To potential customers, it's important to have several reviews to look at but more than the number, it's the quality of them that matters most. Just the opposite is true for a marketing agency that is representing you. That said, of course an agency wants to work with a client that has outstanding reviews as this helps all the marketing components and future lead generation to work cohesively, but it's the number of reviews that can determine how effective your digital marketing efforts will often grow.
HOW REVIEWS HELP BUSINESS
From a customer standpoint, reviews help provide valuable insight into your business. They show what others have experienced working with you. Whether it's a specific product or service you offer, reviews help show the good, the bad, and potential concerns before that customer takes action with you. It's important to note that how you as a business owner respond to positive and negative reviews is vital to the emotional connection with your business.
From a marketing standpoint, the number of reviews a business has helps marketing efforts in a multitude of ways. For example, when looking at Google specifically, the more 5-star reviews a company has, the more opportunity there is for Google to place higher credibility on your business. This means that you have a higher likelihood to see more favorable organic search engine optimization (SEO) placement in local search queries, placing your company's website higher in search than your competitors and that is the name of the game.
Generating good quality reviews also helps assure your company of being ranked higher in the local 3 pack map, the area you see on the first page of a Google search result that rests under the top sponsored ads but before the organic websites that rank.
WAYS TO GENERATE REVIEWS
- Internal Reviews - Your sales department and management team should be leading the charge as they are the most effective way to generate reviews. These will typically be the strongest relationships between customer and company but much like asking for the referral, you must work on asking for reviews.
- Email Generated Reviews - Maybe you want to hand select the customers you know will leave your business a good review. A great way to generate new reviews is to send a personalized email that includes a link to where you want the customer to leave a review for the company. You could include these after client meetings or other office correspondence like monthly invoices, surveys, or newsletter blasts.
- 3rd Party Platform Reviews - There are all sorts of online reputation solutions and platforms available for business to take advantage of today. These systems can help do the heavy lifting for you, often at a price, but their job is to improve your company's reviews by acquiring more of them while protecting your online credibility from malicious activity.
- Other Approaches to Reviews - Every business is unique. There's no right or wrong way to ask for a review. In many cases, your services or products might be that good to where you just receive reviews from customers that you didn't prompt to do anything. Or maybe you want to think outside the box and create your own customized way to generate more reviews. The sky is the limit on how you do this.
HOW TO FAVORABLY RESPOND TO REVIEWS
Over the years, Critchfield Consulting has analyzed businesses across the United States, and we've seen the responses that business owners reply to reviews with all over the spectrum. Too often, we see long drawn-out responses if a negative review is given, mostly to try and discredit or dispute the person leaving the poor review. We understand why this happens as a lot of bad reviews are bogus and disappointing to receive but stay away from this trap.
We also see companies provide a simple thumbs up response with no additional messaging for those that spend time to give their team a high 5-star praise. It's good practice to take the time and respond quickly and thank the person for taking the time to share their experience with others. Overall, the proper solution for responding to a review is to be sincere, concise, and honest in your reply. It helps to keep these responses short and custom so that it doesn't appear as a cookie cutter response.
REVIEW MANAGEMENT WITH CRITCHFIELD CONSULTING
Critchfield Consulting can provide a few important reputation services when it comes to managing a business's online reviews. From email blasts and internal team coaching to 3rd party review platform integration and personalized replies, our team of strategists will generate a favorable online reputation for business. Whether our focus is to generate reviews on Google and Yelp, or we help tap into organizations and industry specific platforms, talking with Critchfield Consulting first is a wise move.
We invite you to learn more about us by visiting our client portfolio and taking a deeper dive into a full list of our marketing services. If you're a Kansas City based business and looking for some help with your companies online reviews and reputation, reach out to us at 816-718-6617 or direct message us here. We look forward to sharing our insight with you!