As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard that reviews are worth their weight in gold. But maybe you’re wondering if that’s true, or just a bunch of bologna. Or maybe you’ve decided to give it a try – however reluctantly – and you’re wondering how to get reviews for your small business. It’s not like you can snap your fingers and have a cache of thoughtful, glowing, and well-written reviews appear on your website (as cool as that would be.) We’ll explain why reviews are so important for your business and give you some tips to get online reviews for your business.
Why online reviews are important for your business.
So, are online reviews just a waste of space on your website? Would you just be throwing time away? Not exactly. There are a lot of compelling reasons to get online reviews.
1. People trust online reviews.
It might seem strange to put so much stock in the writings – or rantings – of strangers, but people trust online reviews.
2. People use online reviews to make buying decisions.
Many consumers Google and read online reviews before making a buying decision, whether they’re looking for a product or a service. They want to do some homework to find out what sort of experience other consumers have had. If you don’t have any intel for them to look at, they might decide not to risk buying your product or using your services.
3. They can help people choose your business.
The consumer isn’t just searching on Google for fun. They have a problem and they need someone to solve it – preferably with no hassle and with great service. If other people say that you can solve that problem better than your competition, that might help you.
4. Reviews help you gain feedback.
Reviews are also a great way for you to gain valuable feedback about your business. You can find out what you’re doing well – score! – and see what areas might need improvement. From there, you can put on your Thinking Cap and ponder over how to address those areas.
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Tips for getting online reviews.
Okay, okay. Online reviews are important. But how do you go about getting online reviews for your small business? We’ve got a few tips so you can start generating those reviews.
You’re not going to get any reviews unless you ask for them. Sure, some people might seek out a way to review you, but they’re probably not the majority of your customers. To get reviews, you need to reach out to clients and tell them how to give reviews. The worst the customer can do is so no, right? (Well, they could also ignore you.) Still, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
2. Have an easy way for people to leave reviews.
People are busy. Believe it or not, their lives don’t revolve around filling out long, boring forms or questionnaires. Find an easy, quick way for your customers to leave a review. You might want to use a review platform. Anyways, most people are happy to leave a review, but they’ll lose interest if your review process takes forever or it’s impossible to figure out. Loyalty only goes so far.
3. Be consistent.
Once you decide on your review process, you have to be consistent with it. Make it a regular part of the sales or service process. If it’s just an “oops, well, I’ll remember next time” sort of thing, you’re not going to have much success.
4. Explore different options for reviews.
You have to consider how to ask for your reviews and what will be most effective for reaching your clients.
Here are a few options:
Sending a nice, quick email after a sale is an easy way to ask for a review. Include details on how the customer can leave their feedback – but remember, make it easy as possible. Whether you use an online review platform to collect your reviews in one place or you have a quick survey, make it super easy and include a link.
Odds are that your customers are already on social media. So, meet them where they’re at. Develop a strong social media presence and use it. Engage with customers and respond to their messages, posts, and concerns. (Of course, you also have to be prepared to manage the risks that come with having social media for your business.)
Pro tip: Social media is great, but it’s very public. Know how to handle social media negativity and defuse nastiness from naysayers.
If you create a quick, simple online survey, you can include an area that allows people to give a review.
Google reviews make it easy for clients to leave feedback (both in word form and star-rating form.) Plus, they’re easy for people to find.
5. Engage with your reviews.
It’s important to engage with the people who take the time to review your business. Respond to reviews in a timely manner – you don’t want potential customers to think that you just don’t care. And if those negative reviews come in, you want to show that you’re willing to do what it takes to set things right.
So, that’s why online reviews are important for small businesses and how you can get some hype for your business. And with these tips, we hope you can go forth and ask for reviews!
As far as protecting your business with business insurance goes, we would be happy to help with that. Our team of insurance professionals would be happy to help you shop your rates so you can get great coverage at a great rate – and save money on your business insurance. All you have to do to get started with your quotes, just fill out our quick online form or give us a call today.