Use Reviews, Testimonials, & referrals to win business.

The Definitive Guide to Reviews

The Definitive Guide to Reviews

In this article, you will learn the importance of Reviews, Testimonials, and how to manage your business’s reputation by responding to positive and negative reviews.

The easiest customer to win over are from referrals

The best type of customers come from Word of Mouth.

 these referrals usually come from past customers or friends and family.

when a potential client reaches out to you from a referral, they come with a preconceived notion that you are great at what you do, provide reliability and assurance that they will receive the same quality work as the person who referred them.

It all starts with doing great work and have your customers brag about you instead of you bragging about yourself.

When someone is searching on Google or any other search engine, they type the keywords that describe the service they are looking for.

 When they find the business that meets their criteria, they search for reviews to find out if anyone has had any type of problems with that company in an attempt to avoid a bad service or getting ripped off.

When was the first time you decided you wanted to eat at a new restaurant? What was the first thing you did?  If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do is start looking for reviews. you open up Yelp or FourSquare and start to evaluate whether you want to eat there or not and all of this is based on the reviews and the pictures provided.

The AIDA business model teaches us about the buying process.

AIDA

A: Attention
I: Interest
D: Decision
A: Action

The people behind Wikipedia provided us with an excellent description of the AIDA business model.

“Attention – The consumer becomes aware of a category, product or brand (usually through advertising)

Interest – The consumer becomes interested by learning about brand benefits & how the brand fits with lifestyle

Desire – The consumer develops a favorable disposition towards the brand

Action – The consumer forms a purchase intention, shops around, engages in trial or makes a purchase”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDA_(marketing)

Look at what I have to offer, Did I get your attention? Now you are aware.
Are you interested? I know you are.
Are you ready to make a decision? Is anything holding you back?
Action! Do you want to buy?

In the decision stage, the buyer evaluates the value vs the risk and very few things disrupt the buying process then a collection of negative reviews.

Reputation

Reputation is everything! Guard it with your life. 

I jump straight into the negative reviews. I want to see the one stars and two stars and find out why they decided to give that business that score.

After I analyze the negative reviews then I start reading the positive reviews and I also look at the ratio between good reviews and bad reviews.

 One complaint out of a hundred isn’t the same thing as one complaint out of five.

Reviews provide reassurance that you were capable of providing exceptional service.  Most people don’t purchase until they have researched the pros and cons of the product or service they are interested in.

Customer Acquisition

People ask themselves all the time, “How can I find better customers?” when they should be asking themselves, “How can better customers find me.”

The canvas business model teaches us the importance of delivering our value proposition to our target audience.

In the third section of the canvas diagram, we learned the importance of reaching our customers. 

 and in the fourth section, we define the type of relationship we want to have our customers.

 Repeat business creates sustainability for our business.

When customers search for the products and services that you provide, they need to find you. You need to ask yourself, “is the information available in the local search directories correct?” is there an address the shows the location of my business, are there reviews that vouch for the quality of my work?

You need to make sure that the information available to your customer is updated and correct across all platforms.

Reviews

How do I collect reviews?

Reviews are usually something that happens organically, however positive reviews can be encouraged after providing exceptional service. 

You should be creating a testimonial database. Whenever someone says something nice about your business, screenshot it and archive it in a folder.

You will use these screenshots to persuade potential customers to do business with you.

On WordPress, you can use tools to request and post testimonials right on your site with Thrive Ovation.

You can request reviews through email, social media, or you can use the best way, Human interaction. There is nothing like a person to person talk.

It is a great practice to solicit a review while the customer’s experience is fresh.

If it is a product that they purchased, give them some time to use the product and then follow up with a request to review the item they purchased.

Should I provide customers with an incentive for a positive review?

Providing incentives 4 reviews is a common practice at first glance it seems like a great idea and it does work but it also blemishes the integrity all of you reviews, it makes people question whether you paid for all the positive reviews that you have.

While the company’s intentions may be completely innocent the message conveyed is the opposite. 

I first came across this practice in restaurants offering a free dessert for a review and while in certain circumstances the business may get away with it the business must evaluate whether the risk of a blemish reputation is worth the paid review.

Should I start with fake reviews until I get business?

There is no quicker way to lose all credibility than to lie to prospective customers.  not only is it unethical but if discovered you will destroy the integrity of your business.

Should I host my own reviews on my website?

Reviews should not just be hosted in one location they should be available in all of the relevant platforms.

You should have reviews on your site and most importantly in the Google my business directory so that when your customers type the keywords to describe your products and services and your business shows up they can see that there are people you have done business with you and are happy with the results.

Tip: When accepting reviews on your site only allow customers that have purchased your products or services to submit a review.

How should I respond to Reviews?

How should I respond to Positive reviews?

You want to provide a personalized response. Analyze the reviewer’s message, address them by name and respond to them accordingly.

Thank them for their review and supplement their comments with any information that is relevant to the review and brings awareness to your products and services. Invite them back to your business!

Try to transmit your why.

When you are responding to a review, it is a public response. If the review provides the opportunity to bring awareness, take it.

If your business provides fitness solutions and the reviewer leaves a message like this or similar: “Thanks for the free class! You guys are great.”

Consider responding with: Thanks for coming [{Name}]! Our goal is to help people reach their fitness goals with our “Stay Fit Program“. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Get ready for the next class! We have something exciting to share with you! Bring a friend!

Quick Recap:

  • Personalize response with the reviewer’s name.
  • Provide supplemental information to create awareness of your products and services.
  • Thank the reviewer for taking the time to review your business.
  • Invite the reviewer back to your business.

Why Do people leave bad reviews?

Customers leave bad reviews when their expectations are not met.

When they feel they have not received what they were promised and paid for, they usually leave a negative review to warn their friends or family, but usually they do it out of spite.

when someone has a bad experience they tell everyone. They post their experience on social media. they want to make sure that the world knows and avoids the business that has done them wrong.

How do I respond to negative reviews?

When responding to negative reviews, put your ego away and apologize for the unsatisfactory experience.

Remember that your response is public and everyone wants to know that when things don’t meet the desired expectations, your company is willing to make things right.

If the customer has left you a negative review, be sure to publicly let them know that you will reach out to them personally to discuss how you can make up for the bad experience.

If the customer’s point is not valid, apologize for the bad experience, show empathy in your response and ask them to reach out to you to discuss the situation further.

What do I do if someone leaves a bad review?

How you deal with bad reviews is a reflection of your business. It will determine if future potential clients will purchase from you or not. 

If a customer leaves a negative review

If the Business provides high volume traffic like a restaurant where the customers are anonymous, consider answering like this:

Hello [{Name}],
We are sorry that you have had this negative experience. New processes are in place and we aim to improve our service. We appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to contact us directly to let us know how we could have better served you. We would hate to lose you as a customer. Please give us the opportunity to make things right.

Warmest regards,
[{Business Name}]

If the Business provides a personalized experience where the business has the customers information, consider answering like this:

Hello [{Name}],
We are sorry that you have had this negative experience. We are interested in understanding what went wrong and improving our service. We appreciate your feedback. We will be reaching out to you shortly to make things right.

Please feel free to contact us directly to let us know how we could have better served you. Please come back, we want you as a customer.

Quick Recap:

  • Put your ego away.
  • Apologize for the bad experience.
  • Address their concerns.
  • Promise to reach out to them personally to make things right.
  • Let them know you want to keep them as a customer.

Our customers are the fuel that runs our business. No customers equal no business. Remove any reason for current or potential customers from not using your services to satisfy their needs.

Should I delete the bad reviews on my website?

Deleting reviews is not always possible when using third party review hosting sites or the suggested course of action.

As long as the review is not disrespectful, it should stay. Customers should be freely able to express their opinions about your products and services which they have purchased. While no business desires negative reviews, they serve as a testimonial to the Authenticity of the reviews. 

they’re always going to be happy customers and upset customers.

As business owners, it is imperative to address the negative customer reviews and respond with a willingness to make things right with that customer.

What is the difference between destructive criticism and constructive criticism?

Destructive Criticism is “your service sucks”

Constructive criticism is “your service can be improved… You are doing thisYou should do this instead… because…”

Constructive criticism provides a roadmap to the solution while destructive criticism does not provide any value and aims at putting down a product, service or person.

Consider only deleting a review if one of these conditions is true:

  • The Review is offensive or disrespectful.
  • The review has profanity.

All reviews are not created equal.

A positive review from an industry expert can create an increase in sales, while a negative review from the same expert/influencer can tarnish your image.

A positive review or testimonial from an industry expert/influencer positions your brand as an authority in your field and helps establish trust with prospective clients.

Network & Build Authority within your industry

Networking with the experts in your field is an essential process that you can implement to gain credibility in your business.

What is Better a review or a Testimonial, what is the difference?

Reviews can be good or bad but testimonials provide positive reinforcement for the quality of your product or service. 

What is better video testimonials or written testimonials?

 The short answer is, video testimonials provide stronger reinforcement Than written testimonials. The important thing is to have testimonials regardless of whether they’re written or on video.

What makes a Good Testimonial?

A good testimonial effectively illustrates transformation. How was I or my business before I engaged with your product or services and what resulted from using your products or services? 

What are the top services for offsite reviews?

  1. Google my Business
  2. Trust Pilot
  3. SiteJabber
  4. Yelp
  5. FourSquare
  6. Facebook Business Page

What do people see when they find your business online and see that you have little to no reviews?

Little to no reviews emits a presence of little to no experience with real clients. Not having reviews is hurting your business.

Now let’s get you some Reviews

Step 1: Go to the Google My Business page & Login: https://www.google.com/business/

Step 2: Go to the box that reads “Get your first review” and copy the link in the box.

Step 3: Send this link to your current customers requesting a review.

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this article.

Now is a great time to start responding to reviews in a way that is engaging and provides awareness of your products and services.

I encourage you to write in the comments any great tips you use when responding to reviews.

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