By Samuel Solis, Senior Internet Marketing Consultant
If you’ve worked with any marketing agency or have read up on what’s important for your practice’s digital presence, then you’ve almost certainly heard of the importance of online reviews. In case you haven’t, here are some easily convincing statistics:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 90% of consumers read fewer than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
- 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
- 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
As you can see, fresh reviews are very important. So, having a consistent monthly process built into how you operate is the best way to make sure you’re always reaching out for reviews from previous customers.
The biggest fear amongst my clients regarding reviews is, “what if someone writes a bad review?” That question then usually leads into a conversation on how to control what people write in reviews. The short answer to that is, you can’t. However, there are ways for you to influence what people write.
Use A Review Platform
The best and first thing you can do when you want to start focusing on reviews is to buy into a review platform. The review platform that we offer at Page 1 Solutions will make your reachout efforts much more effective and efficient.
With our platform, you can:
- Send email or text message review requests with followup reminders
- Stop negative reviews from being posted
- Have a beautiful review stream to showcase all the reviews you’ve received on multiple websites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and many more
It can do a lot more, but those are the most popular and effective features.
Be Selective With Review Requests
Even though you don’t have much control over what a client writes about your practice, you do have control over who you request reviews from. This is your most powerful resource.
Every business has a select number of loyal customers, and every business has a sense of which customers had a bad, good or great experience. With these two customer assets, you can select, with almost 100% certainty, people who will leave a positive review.
I recommend my clients send out review requests 2 quarters back from the present day, especially for plastic surgeons. You want to wait until the patient has had time to heal and realize the full benefits of their procedure. Sending a review request to a patient who got a breast augmentation a week ago probably isn’t the best candidate.
When using the email and/or text invite for people to write reviews, you can customize the message with leading questions to influence what they write. For example, if you’re a lawyer and you see that some reviews for competitors were complaining about the competitors’ lack of communication with clients, then you should focus your reviews on how you get back to clients in a more timely manner. You can spread that information via reviews. In your review reminder message, you can add a line saying something like:
“Let us know how our communication with you was. Did we return your calls or emails within a reasonable amount of time?”
This cue will then hopefully influence the review that the person leaves so they mention how fast you got back to them. I say “hopefully” because they can still ignore your cue and write whatever they want. But, if you were selective about whom you sent the review request to, they’ll likely take the cue and mention it.
With the combination of a straightforward review platform, leading questions and targeted outreach to happy customers, you’ll be doing everything you have control over to influence your clients into leaving positive reviews and highlight certain aspects of their experience.
If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about reputation and review management, please contact your Internet Marketing Consultant online or by calling Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.