Word of mouth is the most popular way of expressing feedback. When someone is researching your brand, they will take to Google™ and reviews. This is the first impression leads will get of your brand, which makes it imperative that you position your brand to get business reviews in a positive light. 

What happens when you have an awful experience at a restaurant, or you order something online and it is not what you expected? You tell everyone! Your sister, father, friend, significant other all know about how much you detested your experience. The same is to be said if you had a positive experience with a product or service.

Why Brand Perception and Reviews Matter

A recent study shows that today’s buyers are more knowledgeable but less brand loyal than ever before. The customers of today are sharing their experiences more frequently, and potential customers are taking these reviews seriously. With the switch of brand loyalty, customers are quick to switch to a brand that meets their needs and expectations. 

The average customer will make a judgment on your brand based on what they read in a review, and what it says online about your brand can be a make or break decision. 90% of customers read reviews before a purchase decision.  A positive online reputation, based on positive reviews, can make a customer increasingly likely to choose your service and then recommend your brand. In fact, 60% of customers will refer friends to a brand that provided a positive experience. However, a negative experience means that you are not only losing out on these referrals but that they will tell other potential customers why they would not recommend you. Studies have shown that up to 80% of consumers will think twice about doing business with a brand that has negative online reviews.

How Can Negative Reviews Impact Your Online Presence

Google can be a tricky beast, especially when it comes to negative reviews. Negative reviews have a large impact on your business reputation and the search results on Google. If you have a large amount of these unfavorable reviews, Google will be less likely to show your business under search results. This is especially true if you do not have relevant and frequent content on your website. 

How to Get Reviews

The total number of reviews offsets negative ones and increased localized search rankings. If you have 25-100 reviews, it is unlikely that customers will read through them all. This is not to say one negative review will diminish your business, customers are looking for a generalized consensus when it comes to brands. To put it short: more reviews = higher search rankings, increased leads, increased sales, increased revenue. In this case, more is more! 

So, how do you increase your reviews? Try some of our tested tactics:

  1. Ask! The easiest way to increase your reviews is to ask. If you have a happy customer, ask them to write a review.
  2. Send a follow-up email. Send your customers a follow-up email after service and ask them to leave a review, make sure that your email is personal and professional for optimum results.
  3. Use a leave behind. A leave behind is a physical item that is left for the customer. This can be a business card, flyer, or even a piece of candy! Make sure that this item contains information about the order and asks for a review. 
  4. Add a link to Google reviews on your website. This is another simple way to increase your reviews. 
  5. Add CTA (call to actions) on your website. This can be a pop-up that asks how the customer is enjoying your product or service with a link to leave a review. 

Monitoring Google Reviews

Customers take negative reviews seriously but will be suspicious of only positive reviews. Consumers tend to think negative reviews have more credibility and will think them more persuasive than positive reviews. This is why it is vital to respond to reviews and address concerns, monitor your reviews, and present a helpful brand voice. 

To monitor your reviews, you can start by signing up for Google alerts. Google Alerts will monitor keywords (like your brand name or a product or service that you offer) and anytime those keywords are mentioned, you will get an email notification. There are many online services that will also monitor your online reviews and put them into an easily managed dashboard. 

Now, what happens when you cross a negative review? It is imperative that you respond to the review. Most businesses are so focused on generating reviews that they forget the importance of responding to them. The simple act of responding to a negative review shows a lot about your brand. 

What are the best practices of responding to reviews? 

Schedule a meeting with one of our specialists to find out more!