Why Are Online Reviews Important for My Business?
It’s no mystery why small businesses like yours want to get more customer reviews! Ninety-three percent of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. And your audience is more likely to choose your products over a competitor if you have more online reviews. The average customer also says they’re willing to shell out 31% more money at your business if it has great online reviews.
Reviews win you new business! They also inspire the trust your customers need to part with more of that hard-earned cash!
But how do you get more customer reviews? And what are the best reviews platforms and online review software to help you manage your online reputation?
We’re about to spill the customer reviews TEA! Read on to learn everything you need to know about HOW and WHERE to score reviews for your small business.
Where is the Best Place to Get Online Reviews?
If you’re aiming to get more online reviews, there are tons of places your customers might leave a review. But we recommend you select only a few review platforms to focus on when requesting customer reviews.
Limiting your reviews platforms helps you focus your efforts, make sure your reviews aren’t t scattered or sparse, and also allows you to easily show inquisitive customers reviews in email campaigns, on social media, or in person at your business!
Ask yourself which type of reviews are most important for your business and where your audience might discover them. Would your business benefit most from reviews on Google? Or are your customers more likely to find you on Yelp,
LoudBird Marketing, for instance, asks clients to submit reviews and testimonials on Google and Facebook. Why? Because that’s where our customers often discover and research our biz. We want those reviews front and center as you decide whether our agency process is a good fit for your small business or startup!
The Most Popular Online Reviews Platforms in 2022
Google and Yelp are the most trusted platforms for reviews, so if you’re just starting out with your reviews strategy, start there!
Here are some popular places your customers might find reviews of your business:
- BBB (Better Business Bureau)
- Consumer Affairs
Where Can I Get Industry-specific Reviews?
Industry-specific review platforms tailor mainly to service-industry businesses where customers really rely on the reassurance of other customers’ positive reviews before they invest, dine, or even go under the knife for surgery!
In fact, 36% of consumers have used an industry-specific reviews site to research a business.
Own a car dealership or service center?
A local restaurant, catering company, or a luxurious vacation rental property?
Or perhaps you’re a private practice physician or plastic surgeon?
If your small business falls into any of these categories, you’re going to want to take advantage of relevant industry review sites ASAP!
- Medical & Healthcare
- Restaurants & Cafés
- Hotels & Vacation Rental Properties
- Automotive Sales and Service
- Dentists and Oral Surgeons
Top 2022 Industry-specific Reviews Websites
Restaurants/ Food and Beverage Reviews
Property Owners/ Hotel and Hospitality Reviews
- Air BnB
Car Dealership and Auto Reviews
Home Services Reviews
- Angie’s List
Recruitment and Employee Reviews
Marketing, SAAS, and Business Services Reviews
How Do I Get More Customer Reviews?
If you want to get more online reviews, you’ll need a PLAN and a PROCESS.
- How will you ask customers for reviews?
- Who’s responsibility is it to ask for a review?
- What types of customer feedback are you looking for?
- Are you willing to pay for reviews management software to collect customer feedback and respond faster?
You’ll need to know the answers to these questions before you can develop strategic marketing campaigns that bring in high-quality, honest reviews for your small business.
Once you and your business stakeholders agree on your priorities and budget to get more customer reviews, here are the tactics we suggest!
1. Use a Quick and Easy Reviews QR Code
We’ve had many clients print large posters notifying customers where they can submit a review, including a QR code they can scan or take a picture of to leave their review quickly with their smartphone.
It’s easy to create a Google Reviews QR code, and you can repeat this process with any reviews platform direct link.
- Log in to your Google Business Account
- Scroll down to “Get more reviews” and copy your direct review link
- Paste the link into any free QR code generator and save your QR code!
2. Ask For Reviews Immediately
The most detailed, valuable reviews happen when the customer’s experience with your brand is FRESH.
- Ask for reviews in-person at the point of purchase
- Offer a fun bonus or freebie to complete a customer satisfaction survey
- Send an email or message immediately following a purchase
- Include customer reviews platforms on receipts and invoices
- Display signage that informs customers you’re seeking more reviews
- Use a customer service chat window on your website? Ask for customer reviews at the conclusion of a chat!
3. Use Email to Gather Reviews
Did you know that 80% of online reviews come from follow-up emails?
BUT that’s only if your email that asks for their review is engaging, authentic, and evokes feelings of loyalty, consideration for other consumers, and maybe a dash of good old-fashioned obligation! need help crafting persuasive email campaigns? Get in touch with LoudBird! We’re email queens!
Wanna make your own reviews emails? The most important element of your email is a direct link to submit their review on your chosen platform (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). Make sure you explain why their opinion is important to you. You can even (carefully) elicit the type of feedback you most seek by suggesting they comment on customer service, product quality, or perceived value! Don’t be afraid to guide the customer—they’ll likely appreciate the help.
Be brief—remember, the easier and faster your email makes it to leave a review, the more people will oblige.
4. Add Text and Social Media Messaging Reminders for Reviews
Most of your customers are more likely to give a review if you send them an automated text message or social media message. In fact, 89% of customers would prefer using messaging to communicate with your business. That includes requesting their review!
Unfortunately, only 48% of businesses are actually equipped to talk to customers via messaging. That’s a real shame, because automating your reviews process is the fastest and easiest way to get more and better online reviews. The barrier for most small businesses? It requires a paid service.
But if you’re serious about earning as large volume of reviews in a short amount of time, a paid service might help you keep your sanity!
5. Respond to Reviews Promptly
Even though replying to 25% of online customer reviews can increase revenue by 35%, almost 75% of businesses don’t take the time to respond to their reviews. Even fewer still will respond to reviews promptly.
This is a huge missed opportunity. Why? Well, 89% of customers will read your response to a review. And 20% of consumers who leave online reviews expect to receive your response within 24 hours. If you’re slacking on responding to those reviews, make it a priority, and hire help if you need it!
6. Always Address Negative Reviews
Did you know that businesses with 15-20% negative reviews actually average 13% more revenue than businesses that have only 5-10% negative reviews? That’s because negative reviews let customers know that your reviews aren’t fake. And that you’re authentic. Everyone makes mistakes, right?
What matters is how you respond to poor reviews promptly and with respect. No matter how rude the customer may seem, always be polite and do your best to remedy the situation. If you address the issue directly and satisfy the unhappy customer, they may change their review and sing your praises.
Even if you can’t change their mind, all hope is not lost. Negative reviews will often encourage loyal customers to jump in and give their positive opinions about your product.
7. Share Positive Reviews EVERYWHERE!
One of the best ways to encourage MORE reviews is to show how much you value customer feedback by adding it to your website, social media platforms, and marketing promotional materials.
The more you advertise that you HAVE REVIEWS and WANT MORE REVIEWS, the more reviews you will earn! It may seem simple, but we’ve found that many small businesses simply don’t ask for reviews—and their customers have no idea they can support their favorite local business through a review!
Make sure your customers are informed and structure the conversation around your brand by sharing your favorite past customer reviews.
8. Automate the Process To Save Time
Reviews management software can help you automate your process to request and respond to reviews more easily. But beware—your SEO performance and can actually be negatively impacted by reviews if Google or Yelp find that you’re soliciting reviews in bulk or providing incentives for positive reviews.
The legal guidelines for this are still somewhat murky, but a good rule of thumb is DO NOT discriminate against bad reviews. As we have already discussed in this article, they can actually be great for your business!
Here are a few popular reviews management software options:
Ready, Set, GET REVIEWS!
Do you feel ready to get out there and get more customer reviews for your business in 2022? We truly hope so! Reviews are THE BEST way to build trust and loyalty with your customers, clients, and patients in 2022 and beyond.
Make sure you check out LoudBird’s reviews for a snapshot of how we can positively impact your small business with affordable small business marketing for sustainable businesses, nutrition and wellness, physicians, mompreneurs, and women-owned businesses!
And if you’re having trouble developing a marketing strategy to get more customer reviews, LoudBird is ALWAYS here to help! Schedule a 1-on-1 marketing consulting session with our CEO and Foundress, Clair, today! She’ll use her 15+ years of industry experience to help you tackle customer reviews like an expert!