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Do Google and Facebook Reviews matter? Do they really affect your business?
Yes and yes.
People want reassurance that they are making the right decision before committing to a purchase. Potential customers often rely on online reviews to help decide where to go for their needs, and previous testimonials can be greatly influential in their decisions.
Google and Facebook reviews especially build credibility and provide confidence in the customer experience at your business. Not to mention, businesses with multiple good reviews generally rank higher in search results.
Below is a Google search for “best pizza long island”. The top results that show up have received multiple 4-5 star reviews on Google.
On top of that, 93% of consumers say that online reviews have influenced their purchase decisions. So how can your small business go about receiving reviews like this?
You’re probably thinking, “well yeah, duh”. But many business owners simply don’t ask people to review their products or services, and many customers are willing to give their comments and opinions, so don’t be afraid to ask for them!
A car wash that I frequently go to has a sign near their exit that says “If you enjoyed your experience, please tell a friend. If you didn’t enjoy your experience, please tell us.” Such a simple, clever way to help spread the word about their business.
2) Make Asking for Reviews Part of Your Checkout Routine
Whether it’s at the bottom of a receipt/invoice or in a post-purchase email, ask how their experience was shortly after the transaction, and provide a link to where they can leave you a review.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend creating a free Google My Business profile so people can start leaving you reviews. Once you make an account, in your GMB dashboard, go to the Home tab, and find “Get more reviews”.
Click Share review form and point people to that link to start collecting reviews.
To get more Facebook reviews, point people to facebook.com/[your Facebook page]/reviews/.
3) Respond to Existing Reviews
If your business already has Google and/or Facebook reviews, replying to the person who left the review will go a long way. Showing that you value feedback will encourage future reviews and show potential customers that you are responsive and genuinely care.
Be sure to be timely when responding to existing reviews. Take a few minutes each week to keep track of reviews wherever you ask for them. When responding, thank the person for sharing their feedback about your business. It can be as simple as replying with “Thanks for sharing your experience. We hope to see you again soon!”
As you implement these strategies to get more reviews, be sure to encourage honest opinions, and do not offer incentives in exchange for reviews. People generally know that reviews will be both positive and negative, so being responsive and following up with timely and professional responses is key to earning customer loyalty and building trust with your future customers.