How to Get Happy Online Customer Reviews

How to Get Happy Online Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews are Important – Really, Really Important!

Your customers care about reviews! Consumers search for and read reviews and ratings to help them make better purchasing decisions. In a recent study conducted by local SEO company, Bright Local, it found that:

65% of consumers are more likely to use
a business if it has positive online reviews.

They want to know if people experienced great service at a hair salon or if a product is worth the cost. They also want to know the negatives – how much did they dislike a product or business and why.

In the past, institutions such as the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Reports magazine have tried to answer these questions. But in today’s digitally connected world, consumers, especially younger, more affluent shoppers, turn to online reviews first.

In a 2013 local search engine study, Google noted that the rating of your business matters:

Business listings that have at least 3+ star reviews
capture 41 out of 47 clicks on a search results page

At Find8 Digital, we have witnessed this type of online behavior. For our customers that rank highly in local search, they tend to have a large number of reviews with high ratings scores. See our two hair salon clients below, who rank #1 and #2 in Google search:

Once consumers have seen and read a review and researched your company, 78% of online Americans, ages 18-64, agree that it helped them decide whether or not to purchase (Ipsos, 2012).

CUSTOMER REVIEWS = MORE SEARCH ENGINE ATTENTION

In the Google study mentioned above, they found that the number of reviews matter to consumers, too:

29 of the 47 clicks went to listings that had at least four reviews

Late last year, Google launched a change to their search index, called Hummingbird. This algorithm attempts to understand intent and meaning of Internet searches. Consumers don’t have to search “Pizza in Lafayette Indiana” and spend hours searching for the best deep-dish pizza in town. Now they can simply ask Google:

“What is the best pizza near me?”

Google will display results of the highest rated pizza restaurant in your area. The listings will be organized by geography (Google knows where you are. Spooky, I know) as well as the content of customer reviews.

What does this mean to business?

What people actually say about your company, service and products will have a huge impact going forward. So, business must focus on receiving high quality, positive feedback.

WHAT ABOUT NEGATIVE REVIEWS?

A one-star increase in Yelp could result in 5 to 9% increase in sales, according to the Harvard Business School study. On the other hand, negative reviews can have a devastating effect. All it can take to discourage a new customer is to read about a bad customer service experience.

The best way to avoid negative reviews is to have an established process for cultivating customer feedback, well before a customer is so angry they feel compelled to lash out on social media or review sites.

GET MORE REVIEWS – ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK

Since online customer reviews can be hugely beneficial to local business, it makes sense to give customers a platform for voicing their concerns, feedback and questions.

Find8 Digital is delighted to announce a new service offering to do just this. The service automatically solicits and tracks feedback, prevents bad reviews, pushes testimonials out to the business website and encourages happy customers to leave reviews across the Internet.

HOW AUTOMATED CUSTOMER REVIEWS WORK

Essentially, it works like this:

Ask your customers for feedback by email

Right in the dashboard, business owners can insert customer names and email addresses.  You could add customer data from your invoicing system, a Contacts app, or a CRM database — or insert it manually.
…or on your web site

Customers then are asked one question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”  Customers then rate the business from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best (i.e., most likely to recommend).  The customer simply moves a sliding scale button to rate (see below).

Ask your happy customers for online reviews

As a next step, request that customers post their review on a review site, such as Google or CitySearch.Follow up with unhappy or neutral customers

Indicate that you understand their concerns. The email template may be customized to outline next steps for addressing the negative feedback.Publish reviews on your website
The reviews you get back will be embedded on your website in HTML format so that the reviews can get indexed by search engines.  Reviews are structured using the Schema.org format, a markup language that Google understands.  Your reviews may show up in the snippet of text presented in Google search result pages.  When you have gold review stars appearing near your website name on a search page, it helps your brand stand out.

Manage your reputation through the dashboard
Once the customer feedback is returned, you have a place in the dashboard where you can see all your feedback.

Online reputation monitoring
The service monitors key review sites as part of an ongoing reputation management process. The dashboard is regularly updated to see how many reviews you have and the average rating.

GET STARTED WITH CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Remember, every customer that experiences great customer service will tell their friends, family, and co-workers. By using a tool, such as the Find8 Digital automated customer review service, you will increase your online reputation, build your brand, and gain new customers. And Google will love you, too.

And the best part. This service is only $25/month, which puts it in a range that all small business can afford. Let us know if you would like to get started with a free 14-day trial.