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Marketing Tips – How to Get Online Reviews (and Respond to Negative Ones)

October 15th, 2018

Reviews matter for small business, especially if you cater to the public. Online reviews bring the benefit of social proof, something we have talked about before. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as the recommendation of a friend.

So we all know reviews are important, but how do you get them? Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get ahead of the competition.
 

Claim Your Online Profiles

If you want to have control over your reviews, be sure to claim your online profiles. This means either setting up a profile or claiming the default listing created by review sites. Make sure you have a presence on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any industry-specific sites where your business can get reviewed.

If you must begin small, begin with taking control of your Google Business Page. Google reviews are the most important type of review for a dentist. Unless being referred, the first place a parent is going to go to find a pediatric dentist or doctor is Google to search for dentists in their neighborhood. If there are a number of options in an area, they will begin looking at reviews. For a small business competing against similar establishments in the same area, Google reviews can often be an important tiebreaker.
 

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Review You

Add links to your review pages on your website. Include links with your email correspondence and any e-newsletters. Make it easy by making it accessible.
 

Offer Incentives

Now that you are ready to receive and respond to reviews, how do you get them? Begin by offering incentives. This is helpful especially when you are a new business and do not have a lot of reviews. Offer a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop if they leave a review. Or create a contest where every good review is an entry into a prize draw – make sure you announce the winner on a social media to create excitement.

 
Ask the Right People

When looking for reviews, ask the right people. If you have a referral program set up and are able to track referrers you have a great resource at your disposal. If someone refers someone to your office they are obviously happy with your services. Send them a thank you for the referral, a referral gift, and of course, a link to leave a review.

Once you encourage your customers to leave reviews, make sure their efforts are rewarded with a reply from your business. Reply to every good review with a thank you. And be ready to reply to every negative review as well.

 
Earn Your Reviews

If you want good reviews, then you’ll have to earn them. Have great services, a friendly staff, and an amazing themed office that makes their kids calm and happy! Our clients often have excellent reviews talking about the fun environment created by adding games and themed decor.

“The kids loved playing on the iPads on the wall and in the hot air balloon while we waited. Great experience!”
 
“We also love the play area-lots of things to do while the kids are waiting.”
 
“Super clean and decorated beautifully – it made the kids more excited to be there. Would recommend without hesitation.”
 
“Had a TON of eye candy for the kids (awesome decor and video game screens all over the place!)”

If your clients genuinely like your business, you’ll get the reviews you want.
 

What Happens When You Get a Bad Review?

The majority of review sites will not allow you to delete a bad review, so be prepared to deal with them and use them to your benefit. Handling a bad review in a professional manner can actually be just as helpful as a good review as it can show how you handle negative situations.

Also, consumers trust a 4.5 star review more than 5 stars as they feel an imperfect score to be more truthful and reflective of the business. 5 stars are just too good to be true.

But back to how to handle those reviews. Here’s a quick rundown of points you should remember when you get a bad review:

1. You want to respond as quickly as possible so that others people are not able to read this angry review without your side of the story. But be cautious. Don’t respond in the heat of the moment or you may say something you don’t want out in the public.

2. Do your homework. Make sure you know your employees side of the situation before you craft a response.

3. Take responsibility for your part in the problem and offer a sincere apology. Even if the review is unjustified, be empathetic to the reviewer’s complaint. Let them know you understand their frustration and will help them with their issue. This shows others that you care about your customers’ opinions and feelings and will hopefully calm the anger of this particular reviewer.

4. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to bring this issue to your attention. Let them know you pride yourself on excellent customer service and appreciate the opportunity to make things right.

5. Don’t go into too much detail in your reply. Offer to take the conversation offline. You don’t want to start a debate with an irate customer on your wall of reviews, so offer to have to call or email to further discuss the issue.

If you’re dealing with an online troll, just walk away. That’s a fight you’ll never win. Anyone reading the review of a troll will know when someone is just being a bully compared to leaving a legitimate review.

 

With these tips and tricks, you have the know-how to get you on the right path to gain more reviews.

 

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