How do people feel about your business? It is no small question. A firm understanding of how people view their company and what they say about their service is crucial for success. That is especially true in the digital age, when all it takes is a quick Google search for people to form an opinion about your business.
You want to ensure it is a positive one, which means you want loyal customers to write reviews for others to find. Learn more about why Google reviews are so instrumental and how you can encourage your patrons to sing your business’s praises — or offer constructive feedback — online.
Why Are Google Reviews Necessary?
Online reviews on sites like Google and social media platforms hold endless value for companies and business owners. Today, the internet is where people go to find solutions and reviews tell them which companies they can trust.
Positive reviews indicate a reputable enterprise, increasing credibility among existing and potential customers. Nearly 90% of consumers in the U.S. said they have tremendous confidence in online reviews. The growth potential is significant if a small business garners enough grassroots support thanks to positive feedback online.
On the other hand, negative reviews are a surefire way to lose out on business. Most consumers read reviews online before making a purchase or visiting a brick-and-mortar store, and even a handful of bad evaluations can turn them away.
Business owners can use all the feedback they receive online — both positive and negative — to enhance their operations. Praise lets you know what you are doing right. Critiques are opportunities to address your brand’s weaknesses and grow stronger than ever.
6 Ways to Encourage Customers to Leave Google Reviews
Reviews are essential for an organization’s success in the digital age. Use these tips to convince your customers to write Google reviews that boost your visibility and reputation.
1. Incentivize Reviews and Feedback
One of the best ways to encourage customers to leave reviews is to make it worth their while. You are asking them to take an extra step — why not give them something in return? Offering exclusive discounts or entries into a giveaway are excellent motivators. People are happy to write about their positive experiences in exchange for freebies or samples.
However, ensure you are not violating Google’s review policies. Buying positive reviews is not just wrong — there can also be legal consequences for companies caught falsifying their results online.
2. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
As a business owner, you know customers prioritize their time. Once they have decided, they want to complete their purchase as quickly and smoothly as possible. Asking customers to leave a review requires more time and effort on their part, so you do not want to make it harder than it already is.
Provide quick links to your Google Business Profile and other feedback forms so customers do not have to search. You can use step-by-step instructions, QR codes, or even follow-up emails with direct links to ensure people know where to go and how to leave a review.
3. Ask for Feedback at the Right Time
When you ask customers to leave a review is nearly as important as how you ask them. If you request feedback at the wrong moment, the best-case scenario is getting ignored. The worst case is a negative review.
The best times to ask customers to leave a review are after a successful purchase or interaction, and when you have resolved an issue for them. They will be in better spirits with a positive image of your brand, which will reflect well for you in their review.
4. Engage With Feedback of All Kinds
Keep track of your Google reviews and make a point of reaching out to users to provide feedback. Whether positive or negative, they took time out of their day to tell you the truth. Thank users for offering praise and get in touch with those who felt your company made a bad impression.
Since anyone can see Google reviews and your official response, they may be more likely to leave a review if they know you will read it. Communication can solve many problems, from simple misunderstandings to larger differences.
5. Learn From Your Google Reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable. At some point, you will have to face dissatisfied customers and unmet expectations. Whether it was an honest mistake or a systemic issue with your operations, you should address it.
Treat every review as an opportunity to improve your brand. If customers see how you consider their feedback, they may be impressed and even feel compelled to leave another, more positive review.
6. Provide a Great Customer Experience
The bottom line is people will be more willing to leave a positive review if they truly enjoyed their experience with your business. If you focus on training employees properly, providing high-quality products or services, and fostering a positive culture, you will deliver an exceptional customer experience. Happy customers are loyal customers and loyal customers will be happy to help your enterprise grow by writing positive reviews.
Build Your Brand With Positive Google Reviews
Cultivating honest and positive Google reviews is the best way to increase online visibility. You will build stronger relationships with your customers and boost trust, drawing in new clients as well. When you reach out at the right time, make it easy for customers to leave feedback and stay engaged, you can develop a strong online presence in no time.
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.