Getting the most from your Online Reviews
Listing your wedding business on a review website is by far the most powerful way to promote yourself and the number of reviews your business has will have a direct impact on the number of enquiries and bookings you get.
95% of brides consider reviews to be an important part of the decision process and more brides make buying decision based on 3rd party reviews than anything else, including referrals, personal recommendations and price.
To keep up with your competitors it is essential to list your business on a review site and actively encourage customers to review you. It has been proved that having just 10 or more reviews will double your conversion rate.
Will I know if a bride has left a review?
You will be notified by email every time a review is added. There is the opportunity to respond to the review and it is good practice to thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave a positive comment.
Can I ask my brides to review me?
- 85% of reviews are left as a result of businesses asking for them
- 10% are left simply because the business delivered great service
- 5% are left because the business delivered bad service
If you are not actively asking for reviews you are missing out on a huge amount of powerful publicity and endorsement. Simply go to the “more info” page about your business, click “add a review” and copy the URL from the top of the page to send to your clients.
Something went wrong on the wedding day and I am concerned I am going to receive a bad review. What can I do?
The ability for customers to leave online reviews has led to a big improvement in customer care, which can only be a good thing. If things don’t go well between you and your client it is better to resolve it before it is taken online. Reputable review sites will not, and should not, remove negative reviews where the reviewer has reason to feel aggrieved, so once a fair and reasonable review has been posted it will only be removed at the reviewer’s request. Contact the couple as soon as possible to apologise and ask how they would like the situation to be resolved, BEFORE the couple leave a negative review. Most negative reviews are as a result of a business failing to resolve an issue, rather than the issue itself.
I have received a negative review.
Sometimes things go wrong, or a service simply isn’t up to a bride’s high expectations. With the advent of reviews it is easy for brides to let everyone know about it.
Negative reviews can feel like a personal attack and it is easy to over-react, however most brides will consider a business’s reviews to be more credible if there are a mix of reviews, not just highly positive ones.
According to recent research (February 2016) 72% of brides would prefer to book a company who has a mixture of good and bad reviews as long as the business has demonstrated that the situation that arose was dealt with appropriately and is unlikely to happen to them.
The best approach is to use the “respond” option and leave a polite reply, apologising if the service was anything other than the exceptional standards you pride yourself on, and inviting the reviewer to contact you directly to discuss their concerns. This gives a clear message that you take customer care, and your good reputation, seriously. Adding positive reviews will quickly and effectively “drown out” a negative comment, so upload any reviews you have already been sent and ask other brides to leave a review.
Can bad reviews be removed?
Couples only trust review sites that show all reviews. Guides for Brides and TripAdvisor both pride themselves on their integrity on this matter and only remove reviews that do not meet the site guidelines. There is an option to turn off reviews on your listing.
I have received an incorrect review.
You can report a review that does not meet our guidelines, has been posted maliciously by another business or has been incorrectly posted on your listing. Under these circumstances, once verified, the review is likely to be removed.
Can I add reviews on behalf of a bride or groom?
If you have received an email or letter of thanks from a couple this can be added as a review, however certain guidelines must be followed. The couple must first be contacted for permission to post it as a review, their own email address, wedding date and venue must be included and we would advise using their names rather than setting it as anonymous. They will then receive an email verifying the review and entering them into a draw for a prize. Reviews must be unique so can not be copied from or to another website or your own site.
5 simple steps to get great reviews:
- Do a great job!
- Arrive early
- Exceed expectations
- Treat everyone, including other suppliers, with respect
- Thank the couple for their business and ask for a review
Finally, when you receive a great review, make the most of it!
Link to to the review from Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, perhaps including a screenshot. Include an except from your favourite reviews on your blog or your website with a link to the full review on the third party review site.
If you have a tough day, go and read your reviews; it will remind you of how much your customers appreciate your hard work.