If you’ve watched any of my other videos, you know that the biggest barrier to getting that online lead or sale is “trust.” You have to earn it.Everyone knows that you are going to toot your own horn on your website. But when a third party objective customer sings your praises, potential customers take notice.In this video, Eric Spellmann shows you how to encourage positive online reviews by your customers. He even explains what to do when you get a bad review (because trust me, you will).
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey i’m Eric Spellmann and welcome to ericspellmann.com. And today we’re gonna be talking about ? Folks this is key. Remember 1 of the big things I preach on here is the trust barrier. When people first go to your website they don’t know who you are, they don’t know if you’re legit! And so theres an automatic trust barrier. They know you’re gonna toot your own horn on the website. But when you have someone else, when you have a third party objective opinion saying these guys rock, that helps to lower the trust barrier significantly. So, getting and retaining good are key. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about.First of all, let’s be very VERY clear. Reviews must be legitimate! I do not want you to ever pay someone for a review because then it’s not legitimate. I’m not here to say how to go buy reviews. How to pay people to say nice things about you. Remember if that ever gets out that you’re doing that, 1 dishonest review KILLS the reputation of your company! They all need to be legitimate and if someone were to ever go check them out, people need to say “Yeah, I said that!” They need to be very very legitimate.
So step number 1, you got to choose your review channel. In other words, where do you want people to do your reviews? Because theres a lot of different ways to do reviews out there. The biggest one is Google Places, which is kind of getting wrapped up into Google Plus. When you go to Google and you do a search for anybody, you’ll notice that theres usually what I call the Lucky 7. It’ll go to a map and if you look under there it says 5 reviews, 3 reviews, 2 reviews etc. That is Google’s review system for the most part. And so that is one of the ways people need to review you. So you may want to have that as a primary channel. One of the reasons I like Google Places as the primary review spot is because even though Google won’t prove it to me, even though they won’t clarify or corroborate what i’m about to say. I truly believe that Google looks at the number of reviews that you have for your rankings. Once again I can’t prove that. But, based on my experience I am seeing some sort of similarity that when someone has a lot of good reviews, their site just seems to shows up higher in the results.
yelp is another big one, yelp.com. And it’s kind of a third party objective site. It’s been around longer than Google Reviews and so you might check there. Google even looks at yelp reviews and includes them. So it is a great way of including other reviews.
If you’re a restaurant, if you serve food then obviously you need to be on urban spoon. Because urban spoon has a lot of reviews on it and people can go there and check you out. So make sure that if you’re collecting reviews, ask people to go to urban spoon to do that.
Trip Advisor, this works for restaurants too but if you also have a location, this also is key. If people are coming to some sort of a tourist destination, people are gonna be reviewing you on Trip Advisor so you wanna make sure that a lot of good reviews go there. Also, the number of reviews is how Trip Advisor ranks who comes up first when people do that kind of search.
One of the other tips I have here is to have an In-Store Kiosk. In other words if you have a brick and mortar location, one of the easiest ways to get reviews is to actually setup a computer on a table, on a desk and then after the sale or when someone has bought something from you, encourage them to go over and do a quick little review for you. Whether it be Google, whether it be yelp or urban spoon or whatever because it’s right there. Keep in mind while they’re in the store and after the sale is the best time to get a review because they’re happy with you. And chances are you’re going to get a good review.
Have it already setup. Like I said it earlier to urban spoon or yelp or Google Places where all they have to do is either login or just enter a review. And simply ask them to answer a few questions. If they don’t know what to put, just say “Hey give me 2 or 3 sentences. Tell me what’s your thought.”
Automate the after-the-sale. This is one of the easiest ways to do it just for a website. If someone buys something off your website and you would love to have a review, one of the easiest ways is to send them an email asking them about their experience when they do that sale. Now you’ve seen this before on a lot of other sites where they’re asking for this type of information, the second you buy something, you get a serve-ad. And you’re right, not everyone fills it out, but some do! And this is an easy way to get those kind of reviews.
One of the easiest ways for a small business to do this is to use what we call a Review Aggregator. The biggest one out there is called bestlocalreviews.com. And you can sign up with them and it ties in to your website so that the second people buy something or do whatever you’re asking them to do, it automatically starts this process. And then you can login and see what people are saying about you.
Now some of you are gonna freak out when I tell you this part. Because you’re gonna say “Eric that’s not legitimate”. Yes it is! Hear what i’m about to say. Write the review yourself. What I mean by that is you need to understand what the perfect review is and then you write it yourself! Now stick with me, this is legitimate! I promise. In a perfect review it needs to be 2-3 sentences long at the most. We do not need a letter of recommendation. We do not need paragraphs and paragraphs stating “O you’re so wonderful. Your customer service is great. We love you.” No we don’t want that. All we need are 3 sentences. Remember everyone on the internet has ADD and they’re lazy. Always remember that. And this is an easy way of getting it done. Second, what’s gonna be in those 2-3 sentences? You need to focus on one of your competitive advantages, something that sets you apart from everybody else. Maybe it’s that you offer more colors of something than anyone else and so the review might be something like “I’ll always use Eric’s company because they have the biggest selection in town. They are wonderful.” See that’s a perfect review. And it focuses on 1 competitive advantage. You don’t want to try to do everything. You never want something that says “They have great customer service.” or “I like working with them.” Those reviews mean nothing. Speak to your competitive advantage or something specific that will actually have value in the mind of someone leaving it.
Now, heres how we make this legitimate. Once you write this review, then I want you to pick up the phone and call some of your customers and say “Hey can I read you something?” And you read them what you wrote. And say “Hey Tom do you feel that way about my company?” And Tom will go “Sure.” “Tom may I put your name on that?” And once Tom says sure you may put my name on that review, guess what. It is now a legitimate review. And Tom didn’t have to do one bit of work and it says exactly what you want it to say. This is how the national companies do it. There are legitimate reviews because there is actually someone who says yes, that is how I feel. So, if you want the perfect review don’t just sit there and wait for people to review you. Get it done! You can get 7 great reviews done in one afternoon, if you work at it. Each one of those reviews speaking to one of your competitive advantages.
Keep in mind these testimonials don’t have to be entered into Google or yelp, i’m not talking about that. They can actually just be sprinkled throughout your website. Tom from Massachusetts said “They have more colors than anyone else.” You can sprinkle em throughout the website. They don’t have to be in an official review area. Once it’s done, get it out there. Post it.
What do you do when you get a bad review? Because it happens! Every single one of you at some point are gonna have a bad review. Even i’ve had a bad review. What you do? Well, number 1 respond immediately. Whenever you find this bad review, usually theres an option for the owner to respond. Always click that and then respond because then when other people go to the bad review, they’ll see the bad review and then they’ll see your response. No one expects everyone to have no problems. But what they do want to see is responsiveness. And so if, for some reason someone had a bad customer service experience with your company, you could simply write back and say “I am so sorry, that is never our goal. Please come back in and I will make this right.” And that way when people see this angry review and then they see your response, they go “WOW. These guys are pretty good!” You must be wondering “Well Eric can’t you just get rid of those bad reviews?” No! The only way you can really handle this is to push it down with good reviews. So you can respond to the bad review, but you can also push it down. And that means getting other people to review you. And that is what I did on my side. Coz I had a bad review and that was a fake review by one of my competitors. And I couldn’t get rid of it even when I told Google that this guy was my competitor and this is a fake review.
The only reason people will ever get rid of a bad review is if it contains racial or hate speech or something like that. Otherwise Google ain’t gonna touch it, yelp ain’t gonna touch it. They’re gonna leave it alone. Keep in mind that if you do get a bad review and if you know who it is you’re getting it from, you may just wanna pick up the phone and make call em and say “Hey I am so sorry. I saw your review, I had no idea. How can I make it up to you?” And so you fix it right then and there and then they can actually go in and remove their own review.
Well as always, if you have any questions go to my website ericspellmann.com or go to my facebook page and ask me. I’d be happy to help you there. I am Eric Spellmann with ericspellmann.com; i’ll see you in cyberspace.