Q&A with Brian Kelly: The second part of a two-part series exploring the topic.
In today’s society, the internet is the first impression for businesses. Most people will look up a business and base their purchase decision on the number of stars the business has online. They might even read the top reviews to get the inside scoop. But in either case, those five-stars or the customer’s story that accompany it are key to deciding to give it a try.
So how can you get more reviews that are authentic and robust? What are the different ways you can invite your customers to be a part of your sales process by leaving a review? Brian Kelly, folotrio’s chief technologist and customer review enthusiast, offers some insights in the second of this two-part series on the topic.
What are some of the different ways you can invite customers to give you feedback?
The approach varies from organization to organization depending on their needs, budget and goals. But bottom line, there are a lot of ways to ask. You can create a form on your website that lets your customers write a review directly. You can also share a link to your Google My Business Review Form and include it in emails, receipts, invoices, packaging and texts. In fact, on the homepage of your Google My Business account, Google provides the short link. All you have to do is click and copy it.
There are also software solutions available that streamline the process and allow businesses to request reviews and point their customers to the review sites important to their vertical. An example of this is Houzz, which is a site catering to the home improvement industry. Or if you’re in the wedding photography business, you may want to ask for reviews on The Knot.
Most businesses want access to Google and Facebook recommendations. But, there are some online review communities that are important for certain verticals.
How do you overcome a negative review? And do you respond to either positive or negative reviews in general?
Well, the focus is what others are saying about you, or about your product, that’s what Google’s really homing in on. Google’s push is yeah, you should respond. And if you’re a Google business page owner, you know that because you’ll see that Google will guide you in that process. Responding to reviews shows how attentive you are to your business processes and your customers. Facebook is the same way. They’re grading you on how quickly you respond to inquiries coming in.
Responding to reviews is important. It gives the business owner a chance to highlight their business. It gives them a chance to show how responsive they are. And it’s not always a positive situation like you say. Sometimes negative reviews come in. But that’s an opportunity, too. You want to immediately communicate to the individual who’s providing the negative review. You want to try to resolve the issue. They gave you feedback, now try to work with them on a resolution. That’s the smart decision because you want to do a better job. You want to find out what the mistake was and if you can rectify the situation to hopefully change the review.
I think that there’s a natural course that has to take place. If you have 1,000 reviews and all are five-star some people may say, “I’m not sure I trust all that.” It’s natural to have some mix of negative with the positive because you can’t please everybody all the time. You can try and do your best as a business, but you can’t do it for every single customer. And that’s just natural. But again, the important part is to respond.
Are there other forms of feedback that businesses use other than customer reviews? And how does it compare to customer reviews?
Well, I think that Google Question and Answers is the big item there. It is a focus of Google right now. If you search for a company directly, you will find the Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side of Google’s listing. If you look at the information available in the knowledge panel, there’s a question and answer section. It’s designed to help users get good answers to their search questions. And a lot of savvy business owners are already jumping on that.
Google Q&A gives anyone the opportunity to ask a question about the business. Google My Business alerts the owner when a question is posed and then monitors how quickly they respond, what their answer is, and how well it provided answers for others who may be asking the same question. And here’s the thing, anyone can answer the question. So the answer could come from the brand themselves or from another customer familiar with the business. So I think it’s certainly going to take some getting used to from a lot of business owners. If you’re a savvy business, you’re going to come up with your own questions and answers that provide helpful information to people looking for answers – and Google allows you to do this.
Need some additional guidance?
If you need assistance developing a strategy and implementing a management solution to request, respond, monitor and display reviews, get in touch to discuss how we can help you achieve that. We love talking to business owners looking to grow: firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian at 904.271.0432.