Whether we like it or not, online reviews hold powerful sway over a business's reputation and success. Among the myriad platforms available, Google Reviews is one of the most popular tools to showcase your business's excellence and build trust among potential customers.
A 2022 study found that a whopping 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than those consulting any other review site. Yelp ranks second at 45.2 percent, followed by TripAdvisor and Facebook.
Positive Google Reviews can boost your local SEO, elevate your rankings and help you attract more customers. So, how can you encourage these glowing testimonials that truly reflect your outstanding service? Here are six proven strategies we recommend to make those positive Google Reviews pour in.
1. Deliver outstanding customer service
Nowadays, customer expectations are high, and competition is stronger than ever before, so if you want to be the top-rated local mechanic, you need to offer a 120% customer service experience that exceeds expectations.
Whether you're a skilled tradesperson, a seasoned professional, or a hospitable host, going above and beyond for your customers creates memorable experiences they'll want to sing about from the rooftops.
Set time aside to review your customer journey and all the touch points a customer experiences during their experience with your business. Make a list of every interaction, from searching for your contact number on your Google Business Profile (GBP), to the parking bay in front of reception, to the hole-riddled socks on the feet of the scruffy tradesman. Then, start fine-tuning to make every interaction worth raving about.
2. Create a wow factor
The aim of the game is to have every customer rave about their experience over the dinner table that evening because it was that noteworthy.
Rather than offering just a good service, introduce a ‘wow factor’ that exceeds expectations. It doesn’t have to be costly or complicated, just a little out of the ordinary - something personal that leaves the customer feeling special.
An example of a wow factor in action could be the mechanic that, rather than offering a 5% discount on new tyres, strikes up a deal with the cafe across the road and gives their customers a coffee voucher so they can wait at the cafe with hot coffee and magazines rather than clock watching in their clinical waiting room.
A unique touch leaves a lasting impression that customers can't wait to rave about!
3. Simply ask
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple request. Don't be shy about asking satisfied customers to leave a Positive Google Review. Put together a simple script that all your employees can follow when finishing a job with a client.
Mention that their feedback can help others discover the outstanding service you offer. The emphasis here is simple; make sure it’s something your employees can say naturally. People generally like to stick to their word, so as long as you make it easy for them to do so (check out step 5), the chances are they’ll follow through.
Remember, the more you ask, the more likely you are to receive.
4. Incentivise your team
Happy employees are the face of your business and can be your greatest advocates.
Encourage your team to actively request reviews from happy customers. Consider introducing an incentive where employees receive rewards for hitting their review targets.
Perhaps offer lunch for the team member whose name is mentioned in the most reviews throughout September, or maybe the office shuts early on Friday when you reach your goal of 500 positive reviews!
5. Simplify the review process
This is super important. Make leaving a review a breeze for your customers. There are several ways you can do this, and they’ll all help towards achieving review success.
- Send a follow-up email or text to customers after their service with a link to your GBP
- Generate a QR code with a link to your GBP and display it in the office or on the back of review cards that you leave on the benchtop after the job is complete.
- Use better to betterbunch to follow up with your customers after the job is complete, prompting your customers to leave reviews if they were happy or to give feedback if the experience wasn't worth raving about. Check out how it works here.
- Add a link to your GBP at the bottom of your email signature so every email you send has the potential to generate glowing reviews.
6. Dedicate time to proactive review management
Consistency is key, so schedule weekly time to actively manage your reviews. Use this time to respond to your Google Reviews, check that your team are still asking for reviews, and reward and motivate staff for hitting those review goals.
Remember to track the progress of your wow factor to make sure it's still 'wow-ing' and regularly review your customer journey to make sure your customer service is always polished.
- Provide outstanding customer service to create memorable experiences.
- Create a unique "wow" factor that sets you apart.
- Ask customers directly for reviews after delivering excellent service.
- Incentivize staff to request reviews and share their enthusiasm.
- Simplify the review process for customers to leave feedback easily.
- Dedicate time to proactive review management and responding to reviews.