Everybody needs a guide. Even the most independent-minded of us are influenced by what other people think.
In the online space where more than half of the world's conversations now take place, these recommendations manifest in the form of reviews. Up to 90% of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Having reviews on your business is the difference between profit and obscurity. 67% of consumers admit that their purchasing decisions are affected by online reviews.
You simply can’t ignore getting reviews for your business.
But getting reviews is hard, especially for a small business. In this article, we share five practical guides to help you collect more reviews, get more customers and make more sales:
Note: To get the best out of this article, make sure your business has an online presence. VConnect provides free registration for local businesses who want to have online presence and collect reviews. If you don’t have online presence, stop reading this article and go open a business profile page. Start here.
If your business has an online presence, read on.
Ask your customers
It may seem rather intuitive when you think about it now, but you'll be surprised how many people never think to ask their customers for a review. Maybe you even belonged to that group. Let that end now. Asking people for reviews doesn't mean you are self-obsessed. It communicates that you care about your customers' experience and are committed to improving that experience.
VConnect provides aids that can help you remind your visitors to review your business. Click here to get them for FREE.
Make it easy for them to leave reviews
People don't like to leave reviews. Unless your service is exceptionally bad, or exceptionally good, the average customer won't look for a way to leave reviews. That's why you need to ask for a review. It's also why you need to make it easy for them to leave the review.
The VConnect review engine is easy to use and you can simply direct your users there. Put links to your business profile in different places such as your newsletter, your email signature, Facebook and other social networks.
Incentivise them to leave reviews
Even your most dedicated customers sometimes have no time to leave reviews. Some just never think about it. Even more are not just motivated to do so. A little incentive can change all that. Present your incentive as a show of appreciation for their patronage. Ask them to let others know what they think about your business by leaving a review on your business profile.
It’s important to tread the incentive line carefully. If badly executed, it could corrupt the review gathering process. Make sure your request is for them to "leave reviews" not "leave good reviews".
Thank them for the reviews
Even when the reviewer has left what you consider a bad review. Thank them. Most review sites like VConnect and Google My Business provides you with a dashboard that makes it easy for you to reply to reviews. In the condition that the "bad review" requires an action on your part, be sure that, in addition to thanking the reviewer, you craft a carefully worded apology and make a commitment to take action to rectify the customer’s object of displeasure.
Hardwire reviews into your company DNA
As the business owner, you won't be at the front desk most of the time. This is why your customer service and sales teams need to understand the importance of treating customers courteously, and most especially, asking for reviews.
Reviews are important and it's one of the most effective ways to market your business with little to no money.
Restaurant reviews seem to get all the attention now, small businesses in other verticals need to take reviews seriously. Every business will eventually (already) have pages from review sites like VConnect ranking for their names. If you don’t have positive reviews you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
About VConnect Nigeria
VConnect is Nigeria’s largest business discovery, and review site. Connect with more than 2 million ready-to-buy customers and build your online reputation for free through ratings and reviews. Register on VConnect to start.