Local business listings are a great way to market your company and get the word out about who you are and what you do. However, if you don't have any positive reviews within those local business listings they can do more harm than good. This is because when reviewing all the different businesses within your industry or category, users will always look to the reviews to give them a better idea of the service and quality of product they can expect. And if you don't have any reviews but your competition's page is filled with positive reviews, you're sending customers directly to them instead of to you. In order to get positive reviews for your business, follow these tips and get ready to watch customers line up at your door.
Surveys are great for business. Whether they're online or in print form, they can provide insight as to what your business is doing well, and areas that need improvement. But in addition to that, surveys can also help you get positive reviews within your local business listings. Make sure that you ask customers for their email address somewhere within the survey. Then you can use those to browse through them, find the positive surveys, and ask those customers to leave a positive review for you on the local business listing of your choice.
Leave the link to review on sites
Customers are becoming so accustomed to looking at receipts for discounts, deals, and surveys that leaving a link to a review site on them is a great way to get positive reviews. Tell your staff that this link is there, and encourage them to tell customers about it. This will help reinforce the idea that the customer needs to look at the receipt, and may prompt them to leave you a positive review.
Know when to give incentives, and when not to
It can seem like a good idea to give customers an incentive to leave a review, however this is something that could backfire. Often customers get turned off even when they're offered something for free, thinking that they're giving you good feedback when they may not have otherwise. Word can quickly spread, and it could end up tarnishing the name of your business. Trust that customers who want to leave a review will, and provide them with the link to do so. The people you can offer incentives to are staff members. Each time they refer a customer to the link on their receipt or direct them to the review site another way, give them a small percentage more on their paycheque or another incentive, such as making them Employee of the Month.
Utilizing a tablet makes it easier
If you simply tell your customers about the review site and give them the link, you need to rely on the chance that they might go home and find it on their own on their computer. However, that may not always happen. Instead, have the review site already up and ready right within your business and hand it over to them after you've made a sale. They'll be able to do so without having to do any work or being inconvenienced, and you will see the number of positive reviews on your listing increase.
Watch your social networks closely
You don't always have to work so hard to find people saying nice things about your business. Check out your social networks and see what people are saying there. Follow up any positive comments with a simple 'thank you' and ask them to share their opinions on the review site. Chances are, if they're that impressed with your company, they won't mind saying so again.
Know where and when to refer customers
It won't do you or your customers any good if you give them the link for a review site that doesn't apply to them. For instance, it's not so easy to send customers without a Gmail address to Google+, and if they're not a registered Yelp user but leave a review there, the chances are good that Yelp's filters will simply send it to the trash bin. Knowing which review site is best for certain customers will make it even easier for them, and will increase your chances of receiving a positive review.
Use your database
The chances are good that you're already using your database for different marketing campaigns, so why not use them to get reviews as well? Set it up just like you would any other campaign, telling customers that you're now on Yelp, Google+, the Yellow Pages, or any other business directory, and invite them to join in the conversation and leave a review. Remember to leave the link to the review site within the email to make it even easier for them.
Respond to existing reviews
People like to know that they're not just sending something into cyberspace so it can get lost somewhere along the way. Respond to the reviews that are currently on any review site, good or bad. Thank those that have left good reviews, and try to help those that have left negative reviews. Even if it's just to say you're going to contact them, people like to know that if they're taking the time to get involved, you are too.
Ask for them
Business owners sometimes believe that asking for a review will look desperate, or will turn their customers off. It won't. How else are customers supposed to know that you're even on a review site, or that you'd like them to leave a review for your company unless you say something? Right after you make a sale, any sale, ask the customer to leave a review for you in any one of your local directories. Again, make it easy by providing them with the link. Sometimes, you have to ask in order to receive.
If a customer purchases something from you, they're likely not going to give you a review if you ask for it three weeks later. Instead, ask right at the time of sale, and you'll be much more likely to get the results you're looking for.
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