Today’s Google business reviews and other online reviews are yesterday’s word-of-mouth recommendations.
You can tell millions (literally) of people if you LOVED or HATED a service instantly.
Scary isn't it?
That old saying about one person having a bad experience, then telling all of their friends who in turn tell all of their friends, really didn't have that much of an impact.
What if that person had NO friends?
That's a joke, but perhaps not.
On the internet, even if you don't have any friends in REAL life, you can have THOUSANDS (See: Facebook).
When one person can wield that kind of power to take down a business with one or two bad reviews, it really puts business owners on high alert.
In fact, when you think about it, reviews are what we typically go to first BEFORE we make a purchase.
Here's an example.
Finding A Mechanic
When you find a good honest mechanic you want to tell the world.
The same can be said when you find a bad one who rips you off.
Sorry, if you are reading this, are a mechanic and in the second category, there's hope for you, we can help.
We're joking of course…or not.
Anyway, what do you typically do?
Well, your first step is to ask friends if they know any good shops or mechanics in the area (live review).
Your next step is to look online for others OR look online to learn more about the recommendation you got.
Google makes this process EXTREMELY EASY.
What do you usually find on the first page of the results?
You'll find things like their actual website, you'll find comments that people have made about them AND you'll likely find local review sites like Yelp with REAL TIME reviews.
As you browse through the reviews you'll see comments and ratings. They will typically fall into the following categories:
Right off the bat, you will see some of these reviews. You'll be able to tell right away if you need to stay away from this shop.
In some cases, you will be able to feel the frustration coming through the computer. If you are a business owner with these types of reviews then there is major work that will need to be done in order to remedy this situation.
Many will fall into this category. While they aren't bad, they aren't outstanding. You'll see ratings like 3 or 4 out of 5-star ratings.
They'll like the service but won't love it. They will definitely recommend, but if the same kinds of shops in the area offer a lower price, then they may be tempted to go there.
Nothing wrong with these, however, they do signal room for improvement.
Now, these are the ones you want. These kinds of ratings are the ones you want all across the board when it comes to your business.
Well, you'll still need to do marketing, but we think you get the picture.
This is the equivalent of being the popular kid in school – EVERYONE will be talking about you and EVERYONE will want to hang out with you.
In fact, build up enough of these kinds of 5-star ratings and businesses will come looking for you.
There's ONE more category that we will cover here, and it's…
Bad Ratings With A Response
There may be one or two rogue reviews amongst hundreds of great ones.
If you are not careful and ignore these, then they can do more harm than good to people coming to see what kind of services you have to offer.
These can sometimes be a competitor trying to take you down or even someone who was having a bad day, and regardless of what you did or didn't do, you were going to get a bad review anyway.
So what do you do?
Here is a great video on how to handle it:
You respond to it right away and address it, ESPECIALLY if it's incorrect.
There was a business owner a while back who had a terrible review, with the reviewer even going as far as accusing a specific individual of doing things like swearing at them and doing other things.
The reviewer also stated that they were brushed off and the salespeople even walked away in the middle of the conversation and sent someone else over.
The owner of the business looked into it, looked at the videotapes, and realized three things:
The employee being accused wasn't even working that day
The reviewer was the aggressor
The salesperson walked away in the middle of being attacked for fear of their own safety
In the response to the reviewer, the business owner apologized for the situation, responded to all of the accusations with proof to back it up, and said they reviewed the tapes and if they'd like to come in and discuss it further he'd be more than happy to.
What do you think the reviewer said?
Yes, you guessed it, no response.
No harm is done to the business because people with any sense of reason could see that it wasn't the business at fault.
As you can see, the business reviews for your services will fall into one or more of the following categories:
Bad Rating With A Response
Of course, you want all of them to be #3, but you may fall into some of the other categories as well. Just as long as you aren't floating around #1 and ignoring it, you should be okay.
So what are you to do?
Well, that's what we are going to explore from here on out – How to get great reviews.
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you when it comes to the work you do and what people think of it is this:
Be Someone WORTHY Of A Five Star Rating
Jim Rohn put it this way when someone asked him how to make more money – “If you want an above average income then you need to become an above average person.”
Ooh, that one may sting a little, BUT we are trying to help.
Put another way, someone once asked WHY they weren't getting the #1 spot in Google on the search engines.
Do you deserve to be in the #1 spot?
Now, please understand that there is a lot more that goes into getting ranked highly in the search engines, but the basis of the statement above just speaks to this point:
Do You Deserve A Great Rating?
When it comes to your ratings and reviews, if you are getting mediocre ratings and reviews, is it because you aren't putting out your best?
There was once a barber who worked in the same shop as three other barbers.
They ALL provided the same quality of work, which meant if you got a haircut from any of them that the results were all the same.
Here is what was found upon walking into the shop.
Barber #1: Had a long waiting line, was always booked, and was constantly busy. In some cases, he had to turn people away or send them to another barber in the shop.
Barber #2: Had regular clients, but still had some slots to fill.
Barber #3: Never had any regulars and had to take whoever came in.
So, what was the difference? Barber #1 was trusted.
Here it was:
Barber #1 paid attention to all of the little details, said things like “Thank you for coming in” and asked, “Is there anything else I can do?”
This barber took a few minutes longer than the others, but in those few minutes took the time to have a conversation, ask about things the person mentioned at the last visit, and recommended products he thought would be helpful.
On holidays and birthdays, he gave presents to his regulars, sent postcards to all clients, and would call during anniversaries or other events to check in with clients.
HE was an above average barber!
Barber #2 was pleasant enough. He always said “thanks,” but would mostly wait for clients to call him instead of calling them.
If he remembered something or an event that was coming up he'd mention it, and if clients asked questions or for product recommendations, he would give them.
Barber #3 was what was known as the “Drive Through.” The other barbers had given him this nickname because of how fast he cut.
He was constantly looking for another paying customer and hardly ever had conversations with the clients he was serving.
He would often stop cutting a client's hair to walk up to someone coming in the front door in order to take their money and appointment.
Can you see WHICH category of ratings these would fall under?
All things remaining equal and all services rendered the same, WHO do you think DESERVED to get better ratings, more clients, AND more increased revenue?
And this is where our reputation marketing tips will begin in garnering great ratings.
Tip #1: To Get Great Ratings Give Great Service
If you want to get better ratings and the kinds of ratings that will flood your appointment inbox, then you need to give great service.
Go above and beyond, make that extra call, check-in, give goodies during the holidays, give your clients and customers reasons to come back to you.
Here are a few things you can do in addition to the great service you provide:
Send birthday cards
Call to check up and see how they are doing
Follow up on anything they may have asked you about
Give out small gifts during Christmas (even a pen will do with your contact information)
Tip #2: Just Ask for Reviews
This may be uncomfortable for you, but if you want more reviews JUST ask.
It could be as simple as “Would you mind sharing your experience here? I'd appreciate your honest review of our services. If you can't, it' not a big deal, just thought we'd ask.”
You can make it easy for them and give them a website URL with a listing of the sites you'd like them to visit and review you on.
Put them through your review funnel.
Remember, people who receive good service may tell a few people, but people who receive bad service will tell everyone.
Remind those getting great service to tell everyone as well.
Tip #3: Make It EASIER to Review
If you have your clients and customers on an electronic mailing list then make it easier for them.
Send them an email with a link to the review site and prompt them as to the things you'd like them to mention, perhaps things like:
Ease of making an appointment
What they thought of the staff
If they would come back
If they would recommend you to others
In fact, if you are able to send an email where they can rate you directly from the email then it will make it THAT much easier for you to get the reviews you want.
Pro Tip: Check out our review of ActiveCampaign to do this
Here is an example of a review site we set up to generate reviews for our agency:
If you have a computer or tablet device in your office, then you can ask RIGHT after they get a great service.
What better time to get their thoughts than right afterward, when they are ALREADY VERY HAPPY with the service you provided.
It sounds simple and easy, and that's because it is.
Well, we could make it more complicated than that but it doesn't need to be.
If you follow the three tips we have outlined here then you really can't go wrong.
In fact, if you just follow the #1 tip we have listed, then you should be able to start getting some great reviews all by doing just that one thing.
Provide outstanding, excellent, and top-notch service. Go ABOVE and BEYOND, then go even FURTHER!
Be bold and just ASK. You've heard it before – ask and it shall be given to you. You can't get if you don't ask
Make it easy. If they need to go out of their way, then chances are that they won't do it. Put it right in front of them and make it easy for themto review you.
There you have it.
Want great reviews, then give great service.
Do you have any other ways you get reviews? Let's continue the conversation in the comments below. Also, share this post on your favorite social media network. We would greatly appreciate it!