Review outreach for local businesses is an important tool for your business. It helps you show up in industry search results and it can aid in generating new business. Potential clients or customers heavily rely on reviews to tell them what they need to know about your business. They’re also a critical part of reputation management because they allow customers to have an opinion about your business before they even step foot inside your location or pick up the phone to call you. Luckily, this industry is researched and there are steps you can follow to get those raving reviews!

Why are reviews so important for local businesses?

You may know reviews are crucial to getting customers to understand and trust your business. But why do you need them? We’re here to break it down.

  • Almost everyone reads them.
  • Online reviews are trustworthy.
    • Because they’re not controlled by the business, customers trust reviews to tell them about a company much more than they trust ads. This means positive reviews are like free brand promotion for your business!
    • Customers rely on what previous patrons have said about their experiences. They trust online reviews at almost the same level that they would trust a word of mouth review from a friend.

How do I get more reviews?

The simple answer is to ask for them! You’d be surprised how many customers would be happy to leave a review, especially if they knew it would help your business. 

  • Verbally ask for reviews.
    • While asking for a review may seem forward, it’s a beneficial way to get more positive reviews. If the person is a long time customer, expresses positive sentiments, thanks you for your time, or seems to enjoy their customer experience, asking for a review after your transaction is a cakewalk.
  • Follow up with your customers.
    • Sending an email or text message shortly after your customer makes a purchase or completes their service with you is a great way to thank them for their business and ask for a review. This process can be time consuming but luckily there are ways to automate it! At Searchalytics, we use a messaging and outreach system to collect and manage reviews so we can take it off our clients’ plates!
  • Make it easy.
    • Customers are more likely to leave reviews if their level of effort is minimal. This is why it’s great to have things in place, like a scannable QR code that takes them directly to leave a review. Placing this code on a business card, receipt, at checkout, around your store or online allows people to leave reviews easily, making them more inclined to do so. 

Are there any tips or tricks?

Yes! Let’s go over some.

  • There’s no time to lose.
    • Ask for reviews quickly after a customer has visited or purchased a product from you. This way, they do not forget their experience and are able to freshly evaluate your business.
  • Always respond to reviews.
    • Whether it’s thanking someone for their kind words, or writing an apologetic note to a dissatisfied customer, customers are glad to be acknowledged and potential customers take note of your responses. 
    • Respond to each review individually instead of copying and pasting a generic response. This shows the person who left the review that you care and inclines potential customers to trust you more.
  • A perfect rating isn’t always perfect.
    • It’s important to note that customers prefer a company with less than 5 stars overall. Customers don’t expect a perfect rating across the board and are likely to view them as fake reviews or self-promotion. If you have a few unhappy customers, don’t worry! Several studies say the magic number for reviews is between 4.2 and 4.6 stars.

Whether you’re a multi-generational business or just starting out, online reviews can add tons of value to your business. The good news is they can be easy to get if you ask. At Searchalytics, we’re happy to answer your questions about review outreach for local business and take care of your reputation management needs so you can get back to running your small business.

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