Client reviews are crucial for your success
In business, everyone wants to lower their level of risk.
New potential clients want to know that your business is legitimate and that you will keep your promises.
They will be hesitant to take your word for it because they don’t think that you are very objective.
They want to read reviews that tell them what they can expect if they decide to do business with you.
Online reviews are a playing a key role in the consumer decision process today.
A 2016 study found that 91% of customers read online reviews when they want to form an opinion on a local business. The study also found that 84% trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
These two findings suggest that businesses today should not ignore the power of online reviews.
The question is not whether or not you need good online reviews. The question is how to get as many good reviews as you possibly can.
Reviews are a point of connection
An important thing to understand about online reviews is that they are a point of interaction between 3 parties:
- An experienced customer
- Your business
- Your future customer
People want to interact with other people. They want to be heard by other people who can understand their fears, their frustrations, but also their happiness and their excitement.
Online reviews give your customers a space where they can share how they feel about you service.
Your future clients use reviews to reduce risk.
Your veteran clients use reviews to connect – not just with you, but with others who may read what they wrote.
By encouraging your clients to write a review and then reading and responding to their review, you fill a deep need and strengthen the connection.
People write reviews to acknowledge exceptional human interaction
No one writes a good review because the place was clean. Nor because the service was quick.
Clients expect your business to work smoothly and they won’t write a good review if it does (but they may write a bad review if your business doesn’t function as well as they expect).
When DO they write a good review?
Let’s say that you wait in line with your impatient toddler and an employee asks if he can bring some toys for the toddler to play while you wait.
Or, let’s say that you reach to your wallet and realize that you’re one quarter short of paying for your coffee at Starbucks. The Barista then takes a quarter from her tip jar and pays the difference.
In these two examples, you would probably be a bit surprised, feeling grateful and appreciative. It is in this state that people go online and write a good review.
People write reviews to people, not to businesses
The employees in the above examples acted on their own, not as part of the business system that employs them.
This is why you’ll consider writing a review.
We write reviews to people, not to business systems.
Those who give, receive
We firmly believe that the way to cause others to act in a desirable way is to act that way first.
If you want more respect – show respect. If you want to be heard – listen. You get the idea.
What should you do if you want others to publicly acknowledge the good traits of your business by writing you a review?
The short answer is to be generous. This can mean:
- Generous with your attention – ask questions and listen
- Generous with your time and energy – do unexpected,nice things for them
- Generous with your knowledge – find special ways to use your skills for the benefit of your clients
7 ways to start getting more reviews now
- Ask questions and listen. Let your clients talk about themselves. You will get to know each other better and they will trust and like you even more.
- Be generous. Find unconventional ways to help your clients. Serve food, water, coffee or tea in the waiting area if it’s appropriate. Find ways to make their waiting time more enjoyable, etc. But remember – most people won’t write reviews about good business systems. Make your interactions as human as possible.
- Keep a positive, cheerful spirit around your business at all times. This doesn’t just include time spent with customers. It includes interactions with your staff as well. Customers can sense the atmosphere in the business as soon as they walk in.
- Compliment your customers. Do it only if you find a real reason to do so. People toady are highly sensitive to insincerity. By complimenting them, you make them want to pay you back with a compliment of their own. Writing an online review is a great way for them to do that.
- Make it easy to write you a review. Provide flyers or send an email with clear instructions on how to write a review for your business.
- Remind them. When a client has a good experience with your business, you can politely hint to the option of going online and writing a review.
- Be responsive. Respond back to every review. This shows new review writers that you are listening. Respond to inquiries and request even if you can’t do what they want. By being responsive you invite others to the conversation and some may continue the conversation with a nice online review for your business.