Google Review Link How To Guide

Google Review Link [How To]

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With more than 90% of customers researching online before making contact with a business, having positive Google reviews is great for SEO and vital to the success of any small to medium enterprise. In this guide we’ll show you how to create a short Google review link in under 5 minutes so you can start to generate more online reviews.

Businesses need positive reviews in order to turn browsers into buyers. Google business reviews in particular are widely trusted, often as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members: because they are linked to a personal email address customers can be far more confident that they’re genuine.

With more than 80% of customers using Google for their searches, it makes sense to ask your customers to leave a review on your Google My Business page. You can email them asking them to take a moment to give you a review and make it extra easy for them by creating a direct link to leave Google business reviews. If your customer doesn’t have a Google account, you might prefer to ask them to Facebook reviews instead.

Google reviews are seen as increasingly important way of increasing trust and CTR (click through rate: the ratio of visitors who click on a link to the total number who view the website). With as few as five or six reviews on your Google My Business page, your Google ranking will improve and you should start to see an increase in visitors to your website.

3 Steps to Creating Your Google Review Link:

Step 1 – First you need to find your Google business Place ID using this web page:

https://developers.google.com/places/place-id

On this page click on the “Enter a Location” box and type in your business name.

A drop down list will appear: click on your business name and your Place ID will be shown on the map:

google review link finder

Step 2 – Now you have this unique ID jud add it to the end of the following url:

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ADDIDHERE

That’s it  – you’ve now successfully created your Google business review link. You can make the process even simpler for your customers by shortening the link; to do this, visit https://goo.gl/, go to the Google URL shortener and sign in. Paste your long Google review link into the “Paste your long URL here” field and click on the “Shorten URL” button.

Step 3 – Email or text your customer asking for a review

You don’t want to annoy them, so you should keep your email short and to the point. Just thank them for their custom, ask them to spare a few moments to give you a review and include the direct link that you’ve just created; if you regularly text your clients, a text message asking for a review works just as well.

If you don’t ask, you won’t get

To get what you want, in business as in life, you have to ask for it: the key to getting more reviews of your business is to ask for them and to make it as easy as possible for customers to leave you a review. An array of positive public reviews on Google My Business is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help your business grow.

How to add reviews to your Facebook Page

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Facebook reviews are a critical part of any businesses’ online marketing strategy, they demonstrate credibility, approachability, and show your prospective customers that you can be trusted. In this article we’ll show you how to add reviews to your Facebook page in 4 simple steps.

Making sure your customers leave reviews of your business can be a tricky process, even though actually leaving reviews is quite straightforward. That’s because the perceived effort can be quite high.

So why not make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave feedback for you – whether it’s reviews on Google, Tripadvisor, or Facebook page reviews.

The first step of the process is to make sure that reviews are enabled on your Facebook page:

  1. Go to Settings on the top right corner of your page.
  2. Then click on Edit Page on the left hand side.
  3. Make sure that the Reviews option is showing and that Show Reviews is selected.
  4. If you’re not seeing Reviews just select Add a Tab at the bottom of the page and select Reviews.

Here is where you’ll also find your Facebook page direct review link that you can share directly with your customers that takes them to the Reviews section of your business page.

Facebook page direct review link

Facebook’s structure makes this very easy to do manually too.

You simply add /reviews/ to the end of the address of your Facebook page.

So for example if I wanted to gather reviews for The Ritz Hotel in London my page address is:

https://www.facebook.com/theritzlondon/

The reviews page would be:

https://www.facebook.com/theritzlondon/reviews/

And that’s it. As you drive more of your customers to this page your Facebook reviews will increase.

But bear in mind if you ask all of your customers to leave Facebook reviews you’ll inevitably pick up a few negative ones along the way. Using a service like Review Miner enables you to screen out customers who have had a negative experience before you send them to your Facebook business page to leave a review.

Segment Your Customers For More Sales

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Knowing your customer based on their group or sub-group is what segmentation is all about. Essentially, it’s the separation of your customer based on certain demographics, preferences, or previous feedback.

In a previous blog post we discussed the idea of making your request for an online review appropriate. With segmentation, the process is taken a step further. If your customer feedback isn’t segmented in any way, then it can have at least two negative effects: Firstly, anyone reading a review of your business can’t tell whether they are looking at something that is relevant to their needs. Secondly, it means you will find it harder to respond to any review you receive appropriately.

Let’s look at an example of how reviews that aren’t segmented can have a negative impact – Reviews of a travel agent that aren’t segmented might bundle in the experiences of business travellers alongside family holidaymakers. Both groups probably have different expectations of the service they looking for. If a family is looking up a review of your services because they are thinking of booking a week away in the sun, then they really don’t need to look at a long list of reviews of business class flights to city destinations. Likewise, an unsegmented set of reviews will mean that business and first class travellers are exposed to the opinions of people who are operating from the perspective of a very different price point.

Thankfully in many cases online review sites now let users only see reviews that are relevant to their needs, by using filters.

But segmenting gets really powerful when you start doing the segmentation yourself – creating customer lists based on factors like whether they had a positive or negative experience with your company, marketing (or not) to these groups, and looking for patterns in the negative reviews you receive.

Segmenting By Experience

If a business asks all of its customers for online reviews before it takes the time to segment them based on experience, then they will inevitably run the risk of increasing the proportion of negative reviews it receives. You can see the sort of problems that might occur as you begin to solicit a greater number of reviews by looking at your competitors reviews. Examine the age, education level and other preferences of your competitors’ reviewers and look for any trends you can identify with the type of person that is most likely to be negative when reviewing. Once you have done so, you can be all the more careful in your approach with the same segment of your customers.

By correctly identifying the more problematic segments among your client group – not problematic customer exactly – you are better positioned to either improve your service offering in the first place or to mitigate the sort sort of negative reviews you might receive. For example, it may lead you to more carefully nuance the questions you ask when seeking feedback so that more positive, or at least less negative, customer comments are made.

Gilead Sciences – A Case Study in Segmentation to Better Understand Customer Experiences

According to the Harvard Business Review, the case study of the globally known Gilead Sciences offers an excellent insight into the failure to understand the experiences and expectations of a segment of a client group. Crucially, this study demonstrates that basic dissatisfaction with a business can lead to a much wider failure to reach out to the affected segment. Gilead, a bioscience company, discovered its problem following the development of a new drug therapy. Upon releasing it, they were pleased that sales to new patients needing a therapy of this type were good. However, despite the medication offering certain advantages over existing ones, the marketing team also noticed that sales to patients who were already undergoing treatment were nowhere near as strong.

Gilead sought consumer feedback reviews and discovered that among patients for whom the therapy was developed there was a level of trust that was needed that they had not accounted for. Among their chosen segment, switching medications turned out to be a very different process from opting for an alternative cold remedy, for example. When dealing with a more serious condition, the company’s marketing team learned through segmentation that its target patients – those with HIV/AIDS – were much more focussed on the potential side effects of any new therapy rather than the potential benefits it would bring.

As a result of this sort of segmented market research, Gilead redirected its marketing message to place a heavier emphasis on the new drug’s lower levels of serious adverse effects, as had been established during field trials. Furthermore, the business also chose to segment the patients’ doctors according to their their willingness to prescribe new medications compared with established ones. Following this exercise, the marketing team basically made it psychologically easier for patients to switch from their existing therapy to the new one and for medical professionals to recommend doing so. As a result, the market share of the business’ principal competitor dropped by around a third.

If you’d like to know more about segmenting your customers based on their feedback why not take a look at our free customer feedback training course; 5 step sto 5 stars.

Customer Survey Questions Blog Post

What Customer Survey Questions Should I Use?

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What Customer Survey Questions Should I Use – Better Online Reviews Part II

In part one we discussed the importance of precisely when you ask for customer feedback, in part two we’ll look at what goes into great customer survey questions.

A mistake that’s frequently made by business owners and marketing professionals when they are soliciting a review of their business’ service is simply asking too many questions.

Just like getting the timing wrong, putting a huge list of questions to your customers becomes irksome. Even clients who have felt positively about the entire sales process can end up leaving you a downbeat review if you go on and on drilling down into every aspect of your business. It is worth bearing in mind, after all, that some questions you might ask are going to be entirely irrelevant to certain customers depending on why they have turned to your business in the first place. For instance, if you sell food, then why would you ask a question about how well the food was heated if the customer in question has only bought a sandwich? This example brings us neatly to the subject of appropriateness.

Be Appropriate With Your Questions

If your line of questioning in an online review form is too generic, then it can often lead people filling them in with few genuine insights. This means that the entire process feels too robotic and impersonal. Not all of your customers are the same, nor do they come to you for the same reasons, so your questions should be tailored to an extent. Perhaps you offer a tiered service, for example. Ask yourself why a customer who has opted for a ‘bronze level’ of service would want to answer questions about your ‘gold’ or ‘premium level’ services. They have already opted out of them, after all. Equally, if you want specific feedback about a product or service that your company offers, then target your questions about these things to clients who have actually tried them out. This is particularly important when you have something new or that is in development because some clients will be confused about reviewing an aspect of your business they may never have heard of and offer you a poor review as a consequence.

Of course, in some cases tailoring your review questions can be automated, depending on the sort of business you run. Online companies who have their sales channels operate entirely through software should be able to narrow down their questions following a sale so that they are appropriate to the type of customer, for example based on what has been bought, whether they are located overseas or whether they have bought something for themselves or somebody else. Although intelligent software will allow for this sort of bespoke questioning, it is not really practical for bricks and mortar business who are seeking a testimonial or review in a face-to-face situation.

Always Keep it Short

When you ask for customers to review you, limit the number of questions you ask. Okay, there is no hard and fast rule for the appropriate number of questions. Again, it will depend on your business. Ten or even a dozen questions might be appropriate if you are engaged in selling a top end or luxury product – such as an ocean going yacht, for example – with lots of options and tiers to the sales process. On the other hand, few people will want to respond to more than two or three questions if they have purchased an everyday consumer or household item from you where a lower level of service would be expected.

Either way, it is important to keep an upper limit on the number of questions you ask in mind. This is essential even if you want to capture lots of customer insights in order to improve your service offering going forwards. Too much questioning and the process becomes a hassle for clients and their goodwill will soon burn up. Four or five fully considered questions put at the right time are preferable to ten or so even if you might gain more detailed analysis because most clients get fed up with a review procedure that seemingly never ends.

Always Keep it Simple

When putting together your list of questions, it is essential that you use everyday language that all of your clients will be able to understand without re-reading. Technical jargon and specialist terminology may be a requirement depending on the nature of your business, but explain any acronyms you might use as you go. Questions should not be too wordy and therefore you should always opt for a shorter form of words over a longer form even if this means you are not able to nuance the questioning in the exact way you would like. Your questions should focus on the customer experience and prompt them to think about the way in which they have been handled from the start to the end of the process. Don’t ask pie-in-the-sky questions about your brand personality or things that are potentially controversial. Simplicity always wins when it comes to soliciting a good review from a customer who feels at ease with the process.

Always Keep it Open

Closed questions give you little room for manoeuvre if there is any negativity. For instance, if you ask whether a customer approves of the way they have been greeted, then you are only likely to elicit a yes or no response. Instead, you ought to put the question more like, “How would you rate the way in which you were greeted?” Even if a customer thinks you could improve in this area, they are more likely to give you a balanced review which reflect the good things as well as the bad.

Secondly, some customer survey questions are better at encouraging helpful feedback which you can really use to improve in the future. For instance, asking “Why did you choose us?” is an open question which focuses the customer’s response onto their positive engagement of your business in the first place.

Want to find out our top tips for getting better online reviews?  Take a look at our free business review training course – 5 Steps To 5 Stars.

Better Online Reviews – Part One

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All businesses can do with better online reviews. Even if your business is of the bricks and mortar type, as opposed to operating entirely in the online world, your internet-based reputation is crucial. This is because many customers, new and existing, will seek out the opinions of others. Without adequate reviews, you may find that existing customers try out your competitors. Equally, a lack of good online reviews can mean that some would-be clients are put off, perhaps wondering whether or not you are a genuine business at all.

Many small and medium enterprises rely just as much on word of mouth recommendations to gain new business and to grow as they do on traditional marketing techniques. In the online world, you can consider your online reviews to be the equivalent of a word of mouth recommendation or testimonial. Indeed, research has shown that 84 per cent of people trust online reviews just as much as they would a word of mouth recommendation.

If you think that your existing online reviews are letting your business down a bit or you don’t have any at all, then read on to discover the five steps to success. By following them, any business – from tech start-ups to traditional retail enterprises – can gain a greater foothold in the online marketing war and reap the benefits for years to come. After all, around seven out of every ten customers that is asked to leave a review will do so, so long as you ask them in the appropriate manner.

Step 1 – Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to obtaining a positive review for your business. If you ask at the get go, then it is likely to get in the way of the sales cycle and can even put people off placing an order in the first place. Obviously, if you are selling products rather than services, then it is a bit premature to ask for a review before the customer has had the chance to try out their new gadget. On the other hand you don’t want to be so laid back about requesting a review that the customer has forgotten all about their experience with you by the time you get around to it.

Bear in mind that asking for a review at the appropriate time will likely lead to a positive response. If you get the timing wrong, on the other hand, then you are likely to annoy the customer and – even if you have done everything else well in the sales process – this can lead to a negative review. Given that the very last thing business owners and marketing professionals want is to generative negativity from the clients ahead of them producing an online review, you should tread carefully. It is something of a balancing act. The right moment to ask for a review will very much depend on the sort of business that you run and the way in which you handle customers. Let’s examine that a little further.

The Personal Approach

According to the marketing columnist Brian Patterson, by far the best way of soliciting an online review is to ask for one in person. He cites the example of a furniture store where a member of the sales team helps customers to find their perfect sofa from those on display in the showroom. The same may be said of car dealerships and art galleries: indeed anywhere where there is a soft approach to selling and guiding customers toward the point of sale in a personal environment. Patterson says that a ‘mini-bond’ is built up throughout such sales processes which enable salespeople to ask for a review or feedback form to be completed. Of course, in business environments like these, the sales skill of the professionals involved helps to ensure the timing is right.

Many enterprises of this type do well to ask about online reviews at the point ‘the paperwork’ is being sorted out. Once customers have committed to an order and perhaps the financing or delivery options are being run through, it is the perfect time to ask whether the customer would consider reviewing. Ideally, the request will come towards the end of the sales appointment or when the purchase is finalised. Never demand an online review outright. Some customers don’t like this and will go out of their way to criticise your business if you are deemed to be too pushy. Instead, only ask whether the customer would consider writing one for you. If they say they’d prefer not to, then drop it. You will only end up with a negative review if you proceed anyway. Not only does this help you to weed out negative reviews before they happen, but assists you in keeping your clients happy and focussed on the sale your are currently making.

Guidance for E-Commerce Businesses

If your business is online, then it is harder to judge the exact time to request a review because of the lack of personal interactions. The screen customers see to confirm their order has been accepted is perhaps the most appropriate. Alternatively, send a post-sale email. Either way, give your clients the option to opt out of reviewing you if they wish. Few people feel positively about an online sales process which has too many pop-up screens to navigate through, a problem if you are overly keen to solicit a review or two.

Getting the Balance Right

Finally, it is a common mistake to request a review too late in the sales cycle. Sending out a follow up questionnaire or email months afterwards can comes across as a little desperate or even fake. It may even prompt dissatisfied customers to review you in a more negative light than they otherwise would have done. Timing your request a little earlier will augment the level of positive reviews you obtain, whilst going in later will galvanise people who view you negatively to vent their frustrations publicly.

If you find that you are not able to intercept negative reviews and deal with minor niggles customers have, then make sure you are asking for reviews sufficiently early in the sales cycle. Experiment with the exact timing and try to ask when you have the customer fully engaged in the sales process. After all, few customers place orders or buy items when they are feeling negatively so this is the ideal time to capture their positive feelings towards your business.

Now take a look at part two of this post, where we discuss the types of customer survey questions you ask.

In the meantime have you checked out our free email course: 5 Steps To 5 Stars?