What is the best way for a business, especially a local business, to get new customers? That’s right, recommendations and referrals. In recent years though, we’ve seen that more and more the most trusted referrals come from strangers, in the form of a review. These are previous users of a particular service, restaurant, establishment.
It began with Amazon and the cellphone age. Amazon was the first company that put a focus on reviews and since then, we’ve become used to considering reviews before we make a purchase, use a service, try out a new restaurant. It makes perfect sense when you think of it, where in years past, we would get referrals from our friends and family for local services, in this fast paced digital world we now live in, access to the experiences of others around the world or around our city, is just at our fingertips.
This phenomena is a game changer for local businesses as it gives them a new asset to help increase their sales and revenues, they just need to take control of this new asset.
A recent survey by Brightlocal, found that most businesses don’t know how to ask customers for reviews and conversely that customers don’t often know how to leave reviews for local business. As a business owner, you need to create a system that works for your business and put it into practice, but it’s also important to make sure that it’s easy for your customer.
The first thing to consider is the best time/way to ask for the review and for most businesses, that is after a customer has had a successful interaction with your business. One way is to include with or on the customer’s receipts a request for a review and an easy link that will bring the customer immediately to the Google review page for your business.
The way to do this is to go to Google, enter your business name in the search box and as long as you have are set up for Google My Business, which every local business should be, you will see a box to the right of your screen with your business information. If you are not set up for Google My Business, click here to do so.
If you currently have a few reviews, you will see them just below your company name and above your address and the “X number of reviews” will be a clickable link. When you click this link a pop up screen will appear with a blue “write a review ” link. When you click on this link you are taken directly to the write a review page. When you see this page copy down the link from the address bar.
This is the link you can provide to your customers to send them directly to your Google Review page.
If you currently don’t have any reviews, you will have to look further down in the box on the right hand side of your screen for a button called “write a review” with a clickable link called “be the first to review”. Once you click this link, you will be taken directly to your business’s review page. Copy the link that you see in the address bar and give this link to your customers.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. The link will be a very long one, so if you’d like to customize it a bit you can do that at bit.ly or any other link shortener.
Google reviews are becoming more and more critical for any business and it’s something that you can easily take control of.
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