Leveraging Ratings, Reviews And Testimonials | Business Marketing
How To Leverage Ratings, Reviews, and Client Testimonials to Market Your Business
A good online review can act as more than just affirmation of a job well done. A recent consumer study shows that 88% of consumers have read reviews online to determine the quality of a local business, and this same percentage agreed that they trust these online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Analytics suggest this trend will only continue to grow. But few businesses know how to leverage these successes into a concerted online marketing strategy.
Encouraging Online Reviews
There’s no contending the power of a referral to drive new business to your door, but unless your satisfied customer leaves you a review online, how do you leverage their happiness with your job well done into new customers?
Here are some tips.
- Offer an incentive such as:
“Leave us a review and receive 10% off your next oil change” or
“Fill out our customer response survey and be entered to win a gift card.”
But beware, offering an incentive for only good reviews is likely to backfire. Don’t risk losing the hard earned trust of your loyal customers by bribing them for higher ratings. Instead, be sure to ask for an honest review.
- Set expectations. Take a play from the marketing geniuses at Starbucks: instead of asking customers to simply leave a review, set the expectations of a good review.
“If you were happy with the job we did, please leave a 5 star rating!” works better than
“Please give us a rating on a scale of 1-5!”
Often, a customer will have had a perfectly satisfactory experience where absolutely nothing went wrong, but they will leave an “average” rating of 4/5 or even 3/5, simply because nothing exceeded their expectations.
- Send An Email Campaign. Reach out to your loyal customers and ask them to help spread the word of the stellar services you provide them by leaving a review online. This is a good way to generate more reviews, and also a good excuse to check in with your client base.
Of course, you will still see greater participation in your efforts to elicit reviews if you offer some sort of incentive for them to do so.
Leveraging Your Positive Ratings and Reviews
Once you have a selection of good reviews, it’s time to leverage them to inspire consumer confidence in your business and help drive new potential customers to your website. Display positive client testimonials that are well stated, thoughtful, and speak to the value of your services on your website in a prominent location.
Also, post your best customer reviews to your social media profiles. It’s an authentic way to advertise your services without pushing a hard sell. Plus engaging on social media with your customers increases customer loyalty and gives them a platform to share their positive interactions with your business to their friends.
Thirdly, in addition to making your business appear trustworthy and professional on your website and social media profiles, experts in SEO (search engine optimization) believe consistent positive reviews on third party review sites help boost your rankings in SERPs by promoting website authority.
Ratings, Reviews, And Client Testimonials – Best Practices
It’s tempting to think any negative review is going to have a poor impact on attracting new business, but findings suggest a consumer is actually more likely to trust an overall positive rating if there are a few negative ratings included. The consumer recognizes that even the best businesses make mistakes, and most realize that some reviewers would not be satisfied no matter what kind of service they received.
It’s more important to display reviews that show your business living up to marketing promises or highlight the overall positive impact your business has on your customers than to worry about the presence of an occasional negative review.
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