Are you asking customers for reviews? You should be.

Asking customers for online reviews

Today, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means your business’ reputation is important.* The success of your business is connected to your online reputation, so getting online reviews is key. One of the easiest ways to get reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers. Asking for reviews helps give you the power to control the conversation about your business. Online reviews provide powerful benefits to including an increase in sales, visibility and credibility.

Online Reviews Boost Sales

Online reviews give potential customers additional insight into your business and influences their decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that when a business has recent, relevant online reviews, conversions are increased. In fact, according to Shopify, 63% of customers are likely to complete a sale if a business has online reviews. Ask customers to leave a review directly on your website or other popular review sites to see an increase in sales for your business.

Online Reviews Increase Visibility

Similar to the way Demandforce Local increases your business’ online visibility, online reviews can benefit your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines prioritize content that is uniquely worded, relevant and updated frequently –– content like online reviews. With more customer reviews your business will rank for more search keywords, resulting in increased visibility for your products and services.

Online Reviews Establish Credibility

The old phrase “the only thing worse than bad press is no press” can be applied to a business’ online reputation. Potential customers want to see what other people are saying about your business. If your reviews are scarce or non-existent, this can cause them to doubt your credibility. A good amount of customer reviews, even negative reviews, help to establish your business as credible. Businesses with a credible online presence can improve their online reputation and reach new customers online.

Online Reviews Build a Presence

As you begin to request reviews from customers, be sure to point them to different review sites that help establish your reputation. For example, Yelp could be where you have most of your reviews, while Facebook is bare and needs more attention. There are communications tools that can automate review request emails, pointing customers to a variety of online review sites while focusing only on the ones you choose.

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/#recommendations

Why does Google remove some reviews?

Why Google removes some online reviews

Google reviews can help a small business expand their reach to more prospects. But at the end of the day, Google controls the content that lands on their social network, Google Plus. This has left many of us wondering, ‘Why did Google remove that review?” According to their review policy, there are nine types of review content that they consider ‘prohibited and restricted.’ But what they could explain more is why they classify some reviews as ‘spam or fake.’ The answer is: the IP address.

Customers sharing the same IP address

Your internet service provider assigns the computer you connect to the internet with an IP address. If your customer brings a family member in, and they go home and both decide to leave a review for business on their shared computer, Google considers this a duplicate. In the world wide web, duplicate is another word for spam. So there goes their nice gesture and your chance to keep these two new reviews.

Customers reviewing with your WiFi

It’s no surprise that you have logged into your business’ Google Plus from your business WiFi. However, if you offer this same WiFi to customers and a happy customer decides to leave you a review while they wait, you’ve run into the IP address issue again. Another problematic scenario is if they simply log in to their Google Plus from your WiFi and leave the review later at home. The fact that they were on your IP has already left a trail.

Happy employees leaving reviews at work

Whether you asked your employees to give your business a Google Plus review, or they took it upon themselves, this is actually against Google’s guidelines. This is also another case where the search engine giant can sniff this out through the IP address. The employee is either leaving the review at work with the company WiFi, or they’ve signed into Google Plus under the WiFi and then left the review in another location like at home. Since this removal can be prevented, it’s probably best to ask your employees not to leave reviews.

Another option outside of the IP address is customers deleting the review themselves. This happens often with incentives. If you extend your offers or giveaways to a wide range of customers in exchange for a review, you may see reviews removed once they redeem their prize. Consider cherry-picking the customers you offer the incentive to in order to avoid this.

As we saw in the review policy, there are many other reasons why Google may remove a review from your listing. Because it’s almost like the luck of the draw, just remember the big picture which is to have an overall positive online reputation. As long as you have enough 4+ star reviews to keep you competitive against others in your industry, you’re in good standing.

https://whitespark.ca/blog/google-remove-reviews/

Implementing Your Online Reputation Strategy

Implementing your online reputation strategy

In the first part of this series, Getting Started: Taking Control of your Online Reputation, we kick off where to begin when building and monitoring your online presence. Now that you have your reputation marketing plan mapped out, here are some tools to help you implement your strategy.

1. Claim your business listings and social pages

Customers are searching you online for two reasons: to get your contact information, and to see what other people are saying.

There are some top sites for business listings depending on your industry. Review the ones that show up on the first page of your search and make sure your contact information is correct. If there are other important sites you know as a professional that your business should be listed on – add it! No stone should go unturned.

When it comes to what people are saying about their experience with you, managing your reputation is huge. First, claim your business on Yelp and Google.

If your business doesn’t show up – create your profile! Add your logo and put up some pictures of the inside and outside of your business. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of the team either. Customers like to see what they are walking into – it gives them a sense of familiarity.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying

After you’ve claimed your online presence, read any existing customer reviews. Were the reviews accurate to your product or customer service? Are they pointing out areas that you need to improve? It may be hard to read opinions or experiences that aren’t sugar coated, but use it as helpful feedback. It could be really beneficial to your business, and could start bringing in more 4 or 5 star reviews instead of 3 or less.

If there are a couple of unhappy customers that you feel you can help, respond to the reviews and offer them a solution. Thank the customer for their feedback, explain your process and why that may have happened, and possibly offer a solution. But it’s important to know that once you start review management you have to commit to it. Customers will begin to expect a response from you – even the happy ones!

Do online reviews still make you a little nervous? Here is the secret to online reviews.

3. Create targeted messaging for happy customers

Happy customers can be gold for your online reputation. There are a lot of different ways to encourage customers to leave you reviews. Your front desk employees can encourage it verbally at the end of a service, or you can have them send automated texts or emails if you use a marketing software. These messages are normally triggered after an appointment, and if you use a reputation management software, the reviews will be sent straight to Google. And all your staff had to do was click a button!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started: Take Control of your Online Reputation

Getting started with online reputation strategy

What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?

Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.

Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.

1.  Run a search on Google and Bing

The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’

Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!

2.  Is the look of your brand consistent?

Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.

3.  Set reputation goals you want to accomplish

A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.

Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.

Announcing Text Reviews

We would like to announce the addition of our all-new Text Reviews functionality that enables merchants to collect feedback faster by sending review requests where customers are sure to see them: via text message on their smartphones.

Collecting reviews from customers has always been challenging for merchants, as phone calls and emails requesting reviews have historically yielded low response rates. Our Text Reviews offers customers the convenience of providing immediate feedback about their recent visit by sending a review request via text message to their smartphone.

To send text review requests using Text Reviews, merchants get verbal consent from customers to send them text messages. A one-time text opt-in request is then sent to the customer’s confirmed number, providing an easy way for merchants to collect text opt-ins for future text communication with the customer. The customer then receives a text message with a link to a review request containing a unique URL. Reviews submitted from the unique URL are then posted on any merchant web pages and Facebook business profiles connected to a merchant’s Demandforce dashboard.

Demandforce Text Reviews is the latest Demandforce innovation designed to help merchants improve customer satisfaction and retention using technology. Text requests see a 98% open rate compared with just 20-30% for email requests according to a recent Velocify study. This greatly increases the odds that customers will provide reviews with actionable feedback for merchants that can be used to improve the customer experience.

More information on Demandforce Text Reviews functionality, which is available immediately, can be found here

Introducing Demandforce Choice Plus!

The introduction of Demandforce Choice Plus enables you to take more complete control of your online reputation.

We made the shift to a tiered product offering with the introduction of Demandforce Choice and Demandforce Choice Plus. This evolution coincides with the introduction of new tools designed to help our customers manage and enhance their online reputations.

Demandforce Choice: Proven Value That Drives Business

The existing Demandforce product suite is now known as Demandforce Choice, and includes the core features upon which Demandforce built its reputation: online scheduling, appointment reminders, online review management, and email marketing tools to help your company save time, reduce no-shows and acquire more customers.

Demandforce Choice Plus: Mastering Online Reputation Management

Demandforce Choice Plus bundles the traditional benefits of Demandforce Choice with new solutions for online reputation management, including:

Intelligent Reviews: Automated review requests via email and text enable merchants to get more reviews published directly to Google.

Multi-listing Management: A consolidated view of a merchant’s business listings and reviews in one place, including listings on Google+, Yelp, Facebook, and Demandforce Local.

Competitor Dashboard: An instant, real-time snapshot of how a merchant’s ratings, reviews, and promotions compare to those of top competitors.

Demandforce Choice Plus is available immediately. If you would like to learn more information can be found at http://go.demandforce.com/ChoicePlus.

The benefits of Demandforce Local for your business

Demandforce Local is a public, searchable directory of 28,000 small businesses located in your neighborhood and across the U.S.

For Demandforce customers, a Demandforce Local business listing provides multiple benefits, and in today’s article, we’ll examine a few.

DF Local increases your business’ online visibility

Demandforce Local was designed to increase your online visibility, so you can extend your reach to new customers and boost local sales. Your DF Local business listing can be quickly and conveniently updated directly from within your DF portal, so you know your data is always up-to-date.

DF Local offers strong SEO support to boost your business name in a Google search

For a small business, having a strong presence online is a crucial part of how you attract new customers and continue to grow. The more sites you can get listed on, the better—especially if those sites are recognized as trustworthy and helpful to Google’s ever-updating algorithm that ranks sites. Where your business shows up in a list of Google search results basically boils down to the strength of your online reputation – and Demandforce Local can help. With the help of automatic review requests from Demandforce’s online marketing platform, your business can collect and highlight certified customer reviews all on one site. This strengthens your online reputation and helps widen your reach to new customers.

DF Local allows you to post targeted special offers for your customers

One feature of Demandforce Local is its ability to post targeted special offers to your customers. This allows you to foster customer loyalty and entice new customers to try your services over a competitor’s. You can view a list of the online specials you offer within your Demandforce portal, along with a summary of the activity generated from them, allowing you to test and learn which offers work best for your customer and prospect base.

DF Local provides useful metrics and customer insights for your business

In order to grow, you need to understand your customer, and one of the best ways to develop keen customer insights is by tracking metrics such as the performance of certain marketing campaigns, or numbers of appointments booked on specific channels (e.g., via Facebook, your website, or an email link). You can view these metrics on your Demandforce Local homepage, including how many appointments were booked via your page, and how many times your profile has been viewed.

DF Local gives you the opportunity to network with other local, non-competing businesses

Cross-sell opportunities are often an important aspect of building and maintaining a small business. The relationships you foster with other local businesses can help introduce your business to new customers, and you can boost your local reputation. One of the benefits of Demandforce Local is that your business is promoted to a network of non-competing businesses, and you can track activity in your network, in case you want to connect with other local business owners for promotions or events.

These are only a few of the ways Demandforce Local can benefit your business. To learn more about Demandforce Local, you can set up a complimentary consultation with a Demandforce expert. Call us at (888) 272-7821.

How Online Reviews Get You Seen Online

If you’re a medical practice, dental office, veterinary practice, or auto shop and you haven’t considered what it means to rank high on Google or have good reviews, you’re missing out on key revenue opportunities.

Online reviews are now the most trusted source for potential patients, clients, and customers who are trying to choose between all the options out there. Over 80% of consumers now trust online reviews as much as a peer recommendation, and the more reviews you have, the better.

How Online Reviews Help You Show Up In Search

Having online reviews doesn’t just help in getting patients to trust you… it also will organically help increase your business’ search engine rankings. All the major search engines – Google, Yahoo, Citysearch, and Bing – are fans of reviews. This is because users like reviews, and these search engines want to provide users with useful information. A practice, shop, or business that has generated online reviews will be shown higher on the search results page than one without reviews. Plus, if you’re searching say, on Google for a business, and your business has enough reviews and information about it to make it more relevant than other listings, Google will often showcase its Google Local business page in the search results, providing your business with a big boost in online visibility over competitors.

How Online Reviews Keep You High on the Page

One of the ways that search engines like Google and Bing make sure that their content is up-to-date is by checking for new content. Every time a customer reviews your business and posts it online, the search engines identify that as new content, and rewards that business and that page by keeping it higher in the search results. Both your office’s actual website and the review site for your place of business benefit from new online reviews.

How Having Multiple Business Listings Helps Online Visibility

Another factor to consider is that having multiple business listings spread across major consumer sites ensures that you get seen by the widest possible group of consumers, regardless of where they are coming from, and what search engine they use. Have you ever seen a Bing search result or review pop up on Google? Or a Yahoo review? Probably not, and that’s because the major search engines don’t want to provide their competitors with free traffic. That’s another reason why USER-generated online reviews are so important, as those are the only ones search engines will show (aside from ones on their own platforms).

This is why your business can benefit from having complete and accurate business listings on Google, Bing, Citysearch, Yellowpages, Demandforce Local, and more. You cover 95% of where local searches occur.

If just thinking about managing 4+ business listings makes your head spin, don’t worry. If you invest in a platform like Demandforce, you can just log into your Demandforce portal and manage all your local business listings in one place. We’ll keep your contact information and business hours updated automatically, so you don’t have to take care of it manually.

How Demandforce Can Help You Get More Online Reviews

As one of the many features of Demandforce, your business gets help with reputation management and collecting online reviews. However, we know that in order to leverage reviews on sites like Google, it’s not just about getting high numbers, it’s about how you collect and manage them as well. Demandforce not only provides you with ways to automatically request reviews from patients and clients, but they also allow you to showcase positive reviews on your website, Facebook page, and Demandforce business profile.

Demandforce also helps you make sure that the business reviews online are from your actual patients and clients. This helps protect your online reputation, and boosts word-of-mouth referrals as well. And while some lower-star ratings are actually useful (they help show that your business is ‘real’ and the reviews are legitimate, Demandforce also allows you to target certain patients for review requests, so you increase the likelihood that the review your clients post will be a positive one.

Plus, when a client submits positive feedback about your business, we encourage them to share their experience with their social network. We make it easy to post a link recommending your business on Facebook, so you get more business, and they get the chance to refer a friend or relative.

For more information on how Demandforce can help get you seen online, visit demandforce.com or schedule a free demo with one of our experts: (888) 272-7821.