Review platforms and social media channels are podiums for customers to talk about encounters with your business – for better or worse. This makes online reviews a powerful representation of your business, and if you collect enough five-star reviews, it can even be a hands-off way of marketing your brand. But consistently earning 5-star reviews, isn’t as simple as delivering great service with a smile.
Why Do You Need 5-Star Reviews?
Reviews help consumers make decisions. Customers use reviews as a way to decide whether or not they want to trust in the quality of the service or product over another. If you have more positive reviews than your competition, you will likely win the new customer. Your business needs 5-star reviews in order to stand out amongst your competition.
Statista reports that 93.4% of consumers said that they read customer reviews prior to purchasing from an unfamiliar digital retailer.
Testimonials from happy customers go a long way in building trust. While a large amount of 5-star reviews goes a long way, people value authenticity – and transparency is an important factor when building trust. According to Trustpilot, 62% of consumers say they would not buy from a brand if they censored their online reviews.
Five-star reviews act as social proof that your product or service is worth your customer’s time – and money.
People want to know the good and the bad. If you receive a bad review, don’t delete it. Respond to the review in a professional manner and remember, with negative reviews, all eyes are on you!
Make sure you leave your reply in a timely manner – within one week to be safe. See if there’s a way to right the wrong or to politely shed light on the situation. Then move on and focus on earning more 5-star reviews from other customers.
97% of shoppers who read online reviews from other consumers will also read the responses from the business. 45% of customers are more likely to support businesses if they see that they’ve responded to the negative review. (BrightLocal)
Boosts Local SEO
Google is the most popular online review platform. So with every 5-star review that you earn, your rating improves – and Google favors quality. The more 5-star reviews your business gets on Google, the higher you’ll rank in local search results.
The Google Local Pack is a bundle of search engine results page (SERP) features that, if selected, land businesses at the top of local search results. Check out the different types of SERP features and how the Local Pack can help your business dominate local SERPs and even voice searches!
Review signals including quantity, velocity, and diversity, can impact Google Local Pack placement by as much as 15.44%! (Moz)
Popular Review Sites
There are hundreds of review websites, local directories, and social media channels where you could earn reviews… but where should you focus your efforts? That depends on your business, your competition, and your audience.
Google My Business
Google is the most-used search engine in the world and the most popular online review platform. If you don’t have a Google My Business listing set up already, you’ll want to start there. Learn how to set up your Google My Business account. Five-star reviews on your Google My Business listing go a long way.
Does your business have a profile on Facebook? There’s your next go-to place to collect 5-star reviews. The people that follow your business page are either current, former, or interested customers. Use Facebook reviews as a way to build trust and engagement with your fans.
Yelp features crowd-sourced reviews about businesses. It acts as a local business directory that prioritizes businesses in search results based on their location, keyword relevance, and positive reviews. If your business has a physical location, you’ll want to list your business on Yelp.
E-commerce businesses should consider listing products on Amazon – the shopping search engine that has over 85 million US users per month. If your business sells products online, you’ll want to set up an Amazon Seller account and list your products.
How to Get More 5-Star Reviews
After a customer makes a purchase, ask for a review. While it may feel a bit tacky or awkward to ask for a review, think of the last time you received a customer satisfaction survey. Did it turn you off to the business or change your view of them? Well, hopefully not!
Requesting a review from a customer is a healthy practice that offers insight into your business. Try to ask for the review right after they’ve made a purchase. Their experience is still top-of-mind, so your testimonial is likely to include more detail and emotion.
Ways to ask for a review:
- In-person: Asking a customer for a review on-the-spot gives you the opportunity to make a connection. Explain to them why it’s so important for your business to earn reviews. Make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review. Have QR codes that guide users to your preferred review site(s).
- Automated email: After a purchase, send an automated confirmation or “Thank You” email asking them to share their experience – and include the link(s) to the review site(s).
- Personalized email: After a purchase, send a personalized email thanking them and requesting they leave a review in order to help others make informed decisions – include the link(s) to the review site(s).
- Text message: If your business has SMS text message communication enabled with your customer, send them a text that requests their feedback – and, of course, include the review link(s).
Never ask a customer for a five-star review outright. Instead, ask for their authentic take on your business or product. Remember, some bad reviews can actually help your business – if handled properly.
Final Word: 5-Star Reviews
Understanding the power of reviews is the first step. The next step is building out an actionable strategy for earning new reviews. If you want to earn more 5-star reviews, don’t leave it to chance.
Next Horizon provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity. From digital marketing to building bespoke business applications, Next Horizon uses its 40+ years of experience and award-winning talent to provide technical business solutions for its clients.