The be-all end-all of local business success today seems to come down to how many people take a break from their busy days to write nice or evil reviews about your small business on Google and Yelp. Who is more likely to act: the happy customers or the disgruntled ogres?
72% Of Consumers Say Positive Reviews Make Them Trust A Local Business More
The ogres. As a small local business, if you don't put in an effort to encourage reviewers, you will end up represented online by the angry ogres of the world who rip you in reviews. (Or you did something stupid and should apologize to the customer who wrote you a scathing review. No judging, nobody's perfect.) Regardless of why, now you are stuck with meanie-head Google or Yelp reviews and you need to fix it.
88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Before we dive in, let's get on the same page: doing this right takes time and money. You are going to have to dish out the cash. Yes, I know you are a small business hungry for money and strapped for time. I get it. I am small too. Did your elders teach "you have to spend money to make money, honey." Well, now you know.
Two of the most important local business review sites are Google and Yelp. Some of the other important ones are Yellow Pages and Facebook. Let's focus on Yelp and Google today.
Reviews matter because people trust them. Maybe you stopped using Yelp to get back at them for letting angry people post mean things about your business. I get it. Unfortunately, life isn't fair, you are alone in your vendetta, and everyone else still uses Yelp.
Because users trust reviews, Google trusts them too. Google has incorporated review sentiments and ratings into the Google search algorithm. So a bad Yelp review hurts you on Yelp and on Google search. A bad Google review has similar consequences. Ready to bust out your wallet to fix this problem? Great, let's get going.
Set up a system that automatically prompts happy customers to quickly and easily leave you a review online. You need to reach them when they have just recently interacted with your business and left with a positive experience.
I recently interacted with a business that nailed the process beautifully, so the nerd in me documented it from start to finish to share with you today.
First, set up an email that automatically goes to your clients at the conclusion of each transaction. Customize it to fit into your natural workflow. Make sure that getting the client's email address is part of the introductory paperwork when they sign on to your product or service.
Make note of how this email was worded. It is all about the value the business places in my feedback as the client, down to every detail. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so I respond.
Clicking on a star rating brought me to a web form on their website. There were a few key ingredients that made this web form very appealing:
Look where we are, hurray! After clicking "submit" I was prompted to visit Yelp or Google to leave a review. Here's what made this pop-up oh-so-delicious to my marketing brain.
Ready to set up this process for your local business? Here's what you need to do:
90%of consumer research starts online.