Reputation Marketing5 Steps to Market Your Business Using Reviews
5 Steps to Market Your Business Using Reviews
In this post:
- Develop a system for acquiring customer feedback and reviews
- Market your positive reviews
- Monitor your reviews online
- Respond to negative reviews
- Respond quickly to all Google reviews
Reputation marketing is the active promotion of a business’s reputation and brand, using a variety of online and offline tools, strategies and media.
In the digital age of business, your reputation is everything. For better or worse, your reputation won’t stay hidden. Consumers will not only seek out a companies reviews, more times than not, they’ll use that research to inform their buying decision. According to a 2019 BrightLocal study, “82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews.” Here are some more stats from that same study:
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
- Only 53% of people would consider using a business with less than 4 stars
- The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision
- Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews
- 67% of consumers have now been asked to leave a review for a local business – with 24% of these being offered a discount, gift or cash in return
Market your positive reviews
The simplest and also most effective way to gather positive reviews is too ask immediately upon completion of your service. The customer is most likely to agree to a review when the experience is fresh in their mind. The further out from the positive experience, the less likely the customer will be to respond.
However, unless you have a consistent process in place and train your employees to follow the process, the implementation will be inconsistent and the results disappointing. If you or one of your employees has the last face to face interaction with your customer upon completion of your service, always make it a habit to ask for the review.
Make it easy for your customers to leave a review by handing them a print out of exactly how to leave a review online. Preferably this will be a Google review as these carry the most weight in your Google local search results. But don’t limit it to just Google as Facebook, Bing and Yelp are also valuable for building your reputation.
Develop a system to acquire reviews
- Ask in person
- Ask via a phone call
- Ask via email
- Ask via a postcard
- Ask in a social media post
- Follow up and ask again
Don’t leave your reviews to chance. You’ll get what you ask for so ask your satisfied customers for a review! And ask more than once if necessary.
TIP: Never promise an incentive for leaving a review. Google frowns on this practice and encourages natural reviews. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a review and Google encourages businesses to gather customer feedback, so ask, ask and ask again!
Market your positive reviews on
- Newsletter (physical and digital)
Monitor your reviews
You can monitor your reviews using these free tools:
- Monitor via laptop
Google My Business app
Google will automatically send you notifications via their mobile app when someone leaves a review.
Respond to each review a.s.a.p.
- Monitor via mobile app
Bing places for business app
- Monitor via laptop
- Monitor via mobile app
Also monitor online mentions of your personal name as well as your business name.
- Monitor personal reputation
- Monitor business reputation
Respond: How to respond to negative reviews
Here’s another reality that businesses would do well to heed, those experiencing a less than desirable outcome, whether justified or not, are more likely to leave a negative review than those whose experience was positive. And every business, no matter how great their customer service, will eventually have to deal with a negative review.
So what can a business owner do to protect the reputation of the business? The answer is simple but not without effort.
The best strategy is to deploy an offensive game plan. The business must continually work to first deliver an outstanding customer experience and then work just as hard to amass a loyal following of happy, satisfied customers. If the occasional negative review happens, the business must be prepared to overwhelm the negative with as many positive reviews as possible.
NEVER take a combative attitude and response, even if the customer is clearly wrong
Acknowledge the review a.s.a.p. in a polite, respectful and professional manner
If appropriate, offer to make amends.
If the customer appears receptive to your response, ask (privately) if they would consider amending their review
Be prepared to overwhelm any negative reviews with positive reviews
TIP: If you’re constantly asking for feedback, there’s a high probability that you will catch negative feedback before it’s posted online. The old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, definitely applies to customer feedback.
Respond to Google reviews using the Google My Business app
Reviews are critical to the performance of your Google My Business listing. In fact, as a part of Google My Business, Google clearly states that review score and review count factor into local search ranking! The more quality Google reviews, the bigger the boost your GMB listing and local search ranking will receive. You don’t need hundreds of 5 star reviews but every business should strive for at least 50 high scoring (4 or 5 star) reviews. Check out this post for more tips on how to optimize your Google My Business listing.
TIP: In my experience, Google encourages and rewards a fast response from the business owner when someone leaves a review. The faster you respond the better! This acknowledges your customer’s review and demonstrates that you appreciate their time and effort.
While this post focuses on Google reviews, don’t ignore other reviews. Monitor other major review sites like Facebook, Bing and Yelp. You can employ the same strategies for gathering, monitoring and responding as part of your reputation marketing system.