Regular review management, and a strategy for generating new Google and Facebook reviews on a weekly basis, have become one of the most critical aspects of digital marketing. These 25 free tips will help your business get started using social proof and customer sentiment to your business’ ultimate advantage.
1. Be Consistent: Ask each and every one of your customers for a review. Whether via a mailer, an in-store request, or text message - develop an internal process or work with a vendor which ensures every patron is given the opportunity. You must define a strategy to get more reviews.
2. “Easy” gets better review results: Keeping things simple is likely to improve your conversion rate. Many businesses find employing SMS/text message requests leads to the best result.
3. Don’t be shy: You can be certain negative reviews will come your way with little to no effort. You have to ask for positive reviews to ensure the highest percentage.
4. Send folks to the front door: Make sure the links in your review requests, whether they’re within a mailer or a text message, drop customers right where they need to be - the exact page where you want them to submit a review.
5. Get industry-specific: Google and Facebook’s review platforms aren’t the only games in town. Provide options for customers to use review sites related to your industry, in addition to the big ones, or they may never find them otherwise.
6. Keep it fresh: Potential customers, and Google’s SEO algorithm, like to see recent review examples which are far more likely to happen naturally through daily response management.
7. Understand local SEO: Did you know that in local results, Google will hide your business’ listing for “best” searches should you have a star rating lower than 4.0? Bet you didn’t, so learn the landscape.
8. Review response is customer service: Daily review management has to become a huge part of your total customer service process.
9. Protect your reputation: When you’re not paying attention to incoming reviews, the negatives can be visible to potential customers for days, weeks, or months before you finally address them. Keep your eye on the prize.
10. Find your happy customers: Regular review requests encourage your satisfied customers to submit their own examples. If you don’t ask, you likely won’t get it.
11. Respond to everyone: Not responding is a response - and not one that will increase consumer confidence.
12. (S)eize (E)very (O)opportunity: For local SEO, volume, frequency, star rating, and response are review metrics that influence ranking.
13. Quick turnarounds: Ensure your review responses happen fast. Set a goal of 24 hours. Google favors the early bird.
14. Diversify your focus: Responding to only the most negative reviews risks increasing their visibility on GMB. Thank your happy customers, too, and spread the good news around.
15. CRM and customer service: Review responses are simply an extension of your customer service strategy. Only instead of a private phone call, the interaction is available to everyone. Act accordingly.
16. Take it offline: Empathize with unhappy customers, but don't outwardly accept total responsibility for all to see. Move further customer service efforts to the phone or email interaction.
17. Deep breaths: Sometimes, alleged feedback from a customer will get under your skin. Be professional, hold it together, and maybe reply in the cold light of day instead.
18. The internet is forever: Keep this in mind before publishing heated responses during the tricky discourse. Go for a walk, sleep on it, or bounce your reply off a colleague first.
19. Thank your fans: Consumers aren’t obliged to leave a review. If you’ve gotten them to that point, especially when sentiment is positive, acknowledge their effort with a response.
20. Prime the pump: Timely and gracious responses to positive reviews are likely to encourage other happy customers to chime in themselves.
21. Make friends: Personalize responses with the customer’s first name when available. Such an easy, powerful, and often overlooked strategy.
22. I hear you, Dawg: Any review which includes mention of a specific employee, experience, or product should have that detail referenced in your response.
23. Achieve the advantage: Focused review management strategies are still not undertaken by most. Be the early adopter, the leader in your space and neighborhood - and reap the advantages.
24. Mind the metrics: Google ranks businesses locally based on review frequency, star ratings, review volume, and other factors. Keep these KPIs in mind when devising your strategy.
25. Automation vs. managed service: Many automated review management solutions exist but sacrifice the hands-on benefit of customized responses from real human beings. If your internal resources are a struggle, know that people-powered managed services are also an option.
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