Five star reviews for your business are fantastic, but four star reviews can be your cash cow. Read on to learn how to maximize your positive review volume.
You've heard the saying: no one is perfect. Well, no business is perfect either, and your customers know that.
That's why aiming to earn only 5-star reviews is shortsighted. By targeting only your happiest customers, you could be missing out on a valuable resource: namely, your mostly happy customers.
They're the people who have generally positive things to say about you but might have a few minor criticisms, or else they reserve 5-star reviews for only their very favorite businesses.
No smart business owner would ask a clearly unhappy customer to write a review. But if you write off the mostly satisfied customers and focus only on the people who might write rave reviews, you're leaving money on the table.
The Psychology of Online Reviews
Imagine you're in a new neighborhood and you're looking for a pizza place. You head to your favorite review site and find three nearby options.
- Place #1 has 5 reviews and a 5.0-star rating.
- Place #2 has 35 reviews and a 4.3 rating.
- Place #3 has 100 reviews and a 3.0 rating.
Which one would you choose? Most people choose place #2: it has enough reviews that you feel you can trust the consensus, and a pretty good overall rating. While the first place has a better rating and the third place has more reviews, the second place has a good mix of both, and its 4.3-star rating tells you it's a good bet.
That's how the typical customer thinks, anyway. Consider the findings of a recent survey. Respondents were asked: what minimum rating would a business would need to have for you to use them?
- 42 percent said a business should have a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 stars.
- 37 percent said a business should have a minimum rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
- 8 percent said a business should have 5 out of 5 stars.
That's good news for you. Only 8 percent of customers think businesses should have 5-star ratings. The majority of people are happy to use a business that has a 4-star or even a 3-star overall rating.
Many customers are savvy enough to know that some businesses use unethical means to earn reviews, like writing fake reviews themselves. To them, a business that has a perfect reputation online might actually seem a little suspicious, like it's too good to be true.
A business that has a few average or even negative reviews, however, seems real and trustworthy. And as long as the majority of reviews are positive in nature, that business looks like a good option.
How to Get Good Reviews
Ready to start earning those 4 and 5-star reviews? Here's how to do it:
First, ask your customers for feedback. You want to gauge each person's experience with your business. Ask questions at the end of your interaction, such as "How did we do today?" and "How would you rate your experience with us?"
When the person's feedback is positive - or even just mostly positive - ask for a review. Say something like, "Glad to hear it. It would be amazing if you wanted to write us a review on Google to let other customers know about us!"
Note that you should change up the sites that you name, which will ensure you're sending customers to a variety of review sites. That's important because 37 percent of customers go directly to a favorite review site when comparing businesses. Your goal is to get positive reviews posted regularly on all the major sites, so each customer can find them no matter what site he or she favors.
Automate Your Review System
Talking to customers about their experiences and asking them to write reviews is a simple process, and it only takes about 30 seconds. Yet on busy days, you might not have 30 seconds to spare - and even when you ask customers to write reviews, they might forget your request and never writing anything after all.
So how do you go about making sure you get a large volume of generally positive reviews on a consistent, ongoing basis?
Let an automated system like ReputationStacker do the heavy lifting for you.
It works like this: after you enter a phone number or email address for your customers, the ReputationStacker system sends them a single-question survey. Customers who aren't satisfied are directed back to you, so you can determine how to address their concerns. Satisfied customers are directed to the review site of your choice, making it easy for them to write you the positive reviews you've earned.
Look beyond 5-star reviews to see the value in 4-star (and even a few 3-star) reviews.
Sure, ideally you'll give all your customers a 5-star experience, but the reality is that some people won't rate you as highly, and potential customers reading online reviews don't expect to see all raves.
Getting a mix of positive reviews can actually be better for your online reputation, since most customers have realistic expectations for businesses. Make sure that every customer with something good to say about you is reminded to write a review by using an automated system like ReputationStacker.