While Google+ has decided to say adios to their inbuilt review system, the standard ‘Google Reviews’ are here to stay. Most business owners can identify the importance of this review system but often fail in their attempts to get customers to leave reviews. In this post we will discuss what Google Reviews are for those of you who haven’t been acquainted yet, why they are so vital for your business and most importantly how you can get your customers to give you the glowing review you deserve.
What are Google Reviews?
Google Reviews is the app Google implemented into the popular search engine for customers to review a business or place. When someone Google searches your business name, the first thing they may notice is how many stars you have. They are eye-catching and give a pretty good indication whether your business is one they want to deal with. The reviews present the reader the only information they need before committing to continue to your website. See for yourself with this local example:
Why They Are Important
It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds of reviews on Facebook or other review sites in your industry, if you don’t have Google reviews you have no way to impress your potential customers this visibly. It’s almost like you don’t have any reviews at all if they aren’t on Google, which is arguably the most likely way for these prospects to find you. Your competitors also will have it one up on you in terms of outranking you, regardless of whether their reviews are favourable.
How To Give A Review
You need to understand how to give a review before you start asking customers for them just in case they ask you how. Luckily, it’s really easy to leave a review for a business. You just need to be logged into your Google account (Gmail, Google+ or Youtube). See below some handy screenshots:
1. Search for a business
2. On the card that appears below the search box, click ‘Write a review’.
3. In the window that appears, click the stars to score the place. If you want, you can also write a review (try and keep the review constructive).
4. Hit ‘Post’.
5. That’s it!
How to ask your Customers for a Google Review
So now you understand what they are why they are important, how on earth do you get them? It’s pretty simple and sometimes you can overthink this step. The easiest way to get a Google Review is to simply ask for one. People are busy, so although they may have had an amazing experience with your business they may forget to give you praise. With this being said customers who have had a negative experience are more likely to leave a review, so it is really important you chase the feedback from the good interactions.
How you ask for customer feedback really depends on your industry but here are few straightforward ways to reach out:
- Ask in person at the conclusion of your service.
- Send a follow up email to your customer asking for their help. You can make it really easy for them if you include a couple of print screens.
- Post a social media update requesting help. This is less personal, but you can reach more people this way.
- Ask family and friends to give you a hand to establish your business reviews.
Creative Incentives for Your Customers
You’d be surprised at how many people will just be happy to help you, especially if they’ve had a positive experience with your business. If you are after a little more motivation for your customers though, a little incentive never hurt anyone. Again, it does depend on what your business does, but here a few suggestions to get your brain juices flowing:
- Your humble gratitude. This is by far the cheapest option, being authentic is powerful.
- Discount their next purchase (either a % off or a $ off gift voucher).
- Monthly draws for a prize for one lucky ‘Google Reviewer’.
- A thank-you gift. It doesn’t have to be physical, think about digital gifts like desktop wallpapers, downloadable guides or e-books and other types of useful downloadables relevant to your business offering.
- Create a special ‘Club’ that receive access to specials and news before the general public.
There are lots of ways to approach your customers and get them to leave you a precious Google Review. Do try to keep it relevant to your business and keep it low key and not come across too ‘salesy’. With all types of reviews it is important to keep your eye on them and try to respond to them. Even the negative reviews can be turned around if you reach out and try to remedy the situation. Google is a powerhouse for your business so you need to utilise their tools if you want your business to have maximum exposure to your prospective customers.