The Power of Online Reviews

Never underestimate the power of online reviews. Whether it’s on your Facebook Business Page, Google Reviews or website testimonials, gathering customer feedback is paramount to building your social proof and showing potential customers that you’re not just blowing your own trumpet – your customers think you’re pretty cool too…

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But so many businesses are afraid of turning on Facebook recommendations for fear of bad reviews, and don’t even bother checking or responding to negative feedback on Google Reviews because they’re too arrogant to admit they may be in some way responsible for the negative review.

Facebook reviews (known as recommendations) can have a huge influence over prospective customers’ decision to buy. In fact, research reveals consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, and conversions increase 133% when mobile shoppers see positive reviews before buying. 

How to delicately respond to negative reviews is an art form deserving of its own blog post, but the fact of the matter is this…

If your business doesn’t invite online reviews and brave the chance of the odd negative one, you will never receive positive testimonials to feature on your website, email marketing, social media, signage, flyers, business cards and other promotional materials.

Another Truth Bomb…

If you tried collecting reviews in the past and your business regularly received negative ones, this is indicative of poor internal processes or lousy customer service. Reviews should therefore be seen as an opportunity to rectify these issues – not prevent them from bubbling to the surface.

Negative reviews provide invaluable insights from a customer’s point of view on how your business could improve – and they’re the ones paying the bills, remember? Their reviews hold the gold to discovering underlying issues that prohibit you from receiving sparkling 5-star reviews, every time.

Ask and You Shall Receive

So how do you ask for reviews and testimonials? That part is easy. You just ask. But if you really want to increase your number of online reviews – particularly the positive ones – you have to incentivise people.

This is exactly what Vietnamese restaurant Hawker Typhoon in Highett does on the back of their menus.

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They incentivise diners with an adorable poem to leave a review in exchange for a chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate?!

The cost of the incentive (in this case a single chocolate) is negligible compared to the benefits of having a positive review from a real-life customer that can be flaunted across your marketing for years to come.

Asking for meaningful, well-written reviews that describe the customer’s journey with your business in exchange for absolutely nothing is like asking them to clear their own table at the end of the meal. They might do it, but they probably won’t.

via GIPHY

People are lazy. People are busy. And the law of reciprocity suggests that if they know they’re getting something for it, they’ll put in a decent effort to write you a testimonial worth sharing with the rest of the world.

Key Takeaways…

Turn on Facebook Recommendations, regularly read and reply to the Google Reviews on your Google Business Listing and incentivise every single customer at the end of a transaction to leave a review.

Not sure how to ask for the review, which platform to use or what kind of incentive to offer? Get in touch to request a 30-min strategy session and let’s get you five glowing reviews in the next five weeks. Guaranteed.

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