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Word of mouth marketing isn’t anything new. It’s been around for thousands of years. Since the dawn of time, humans have been sharing their best hunting and gathering spots, best leatherworker, best blacksmith. Humans innately want to help out other humans when it comes to their needs. So, how has this changed in the 21st century and with technological advances?

Online reviews.

Let’s look at a few quick stats regarding online reviews:

  1. 93% of consumers say they check reviews before dining or shopping
  2. 88% read/use reviews to determine the quality of a business or product
  3.  85% read up to 10 different reviews while researching their purchase, pointing to the fact that customers aren’t blindly accepting the first review they read
  4. Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business or product with excellent reviews
  5. 44% say a review must be written within one month to be relevant

Here is where it gets crazy:

  1. 88% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation

Wow.

Online reviews are vital to building and sustaining a strong business.

But how do you get online reviews? Many businesses only have a few, if any, online reviews when you Google them. Let’s look at the three things you can do right now to grow your online reviews.

ASK (and you shall receive)

Many businesses simply don’t ask their customers for a review after an interaction. Time is of the essence, you must ask within a couple of days post sale or interaction, this is when you are most likely to receive a positive (or negative) review. Better yet, mention it as part of your “next steps” when finishing interactions with your customers so they know to expect an email asking for a review.

When a customer or client has a positive interaction with you or your business, they will be the most willing to give a review within a couple of days. You need to begin asking for reviews in your sales process. Always have a follow-up interaction post-sale. This will help get feedback for your business or product, give you a pulse on what’s working and what isn’t, and will provide you with more public-facing reviews which drive more sales.

If a post-sale follow up asking for an online review is not a part of your sales process today, it needs to be.

Case Study:

Mike (the founder of Online Review Blueprint) reached out to a local real estate agent, Jeff. He said he was working on a new product to vastly increase online reviews and generate more business.

Jeff said he was very interested and would love to give it a shot. He only had 10 online reviews with a 4.6 average rating. Mike set up his Done-For-You Review Funnel [link] on a Thursday night. He then educated Jeff on how to ask for online reviews. The next morning Jeff had over 50 reviews on Google with a 5-star average.

It’s simple, asking for reviews works.

Interested in getting real results like Jeff? Check out the Done-For-You Review Funnel.

ADVERTISE

Once you’ve gathered some online reviews, show them off! They are worthless if you aren’t letting potential customers or clients know the positive feedback from your past customers.

Don’t be afraid to post them on your website, your social media outlets, your email signature line, and even print them on your business card. You earned these reviews with your hard work; they are yours to show.

ANALYZE

You can’t forget one of the most important steps in creating a powerful and successful online review funnel. You must analyze your results.

Look for these key things when analyzing:

  1. What is your ratio of positive to negative reviews?

If you see a lot of negative reviews, or more than you’d like, look and see what the customers are saying. Is there a common theme? Where can you put effort to make the experience better for future customers? Don’t take them personally, use them as a learning experience to grow your business.

  1. How many reviews are you receiving?

Remember, 44% of consumers say a review must be written within one month to be relevant. Are you asking often enough? Do you have timely and relevant reviews? Don’t set a static goal of reviews, set a monthly goal. Maybe it’s five new reviews a month, or 10, or 20.

  1. Measure your ROI

Figure out how much a positive review is worth to your business. Forbes recently posted a guide to calculating the ROI for reviews. It’s pretty simple.

You risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of your search results. That number increases to 44% lost business with two negative articles, and 59% with three negative articles.

Forbes goes over the specific calculations, but here’s the summary of what they’re saying:

With 1 negative review on page 1, you could have had 28% more clients than you have right now.

Now let’s say you still have one negative result, and your company earned 179 clients this year.

That would mean you missed approximately 50 clients this year.

The last step is to determine how much one client is worth to you so you can measure the missed revenue. In other words, what is their lifetime value to your business?

Let’s say each client is worth $5,600 in revenue to your company.

Using the 50 missed clients from above, at a 40% profit margin, you missed approximately $108,000 in profit this year thanks to your negative search results.

One negative review resulting in 108,000 in lost revenue really emphasizes just how powerful reviews are in affecting your business, for better or for worse. Armed with this knowledge, it becomes much easier to gauge the value of an online reputation management campaign for your company.

Armed with this knowledge, it becomes much easier to gauge the value of an online reputation management campaign for your company.

This formula and data came from Forbes; you can read the full article here. It goes much more in-depth than the above.

I encourage you to use the information above to create your own funnel of generating reviews. If you would like us to create it for you, we can do that. Check out the Done-For-You Review Funnel and sit back and relax while we handle your online reputation management.

Need some help implementing this?