. Otherwise, I just want to say thank you!
Even for those who had a problem and left a negative review, I thank them and tell them that I want to help make the situation better. I’ll even pick up the phone and call them if I have their contact details. Often they just want to be heard.
Whatever you do, do Something. It’s about creating a positive experience, one that will absolutely help grow your business in the future. These are quick and easy strategies, and if you get the job done, the results will follow. I guarantee it.
Sam Trimble is Director of Marketing and Technology at WEST, a Williston Financial Group company in El Paso, Texas. Connect with him on Instagram or Facebook.