One of the most important things to know as a business owner is that people do business with those that they know, like, and trust. Getting people to know you and like you comes from marketing your local business and educating customers through various touch points and communications.
But how do you get customers to trust your business enough to engage your services? The answer is online reviews, and more specifically, Google reviews. Here’s why.
The customer journey typically starts with a simple Google search. Let’s say a customer grabs their phone and does a quick Google search for “junk removal near me” and they see two local business results.
One of the business listings has multiple reviews with a total 4.5 star rating, the other listing only has 1 review and its from a year ago.
Who do you think the customer is going to contact first? Yep, you guessed it, the one with all the reviews.
In this article we are going to explore how you can get more 5-star Google reviews for your business and how you can leverage them to grow your business even further.
The “5 Things You Need to Get Right” to Getting More Google Reviews
In a recent episode on the Blue Crocus Solutions YouTube channel, Lewis caught up with a local business owner and marketer Bobby Walker. Bobby has 800+ Google reviews for his power washing business in Florida and he shared his own process called the “5 rights” to getting more reviews on Google.
Here are the “5 rights” to getting more Google reviews:
1. You Need to Have the Right Mindset
Too many business owners are heard saying that “people don’t leave google reviews in my market”. This is the wrong mindset because the reality is, everyone is willing and capable to leave a review for a business. Think about what a customer does when they are unhappy with a product or service. They will move heaven and earth to leave a bad review and they’ll scream from the rooftops to make themselves feel better about the poor experience they endured.
So before you decide to give up on trying to get more Google reviews for your business, you need to have the right mindset and the belief that reviews are possible in any market.
2. You Need the Right Script
If you ask your customer “can you leave us a google review” then your chances of actually getting a review are slim to none. The way you ask for a review, your script, needs to be purposeful. “We want to do such a great job and give you such a great experience that you leave us a 5-star google review and you’ll want to tell your friends and family about us”.
As long as you follow-through and deliver a great experience and use the right script when it comes to asking for reviews, your chances of getting a good Google review will be greatly increased.
3. The Timing Must be Right
If you want your customer to leave you a review, the timing must be right. The thing about timing, however, is that you don’t always know when the time is right. This is why you need to ask at the start of the process, using the script we discussed in point 2, and you also need to ask multiple times, including at the end of the job.
To draw on the experience of another marketing professional that recently featured on the Blue Crocus YouTube channel, Jeff Glass, you should speak to your customer just as you are finishing off the job and say something like “I just wanted to make sure we’ve given you a 5-star experience, is there anything we’ve missed?”. Following this, before you leave, you can approach the customer and say “hey we would love to get more great clients just like you, is it ok if I send a link to your phone so you can leave us a review?”.
If you’ve done a great job and used the right script at the right time, you will find yourself easily getting reviews.
4. The Right Convenience
Let’s be realistic. It’s a bit of a pain to go out of your way and leave a Google review. This is why you need to make it as convenient as possible for your customers. When you’re finishing off the job, remind them about the review and send a link to their phone, as we’ve just covered in the previous step.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a review at the right time though. Life gets in the way and sometimes people just forget so make sure you follow up in 24 hours.
You should also consider leaving behind a printed card with a QR code they can scan to leave a review. You need to make it easy for your customers and sometimes, you need to give them a gentle reminder.
5. The Right Automation
The final “right” that you need to nail if you want to get more business reviews is automation. As a business owner, you get busy yourself. So it’s not always easy to keep following up with customers that have not yet left you a review.
Sometimes it makes sense to pay for a service that helps automate the entire review request and follow-up process.
This step isn’t completely essential, but it certainly does help when your business gets to a certain level.
Bonus Tip – Personalized Reviews
Training your staff to ask for reviews is essential, and it can help you get more reviews if done properly. Train your staff to use a script like “when you leave the review, mention my name in the review, and I will get a bonus at work”.
Customers will find great satisfaction in leaving a review for the actual person, not just the company. This also forces customers to leave a more thoughtful review about the actual staff member, rather than just giving a star rating and writing something like “great job.”
Where to Find Your Google Reviews Link
If you’re following the advice above and making it as easy as possible for your customers to leave a review, then you’ll need to know where to find your Google reviews link.
First, you’ll need to be logged in to your Google account that manages your Google Business listing.
Go to business.google.com and you should see something similar to the following image.
Click on the “See Your Profile” button and you’ll be taken to a Google page with a range of options to help you manage your business listing.
Click on “Ask for reviews” and you’ll see a popup with your link, which you can copy, along with some options to help you share your review link.
We recommend copying this link and pasting it into emails, SMS and any other methods of communication that you are using to ask your customers for reviews.
How do I Delete Google Reviews?
If you don’t like a Google review you’ve received and you want to remove it, you might be disappointed to hear that you can’t remove reviews under most circumstances.
Google strives to provide transparent and fair service with its Google business platform, so it doesn’t allow business owners to remove reviews. This is the best way to maintain the integrity of the platform.
There are certain scenarios in which you can report reviews to Google and potentially have them removed, including some of the following:
- Fake reviews appear on your profile
- Reviews are inappropriate or not related to your business
- Reviews are created by someone in support of a competitor
If you want to report reviews to Google, go to the review in question and click the three dots in the right hand side corner. Click “Report review”, at which point you will be taken to a choice of options to select.
Your report may not be a success and Google may not remove the review, but you can appeal the decision. Sometimes the best way is to just get more genuine 5-star reviews to bury the fake or misleading poor reviews!
Should I Buy Google 5 Star Reviews?
Under no circumstances should you ever buy Google reviews. Not only is this against Google’s guidelines, it could actually be against the law. You should also never offer an incentive for a customer to leave a review either.
The best and only way to get genuine 5-star Google reviews for your business is to do a great job that is worthy of a review. By all means follow the steps in this guide to help you get more reviews, but never be tempted to buy reviews.
Tips to Make the Most out of Your Reviews
Not only can you implement some fool-proof processes into your business to get more Google reviews, you can leverage the reviews to improve your business’ reputation and get more jobs.
Here’s how to make the most out of your Google reviews:
Always Respond to Reviews
Every single review should have a response from your business, regardless of whether they are positive reviews or not. Always be professional and don’t be afraid to state the facts in response to a poor review. The most important thing is to avoid getting emotional if you’re responding to a poor review. Remain calm, cool and professional and leave it at that.
Display Google Reviews on Your Website
You should proudly display your reviews on your website for everyone to see. Whenever we build a website for local business, we make sure to include a section just for Google reviews. It’s important to leverage the powerful social proof of the reviews that you worked hard to get!
Use Reviews in Your Marketing and Advertising
If you’re running ads on a platform like Facebook where images or videos are used, take screenshots of your reviews and use them! Make reference to your reviews in your marketing and advertising wherever possible.
The Final Word on Getting More Google Reviews
Now you’ve got a solid strategy to work with, getting more Google reviews for your local business should be a breeze!
You won’t win them all, but the more you ask, the more you will get. It takes time to accumulate reviews on Google, but even a few 5-star reviews is a lot better than having none at all.
As a final tip, don’t hesitate to contact past customers and let them know you now accept reviews on your Google business profile. It’s worth a shot, and you might just be surprised at how many you will accumulate in a short time.