When someone is in the market for a certain product or service, where do they typically go to find it? Google. When someone has never heard of a company before, where do they go to find more information? Google.
Upon searching your company or the product and services you offer, potential buyers are also presented with customer Google reviews. Customer reviews in which you have no control over. Customer reviews in which could be the deciding factor into whether or not potential buyers give you their business or even visit your website.
You may be thinking a negative review could be detrimental to your business – but, what is possibly worse than negative reviews? No reviews. While this idea can be worrisome to some businesses, there are easy ways to assure customers are leaving frequent and positive Google reviews for your business. This includes:
• Asking customers directly for a Google review
• Sending a customer satisfaction survey regularly
• Implementing an online reputation management process
While these methods may be an issue for some businesses, our market research firm also explains helpful solutions to these challenges to ensure all organizations are able to reap the rewards of online Google reviews.
Positive and relevant Google reviews are essential for growing your business. Use these 3 tactics to encourage satisfied Google ratings from your customers.
Ask Customers Directly for a Review on Google
One easy way to earn more Google reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers or clients directly. This could be in the form of an email, a phone call, or an in-person suggestion after your final exchange. If your brand, product, or service added true value to someone, they will likely be eager to return the favor by providing an online review.
To increase the odds of a customer going to Google and leaving a rating or recommendation for potential buyers, it is important to make this process as easy as possible for the customer. If you’ve just finished a project with a client and you believe they were extremely satisfied with your service, or they’ve even exuded their satisfaction in passing, this is a great proponent to reach out to.
Simply send the happy client an email explaining why an online rating is important for your business and a link to where they can click and leave a review. To help get you started, here is an example of the language to use in an email:
“I had a great time working with <INSERT COMPANY NAME OF CLIENT>. While I have you, will you take a quick minute to leave us a review? Online reviews from satisfied customers like you help others feel confident about choosing <INSERT YOUR COMPANY> for <INSERT YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT>! Here's a direct link: <INSERT LINK TO YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE>. I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance for helping us out!"
If you do not receive a response or a Google review from this customer, it is okay to send a follow-up email. However, tread lightly. Do not run the risk of inundating the same list of contacts by continuously asking for an online review. This may turn a once happy customer to an annoyed on.
Challenge: I always forget to ask customers to leave a review
The challenge some businesses have with this method of increasing their Google reviews, is simply remembering to ask customers or clients who have recently done business with for feedback. Google reviews can be a high priority at the time, but one that quickly falls off as soon are more reviews start to roll in.
The problem? 85% of customers don’t trust reviews more than three months old, and 40% only look at reviews from the last two weeks.
Solution: Send regular customer satisfaction surveys
For this reason alone, it is important to make sure you are continuously asking customers who have recently done business with you to provide their feedback via Google My Business. By setting up a process in which customer satisfaction emails are sent on a regular basis, the common challenge of “I forgot to ask for a review” is resolved.
Send a Customer Satisfaction Survey Regularly
A customer satisfaction survey is not only a great way to increase online reviews per Google, but an excellent tool for driving customer-centric mentality forward. This form of market research can help your company yield useful customer data that otherwise would be hard to quantify.
Conducting regular customer satisfaction surveys helps businesses gauge what truly encourages the happiness and loyalty of their customer base. By managing customer experience on a regular basis, organizations are also able to consistently adapt to customer pain points and develop into a better company with every new day.
A customer satisfaction survey can help gain feedback about many aspects of your business such as customer service, website and navigation, products and shipping, customer loyalty, communication channels, and more. A questionnaire of this nature can be sent to customers as little or as much as your organization prefers. For example, a company may decide to send a customer satisfaction survey for anyone who has made a purchase within the past week, month, or quarter.
While you already have the attention of your customers and are asking for their feedback, a customer satisfaction survey can be a great way to also ask for customers to leave a rating on your Google My Business page.
Similarly to how you would individually email a customer or client to offer an online review, businesses can use this same language in their customer surveys. After customers complete a short survey about their experience working with your business, be sure to include one final question asking respondents of the survey to provide their feedback and including the link to your online review website of choice.
While Google is the most popular search engine in the world and provides many benefits for pushing online reviews on this platform, some industries may find more advantages in redirecting their cliental to other review sites. For example, a restaurant may have more value pushing consumer to Yelp, and a hotel may be better off asking their recent guests to leave a review on Hotels.com.
Regardless if you choose to direct customers to Google or other online rating websites, a customer satisfaction survey company can automate this process for you. The only thing required from your team is a list of contacts who you would like to receive the customer satisfaction survey email. Even so, there are ways to also automate this customer sample upload, to limit any manual work on your end.
From here, the customer satisfaction firm will design and administer fieldwork, as well as deliver a topline report of their findings. Again, this can be delivered each week, month, quarter, or year.
Challenge: I only want satisfied customers to offer a review online
While adding more online reviews to your Google business page is necessary in today’s high-competition market, it is even more important that these reviews be positive.
Why? 9 in 10 customers say ratings need to be a 3 or higher to buy.
Solution: Create a process for online reputation management
With online reputation management, a business earns a steady stream of positive Google online reviews while still privately collecting any negative feedback to resolve internally.
Create a Process for Online Reputation Management
Our market research company talks a lot about online reputation management (ORM) and the many advantages it has for improving customer ratings. In short, online review management is a more formal process of asking customers for feedback, more so than a generic customer satisfaction survey.
This process is similar to a customer survey in the basis of inviting customers to offer feedback on your brand, product, or service and then redirecting them to leave a review on Google.
The major added bonus of adding an online reputation management component to your customer feedback survey is negative reviews are flagged and collected internally, rather than being redirected to leave a Google review.
In other words, if a respondent provides a positively rated experience, they are automatically redirected to a website of your choice – in this case, you will likely be asking a satisfied customer to leave a Google review. If a respondent shares a negatively rated experience, they remain on the survey to answer additional questions about their time spent with your business.
Still a little confused about the online review management process? Watch this quick 60-second video before continuing on in the blog post.
While online reputation management does not completely eliminate the negative feedback being shared on your Google review site, it does increase the likelihood of intercepting negative commentary online for other potential customers to see.
Practicing ORM also increases how many positive reviews your business receives, pushing down any past negative ratings off the first few pages.
Challenge: I don’t have time to administer a formal online review management process
So you’ve made it this far in the blog post and you see the value of positive online reviews, but don’t have the time or resources to administer a formal reputation management process including a regular customer feedback survey.
Even more so, you do not know how to analyze the customer feedback in a way that is digestible for your team to understand and use to grow your business. Consider partnering your ORM with a market research firm.
Solution: Hire a market research firm for online reputation management
While there is the obvious benefit of growing the amount of Google reviews for your organization, there are several strategic business opportunities to be had when coupling your online review management process with a market research firm.
Collecting and analyzing feedback is at the heart of market research. It is what market research companies like Drive Research do every day. Reputation management is most commonly acknowledged as a marketing or public relations task. In reality, it is a Voice of Customer (VoC) task.
Business have the opportunity of obtaining a more global view of customer feedback and acting on negative Google reviews or brand perceptions to improve operations. It is much more than reaching out for feedback to drive positive ratings. ORM with a market research firm points to continual improvement.
Contact Drive Research
Drive Research is a market research company located in New York. Our team specializes in customer satisfaction surveys and online reputation management for clients all over the country.
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