How many times have you asked for someone else’s opinion or advice before making a purchase, checking out a new restaurant or contacting a potential new business to partner with?
If you are like most people, chances are very high that you’ve either asked a trusted friend or colleague, or looked at online reviews….likely both.
Did you know that 82% of consumers read online reviews before they buy? And among those, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews.
That right there is a very powerful reason as to why you want to build your online reviews.
If your business has a Facebook page, and with it being one of the most social media platforms for the equestrian industry it’s a must, make sure that the reviews feature is both turned on and is easy to find.
Not sure if it is? Go to your Facebook page settings, click on “Templates and tabs” and make sure that “Reviews” is turned on.
Then make sure that it is near the top of the tab order for your page (hint: you can do this by dragging & dropping the tabs).
Unlike Facebook, you can’t control whether or not someone can leave a review for your business.
So it’s important that you have claimed your “Google My Business” listing for your business. This will then allow you to receive notifications when a review is made, and also provide you the ability to respond to a review.
If you haven't already, you can download "The Ultimate 9-Point Google My Business Checklist"
Don’t Forget to Ask!
Most people are happy to leave a review, but they need to be asked.
You can incorporate this as part of your business process.
For instance, when an email is sent to a customer or client after a transaction has been completed – ask if they would like to leave an online review if they are happy with the service/product they received to help you share your service/product with others.
Likewise, it’s a good idea to also provide them with the option to send feedback to you if they feel you didn’t meet their expectations.
Make it Easy!
Like with most things in life, if it’s easy then you’re more likely to do it.
So make sure to make it easy for your clients/customers to leave a review.
That includes providing them with a direct link to your Facebook & Google review section.
When Someone Leaves a Review
Be sure to respond! It will show others who are reading the reviews that your business cares about it’s customers and appreciates the feedback.
How to Handle Negative Reviews
No business, no matter how exceptional they are, is immune to negative reviews.
What’s important is how a business responds.
Don’t let emotion dictate your response, because if you respond negatively or defensively in return it will only reflect poorly on you.
Always respond in a positive manner, and if it’s possible offer a solution (ex. thanking them for taking the time to provide feedback, and inviting the person to contact you directly to help resolve the situation)
Remember the statistic I mentioned earlier….97% of people who read reviews will read a businesses’ response.
And it’s important to note that Google will not remove negative reviews solely based on them being negative. Google has strict policies in order to maintain the integrity of reviews, and will only remove a review if it is found to violate their policies.
Use Positive Reviews on Your Website
The social proof you are receiving in your Facebook and Google reviews can be used on your website as testimonials to further build consumer confidence.
Now is a great time!
With most people having a lot more time on their hands, now is a great time to work on increasing your reviews. So put together and action a process now, which you can then maintain year-round.
Until next time!