Let’s assume that you are a small business operating somewhere in Brisbane, Australia. You may be wondering whether or not online reviews are for you. How can you use them to help grow your business? This article is targeted at small business owners. However, it remains relevant even if you are the owner of a large enterprise. The reason the focus is on small businesses is that they tend to ignore online reviews. The belief is that only large corporations should be concerned with this issue. If you are one of these companies, then you have been missing out on a lot. We are going to use the example of a small electrician business operating in the suburb of Coorparoo, Brisbane, Australia in this article.
Small Businesses Tend to be Localized
This is the first thing that you need to understand. A business, such as the one that we are using in our example, is going to be highly localized. What this means is that customers will only come from so far around the physical location of the business. Other examples of localized businesses include restaurants, cafes and bars.
This localization comes with a number of challenges and opportunities. As an example, relations between such a business and its customers tend to be enduring. Do a good job, and your customers are likely to keep returning to your business for years. However, if you do a shoddy job, word about this can quickly spread, which means people who have never tried you will stay away from your business!
How to Collect Reviews for Small Businesses in Australia
The small-town electrician that we are using in our example has a number of options when it comes to gathering feedback.
Use an online review management company
This should be the first solution for businesses that are serious about gathering feedback from their customers. An online review management company, such as eKomi, automates the process of gathering feedback from your customers. Upon signing up, you copy/paste a snippet of code that you install on your site. Once that is done, your customers will get an opportunity to leave feedback after doing business with you.
Usually, you get all the tools that you need to gather reviews from your customers. Most online review management companies have an app that allows you to collect reviews on the go. If you have just made an electrical repair for a customer, for example, they can then rate you through the app on your phone. The feedback that you get this way is then uploaded to your website.
Product and Seller Ratings
One of the advantages of using online review management companies is that they enable you to get product and seller ratings (star ratings) in your Google Ads. Star ratings are a good way through which you can boost the CTR in your ads by as much as 17%.
Use Yelp for Customer Reviews
If you are looking for a free way of gathering online reviews, then you should claim your listing on Yelp. Keep in mind that Yelp does not display reviews on your own site. Instead, they are displayed on the Yelp platform. People that look up your company can get to your brand’s reviews either through SEO via Google or by searching directly in Yelp.
Google My Business
Google My Business is another platform that small businesses can use for online reviews in Australia. A listing on Google My Business comes free of charge. However, the benefits are countless:
- You get visibility in local search
- Your business becomes visible in Google Maps
- People can leave feedback about your business
Managing Online Reviews
It’s not enough to simply get online reviews. Rather, there should be an ongoing process to make sure things are working as they should. Should you choose to sign up with a company such as eKomi, you will get a fully managed online reviews experience. If that is the case, then you can sit back and relax knowing that everything is being taken care on your behalf. However, should you choose the other options that are mentioned above, the following are some of the tasks that you are going to have to worry about:
Negative reviews are a part of life. The thing that matters is how you deal with them. Note that negative reviews are not necessarily bad. They tell you where you are getting it wrong, giving you the chance to make your business even better. People also expect a few negative reviews on a business’ listing. If you get 100% 5 star reviews, then people are going to begin to think that the reviews are doctored.
Responding to negative reviews
There is an art to responding to negative reviews. Instead of engaging in a slugging match with a customer, it is better to remain calm while explaining your side of the story.
Respond to customer feedback
A good way of building a loyal customer base is by responding to reviews, either negative or positive. If someone leaves you a 5 star rating, take the time to thank them. They will remember you the next time they need the same or another product. In the event that you have gotten a 1 star review, engaging the concerned customer is a great way to resolve their problems, thus ensuring that they too can become a loyal customer.
Timing is everything
Asking for a review from a customer with whom you did business with two years back is probably not the best approach to gathering online feedback. Indeed, they may already have forgotten all about you! As such, timing is of importance when it comes to online feedback. With most of the online review management companies that are out there, your customers will get the option to rate your business as soon as they have made a purchase. Also consider responding to negative reviews as quickly as is possible. Allowing them to fester can irrevocably damage your brand’s reputation.
Let us help you collect those five-star reviews. Contact eKomi to book your demo today.