In a world where reviews can make or break both products and entire companies, Google is once again front and center. The combined results of search engine use and it’s incredibly popular navigation mobile app make Google business reviews even more powerful than good product scores on Amazon. The fact is that in order to exist to the modern phone-led generation, it’s necessary to have both a Google business listing and a decent number of stars next to your venue name, ideally with a few positive reviews within the last year. The difference between having even one Google review and having none is so profound that companies without a review yet often find themselves in a scramble to start the ball rolling.
Fortunately, once you have a review or two, it will get easier to bring in more. Almost every business with a visitable venue is interested in getting an increasing supply of positive reviews. Some are more successful than others. Even if you have a few Google business reviews, many businesses go through ‘dead spots’ where simply no reviews were submitted. The key is to make it easy to review and make sure your audience understands just how important and appreciated their reviews are.
Direct and Positive Response to Google Business Reviews
Customers will find you through your Google listing and a few things can be assumed about them. First, you know that they have already done some investigation on your business. Second, they have seen the reviews that are already there. While most businesses would fixate on the fact that customers have seen the previous opinions of others, realize that this is also an opportunity to show new customers how much you appreciate existing reviews!
Respond to your reviews directly through Google My Business. Thank each person who leaves a positive review with genuine enthusiasm and personalize each message. If you do get a negative or middling review, express your concern or regret that the customer didn’t have the best possible time. Then invite them back in the future. This will show new customers who might review later that their thoughts and feelings will be valued. They appreciate being responded to because it’s a lot more motivating than speaking to an empty void.
A Heartfelt Request On Your Business Page
The vast majority of the time, the best way to get Google business reviews is to ask for them. However, knowing when to ask is trickier than it sounds. One way to influence your audience to leave reviews without disruption tactics is to plant a seed in their mind. Put a heartfelt request for reviews as part of your bio/description on the Google My Business page. Possibly add this message to your website and social media profile as well. Simply explain that the shared experiences of your customers matter and that you’d really appreciate if your current customers would leave a few breadcrumbs of their valuable thoughts and experiences to guide the decisions of customers who come after them.
If you throw in a touch of self-deprecating honesty and admit that the reviews do your business some good as well, you’ll hit just the right note of flattery and humility. People browsing past your page won’t feel compelled to review right away. However, they’re likely to remember your request later after they’ve bought something or experienced your service. This will make them more positively inclined to review.
Catch Them Right After Purchase or Service
When are people most likely to leave a review? Ideally, while they’re still actively satisfied with their purchase or the service you provided. There is, in theory, a perfect moment to request a review, and it’s usually right after their purchase is complete. The only question is how easily you can get the customer to open their device and get to the right page quickly. Online businesses can get reviews via quick follow-up emails. However, brick-and-mortar venues face a somewhat more significant challenge. Often the best bet is either to do a follow-up email yourself or have a device ready for quick reviews on hand right after a sale completes.
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