Small Business Tips
7 ways a virtual assistant service is a game changer for your small business
When potential customers are looking for a business online, they’re likely looking for more than just a website. More often than not when they type your name into a search engine they’re looking for a series of online reviews to help them make a decision. In a recent study, BrightLocal found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019. So it’s clear: online reviews are important for your business.
It may be awkward to ask for reviews but they have become an expected part of doing business. Satisfied customers are usually happy to share their experiences online, so why not ask?
Easy access to the internet has changed the way people shop online. It’s rare to blindly make a purchase decision without doing research and reading online reviews.
How many times have you decided not to buy from a business only because of a negative review? 84% of consumers said a negative review convinced them to avoid a business.
Your brand can build credibility and trust with the help of positive reviews. Your digital footprint is important as it’s a mirror image of your brand. It should represent your image to your audiences as you would like them to see you.
A great customer review will be one that is detailed and specific. In this example, a Virtual Gurus client left a review on Google. They noted how the process is at Virtual Gurus, what they liked about our virtual assistant, and what they’re most proud of in terms of company growth.
Additionally, a great way to continuously encourage positive customer reviews is to respond to your reviews. In the screenshot below, you’ll see Virtual Gurus team responded to the review with gratitude and agreement.
Positive customer reviews often call out amazing features. This is a great example because the customer discussed the specific features of the app, and why it is different from other apps.
If you get a detailed review that calls out your product’s features, then you’re doing something right.
Another review which is beautifully written. The reader expresses in detail about how it helped her. She also cited the author and her experience with her.
Positive customer reviews often call out amazing customer service. This is a great example because the customer discussed their interaction with the owners, and why their customer service was so excellent.
Additionally, the customer provides pictures with their products, and their review indicates that they were very happy with their custom orders, which speaks a lot about the business and quality.
Discount, free gift and other incentives should never be offered in exchange for reviews. This is against the conditions of many review platforms, such as Yelp and Google, and can result in a high volume of low-quality star-only (no text) reviews.
The purpose of reviews is not primarily to benefit the business but to empower prospective customers to make informed decisions.
Again a big no, there are policies in place to keep review platforms honest and accurate.
Make sure you get your customers to submit elaborated feedback. One way you can do that is by drafting a feedback process with guided questions, which will then prompt your clients to spend some time on expanding their experiences.
1. Design a landing page for collecting reviews.
2. Use email
3. Use SMS
4. Ask for reviews at point of sale
Here are four techniques that you can use to ask for online reviews.
A great way to encourage customers to share their experience is by creating a page dedicated to collecting reviews. The landing page can be created through review generation software, a survey form or a review widget embedded on your company website. Once this is set up you can develop a communications plan to drive customers to this landing page to leave reviews. For example, you might want your customer service team to include a link to the review page.
This is one of the most effective ways to ask for reviews. Using email helps you to connect your request to a recent transaction and target your requests based on customer loyalty and satisfaction. The email can direct the customer to the site where they can leave their review. Make the email personalized and keep it short. Many clients prefer sending feedback via email. Extract quotes from those emails customers send you and showcase them in your marketing materials.
In this age of voice dictation and bite-sized reviews, it’s easier for consumers to write a review directly from their phone or tablet. This means that if you send a review request via SMS, it is highly likely that the customer will click through. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. Due to character limits, crafting the request may be more time-consuming, but it will yield strong results.
Asking for a review at the point of the transaction is the most immediate and personal way to connect with your customers. For online sales, you can easily link to your review landing page in your order confirmation email. For sales at a physical location, you can have a device on hand for customers to complete a review online. You may also use a tablet or point-of-sale system to collect customer information and send an immediate email or SMS review request.
Hey [first name],
Did you know that the number of [business name] fans has doubled since last year? We must be doing something right! And whatever that is, we want to keep doing it. So tell us!
If you have 90 seconds today, we would love it if you went to [platform] and wrote a review. A few sentences is all it takes! This enables us to continue providing the best experience possible for you, and helps others understand how [ business name] can make their life easier.
Thank you in advance!
Dear [first name]
Thank you for your recent purchase. We hope you love it! If you do, would you consider leaving us a [platform] review? This helps us to continue providing great products and helps others like you to find us and make confident [item] decisions.
Thank you in advance!
Hi [first name],
We have a quick favor to ask. Would you mind heading to [platform] and writing a quick review?
Reviews help us keep up with your needs and they also help others like you to make confident decisions about [your topic].
Review or not, we still love you!
Hoping to see your smiling face soon,
Hey, [first name]!
There’s nothing we love more at [business name] than hearing from our clients! We want to learn more about your experience working with us. Please fill out the following survey and give us your honest feedback. I promise it’s short, and it’ll help improve customers’ experiences in the future.
I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate your attention.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SURVEY
Asking for reviews can boost your reputation, build relationships with customers and amplify your search presence. They also have a long shelf life as they can be used across a number of marketing channels. If you are active on social media and encouraging people to share stories about your brand, take it a step further and ask for online reviews.