The age of social proof is upon is. Can you honestly remember the last time you ate at a restaurant, purchased something online, or even went to a doctor without first Googling them to see what people had to say? Good reviews can make a business, whereas an onslaught of average to poor reviews is enough to tank one, and as a society, we seem to have an inexhaustible energy for complaining. While the bad reviews come uninvited, are we ever actively seeking the good ones? And if we are, do your customers know where or how to post them?
Everybody who interacts with your business on a daily basis will have a story to tell, and for the most part, they are stories you invested in creating. They are the ones you want shared because they highlight the way you went above and beyond in your service. People love to tell us in person how happy we’ve made them, but their feedback goes further on the web. Online reviews might be new to some people, so simply asking them to do it may not yield the desired result, but with a little patience, guidance, and creativity, you can help them find the platform to post their praise. Aside from boosting your business’s overall rating, this practice contributes to your overall search engine optimization (SEO) and counts as activity toward your GoogleMyBusiness listing. What could be better than that?
Yelp and Google are among the most popular review sites on the web, but what you might not know is that Yelp factors out about 30% of the reviews posted. They don’t prefer solicited reviews, and as a result, if a first-time reviewer attempts to post, it will likely get filtered out. Google on the other hand shows all reviews, so a first-time poster can sing your praises for all to see; but if you don’t ask, will they think to do it?
Tips to help your business get the five-star reviews it deserves:
Make sure everybody leaves with a story to tell. Wouldn’t you love people to hear about how you make your customers feel special?
Ask! And ask often! It’s not enough to ask 30 people and expect results. If you ask 300, you’ll start to see things happen.
Make it easy for them. If someone’s never posted a review before, help them navigate to your Google page, send out email surveys with review links, or hand out business cards with the URL printed right on them.
Evan Kestenbaum, MBA is the co-founder and COO of GPN Technologies, the landmark company that created EDGEPro. Evan’s entrepreneurial expertise and his focus on continuous improvement were vital in the development and success of EDGEPro, which has revolutionized analytics and business intelligence for ophthalmic professionals. Evan has also been deeply engaged in coaching and dispensary management for hundreds of practices during the past 10 years. He is the co-owner of Optix Family Eyecare in New York, one of Long Island’s largest Optometry practices. In his free time, Evan enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. For questions or comments about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.