In the modern world, your business is a just a search away, and everyone knows it. The numbers are in and 76% of people who search for a local business on Google visit a retailer within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase (1). What’s more, 92% of customers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review. If you want to be the business your targeted customers end up selecting for their big purchase, you need to do everything in your power to make your business shine on search engines and social platforms, and what better way then with authentic, genuine, and personalized reviews from your customers.
We’ve all been there as a consumer: you’re itching to eat out for dinner, but nothing comes to mind. So, you go to Google, search “restaurants near me,” and start scrolling through countless reviews before making up your mind. This begs the question: how can you position your business to be the recipient of positive customer reviews?
This first tip might seem a little too straightforward but start by simply asking. According to GatherUp.com, 69% of surveyed consumers would take the time to write a review if they were asked by an employee who left them with a positive impression (2). In other words, simply raising the question while the customer is completing the buyer’s journey drastically increases the chance of them leaving a review.
You don’t have to ask verbally either. Take time to decorate your storefront with posters, displays, business cards and other physical signage that mentions Google or Facebook Reviews and social media pages you want your customers to follow. You can even utilize your receipt system to print review reminders on all your paper receipts, effectively giving your customers a reminder that will stay with them long after they leave the store.
At this point, your customers know you want them to leave an online review. Now it’s time to add incentive through special offers and find a way to syndicate your reviews.
Let’s start with promotions and special offers. If you’re interested in quickly building up a surplus of 5-star reviews, consider offering discounts or low-cost merchandise to people who show you their online review in-store. Offering a discount in particular is a fantastic deal for the consumer, as they are actively benefiting from the review process, making them more likely to leave with a positive impression. You can even offer the discount for their next visit, incentivizing them to come back to your business to make additional purchases. If your products or services are one-time or very rarely purchased, consider offering them an incentive before they check out with you, so you can get the review while they are standing in your business.
Now what about getting those reviews on the most popular review platforms like Google, Facebook and Yelp? There are several affordable options for small businesses to capture reviews and then syndicate them across popular review platforms. Software solutions like Birdeye, Yotpo, and Podium provide an interface for your customers to create a review that you can then syndicate to the channels you care most about. By syndicating your reviews, you’ll benefit from more website traffic, more reviews, and more referrals.
However, if you’d prefer a more organic solution, take the time to train your staff to be less robotic and more human while they are guiding customers through their transactions. Your business is more than just your product, it’s your team. If your customer leaves the experience with a positive impression of your employees, they might leave a review, not because their purchase, but because of the way they were treated. The goal is to give the customer as many excuses as possible to make their way to Google.
Now that you have a foolproof strategy for collecting positive Google reviews, you can focus on elevating the rest of online presence on both Google and other social media platforms. Interested in learning more? Visit Thumbstopper.com