Why You Need an Online Review Program for Your Business
We all know the adage, “Opinions are like ________. We’ve all got ‘em, and they all stink.” In the world of online business, people will let you know how they feel about you and your products. From online review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to social media, consumers are voicing their opinions about businesses worldwide.
In this world of 5-star ratings and customer reviews, you have a choice. You can choose to let the internet run wild with their opinions of your company, or you can be proactive with customer reviews. At GroHaus, we’re pretty sure one choice is definitely better than the other. Here’s a hint, it’s the one that you’re in control of.
Online Reviews Expand Your Business
Every day, it seems like a new review website is born. Honestly, it’s a bit like a Gremlins dropped-in-water kind of situation at the moment. People want to let the world know how they feel about every product, business, and online experience they’ve had recently – good or bad. If you’ve made a Google Business listing or have a Facebook page, the odds are that you’ve already had some experience with online reviews.
But did you know that you need to create listings on review sites to expand your business’s online reviews? Oh yes, we said it right. Online reviews are so important that you need to grow them actively, and your business’s digital reputation depends on it. Thankfully, you’ve got a friend on these websites:
Yelp may get a bad wrap from people who abuse it, but it is a great place to create a listing and grow your small business online.
Google My Business opens opportunities to add online reviews to your Google profile when people search for your company.
Facebook is the king of social media and a great way to build your online reputation through a business page.
Note: Add Trust Pilot, Social Juice (note that you can get lifetime subscription - booking)
If these sites don’t have exactly what your business needs to get the rumor mill churning, check out ReviewTrackers. Their services specialize in building marketing strategies designed explicitly around customer reviews. On their platform, you can monitor your company’s online reputation, customer experience analytics, and monitor your social media reviews.
Don’t Try Everything
Even though it’s tempting to cast a wide net to pull in all the fish, it won’t work. If you tried to get your business onto every review platform, you would go crazy from the amount of monitoring (and possible damage control) required to keep your listings looking squeaky clean. Instead, you need to choose a handful of platforms to get people talking about you.
In many cases, you are going to be asking for reviews to boost your online presence – it may seem weird at first, but you’ll get used to it. Instead of telling your customers to fill out reviews on every review platform possible, ask them to leave 5 stars on Google or Facebook.
With a focused strategy and a little luck, you’ll start to see many reviews in places with high-traffic areas. I mean, who doesn’t use Google at least 20 times a day? That way, when someone crawls the web for your type of business, they see you sitting on a high rating with tons of positive feedback.
Always remember your goal is to actively grab reviews from customers. The more you focus on a few key sites, the better the outcome.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Think of all the important questions you’ve asked in your life, like asking someone to prom or asking to take car keys from your parents for the first time after getting your driver’s license. It can be a delicate situation, but there are really only three outcomes: You can choose not to ask at all, which gets you nothing. You can come on too strong and get a “No.”
Or you can ask just the right way and get a “Yes.”
Everyone has different opinions about how you should go about asking customers to review your business or product, and some people think it’s a bit too on the nose even to ask. Want to know our opinion at GroHaus? You should definitely ask.
When you ask for a review, make sure you aren’t hitting people over the head with the review hammer. You can be subtle about it. Send a thank-you email when someone purchases your product and stick a “Leave a Review” button at the bottom to encourage more reviews. Or, if your company already uses surveys for feedback, leave a link to a Google review at the end.
Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Keep Track of Your Reviews
Once you create a snazzy new listing on a review site and encourage people to leave reviews, don’t leave it unattended. Seriously, whatever you do, don’t leave it alone. Have you ever planted a garden before? We get that everyone doesn’t have a green thumb, but if you don’t maintain a garden, it will become weeds.
Your online reviews are the same way. If you let your customers run wild with all of their opinions, there’s a chance you might start to notice a decline in reputation and positive reviews. To counteract the potential for weed-like growth, be sure to monitor your reviews. Respond to some of the negative comments that stem from dissatisfaction. One of the best ways to build your reputation is by being proactive in fixing problems. In the case of inaccurate or unfair reviews, you can contest them and have them removed most of the time.
Also, if you or your team is too busy to check your online reviews constantly, consider implementing automated monitoring tools. Yext, BirdEye, and Podium offer great solutions for today’s dynamic business owners.
If You Can’t, GroHaus Can
We get that the internet can be a scary place, and going alone is a daunting journey that no one really “wants” to take. If you could use a boost in your online presence, we have the answers you need. Our marketing specialists can help you flip your online business from drab to fab. Sign up today to experience what GroHaus can do for you.