Improve Your Results 1 Week At A Time

One of the most important elements you can have in your marketing plan is a system of generating positive reviews. The average business owner doesn’t realize the magnitude of influence testimonials have on their business. Positive reviews are now a crucial part of online and offline marketing.

Think about it this way: You’re running a direct mail campaign targeting potential restaurant customers. You have a great deal on the postcard and have targeted your campaign down to a specific neighborhood and your desired financial demographic. You may have even targeted your mailer to a specific person in the household. It seems that you’ve done everything right, but now your potential customer goes online to “Google” your business. When the search results come up, your Google Maps business listing has 1 review, which may only be 3-stars, or worse. Based on what the customer saw, they decide to eat at your competitor’s restaurant instead because they have 10 positive reviews. You’ve sabotaged a great marketing campaign all because you didn’t have a system in place for generating and managing reviews.

What should you do? Good question. Like you did when you started your business, you need to come up with a review strategy and a target number. But don’t overthink this. There are many solutions out there but the easiest solution is to ask. Maybe you print out a small card that says, “Thank you for visiting our restaurant. Would you please take a few minutes to give us a review on Google or Facebook.”  This approach, while very simple, will get results–although limited–but at least you’ll be doing more than you were before.

The next step is getting on a review generation program. There are plenty of software programs that can help. And Kymera offers a similar program as well. Most programs have a way for you to add the name, email address, and phone number of your customer to the review system. The review system will then send out a feedback request email to your customer asking them to rate their experience on a given scale. If they leave positive feedback it’ll redirect to a page requesting a Google, Facebook, or other review. If your customer leaves negative feedback, it redirects them to a page where they can tell you about their bad experience in an effort for you to solve the problem. This also gives you the opportunity to address and fix the problem, reducing your risks of receiving a negative review.

You can usually generate an average of 1 Google review for every 20 surveys taken via this process. This is still a low number but, again, at least you’re doing something. There are additional systems out there that may generate higher numbers of reviews and also some that won’t, but either way, you should have a system in place.

How do I know if it’s working? The answer to this question is to determine how many times you’ve requested the review – either by postcard, survey, or other – and how many reviews you’ve received.  If you’ve only done this process once and didn’t receive a review, it’s likely you’ll need to do it a few more times. If you’ve requested 20 reviews but haven’t received any, you may need to change the system.

How many reviews should I get? You can ever have too many reviews, but we suggest a minimum of 10 on Google. We tell our clients they don’t have to do it all in one day.  If you generate 1 positive review per month, in one year you’ll have 12 Google reviews.  If you go a little more aggressive and target 1 new review per week, you’ll generate 52 reviews in a single year.  If your competition has 9 reviews, you need to get 10.  If they have 50 reviews you may want to go for 60.  Although it’s better to have more than your competition, even having just 10 reviews is better than none.

To summarize, your positive reviews are essential to overall marketing.  Always remember that a good review starts with good service. Most of the time people are happy to share their feedback when you provide them a good service, you just have to ask them for it. Also, come up with a plan for how many reviews you want to get in the next 12 months. Once you know that number, add it into your followup process or put a system in place to generate more reviews. These systems can range from $50 per month to $250 per month. Choose the one that is right for you.

As with any content we put out there, if you have questions, please call our office and we’ll do our best to help you achieve your goals.