You might read the headline and ask yourself "who cares?". A decade ago I would say the same thing. I knew the good brands to buy and usually only stuck with them. I guess you could say I was loyal to those brands. With our current market situation in the United States, many people chose to start up a business. I think it's great that people want to be entrepreneurs and pave their own path to success. However, there is one problem that many are having; review management and not having a review marketing strategy.
Why you should have a review marketing strategy
Reviews are one of the first things that consumers look at when wanting to buy a product. In fact, according to Qualtrics, 93% of consumers say reviews have had an influence over a purchasing decision. Now if that doesn't want to make you want to have a review marketing strategy, I don't know what will.
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant where the service was terrible, did you leave a bad review? If not you may have thought about it. What about if you received excellent service? Chances are, you are not as likely to leave a review after you’ve received excellent service.
Why online reviews are important
If you have a business that has any type of online presence then online reviews are essential. Good reviews help a business build its brand name and reputation. This helps enhance brand image. But what about negative reviews?
Negative reviews will tarnish your brand image if they are not handled in the correct manner. This is easily the most often overlooked area of review management. The easiest way to handle a negative review is to ease the customer's pain. There are two sides to this. The first is understanding that there are companies that will submit a negative review on your review channel. These are spam reviews and are often from a competitor. It's critical to know how to identify these. The second side is a real customer experience has drawn them to leave a bad review. It's important to take this as a way to improve the product or service and make it more comfortable for future customers.
What you'll need
You will need to set up review channels with Google, Amazon, Facebook, and possibly Yelp. Don't add too many review channels. The more review channels you have, the harder it will be to manage. Always try to keep it simple and only have a few online review channels.
In Google Business Profile, on the Home menu, you'll see a section for "Get more reviews" if you've had customers leave reviews otherwise it will say "Request a review". You can share the review form with your customers easily by clicking on the "Share review form" button.
Engage with your audience
Reviews don't just happen because. When you think of the customer’s journey you often think of how they came to purchase a product or service. But what happens afterward? When the customer has already used your product or service, now is the time to ask them about how they feel about it. Reaching out to a customer that has already paid for a service or product may seem like it's overkill but really it's not. Offer your customers something in return for spending time for a review. The point to this is they need to know their time is valuable. This could mean a gift card or an enter-to-win drawing.
One of the first steps in review marketing is to look at where the customers are. What platforms are they using? Where are they spending their time?
- Social media - reach out to your customers on social media.
- Email marketing - after a customer purchases a product or service, follow-up with them a few days later.
- Advertising - run an ad campaign to capture reviews.
- Website - show your online reviews high up on a landing or home page. Showcasing reviews helps build brand image.
- No matter if an online review is good or bad, always respond to it.
- Share a review link after a customer visit or purchase.
- Make an offer for people to want to make a review.
A small business that is harvesting reviews with its customers is better than one not doing anything about it. Use review marketing as a marketing tool to help drive sales. The customer is in the driver's seat when it comes to online reviews. It's a place where potential customers can go if they want to find out if your business is one they want to do business with. If you're interested in finding out more about review management and review marketing strategies we would love to hear from you. Take the next steps by contacting us today!