The Importance Of Online Reviews
Online reviews are an extremely powerful promotional tool that can have a significant effect on a business’ online reputation. We naturally rely heavily on other people’s views to shape our own opinions.
We are more likely to seek other people’s views when the purchase is expensive, when the decision we make will impact on others or when it is something we haven’t previously purchased, so it is no surprise that most couples consider online reviews to be an integral part of their decision process when choosing their wedding suppliers.
Why reviews are important:
- The quality of your reviews gives the “social proof” that you are good at what you do.
- The quantity of reviews demonstrates that you are a popular choice.
- Sharing your reviews on Google My Business and your social media will increase brand awareness.
- Statistics show that wedding businesses with 1 review typically double their enquiries, and 10 reviews can double them again, making reviews the single most important factor to brides and grooms.
Every business loves getting great reviews, but very occasionally things don’t go to plan. For review sites to be of any use at all it is incredibly important for reviews to reflect all the interactions a business has, not just the ones the business wants to share! It is what makes sites like TripAdvisor so helpful.
However, we don’t want couples to leave reviews in the heat of the moment without thought of the implications to the business if it isn’t 100% fair.
Our cooling off period intercepts reviews of 4* and below. They are checked for accuracy and, if needed, both the business and the reviewer are contacted to ensure that the review that is posted online is a fair reflection, from both sides.
Every business with a professional listing can choose to display the review section or not, giving businesses ultimate control on whether to use this powerful feature for their own business but without compromising others.
Testimonials v Reviews
Testimonials are comments from your customers used in your own marketing and on your website. Couples know you can pick and choose what to display so they trust them far less than reviews left on third-party sites where they can see the full unedited picture.
For the best of both worlds, Guides for Brides have developed a widget that allows you to display your third-party reviews on your website in place of testimonials.
Download your widget now by logging in, selecting “Get more reviews” and copying your unique code to add to your site (particularly easy for WordPress sites) or to send to your web designer. You can then relax and see the reviews come in.
How to get reviews
Being quick off the mark is important here as the customer’s experience will be fresh in their heads and they will be more likely to leave a more detailed review. Don’t wait until after the honeymoon or you’ll be in the queue behind thank you notes to guests.
If a bride or groom makes a particularly positive comment during a conversation, don’t be afraid to ask if they would mind putting that comment in a review.
If you’d rather not ask in person, email or message them with a brief, polite request and a link. The more specific the link is, the easier it is for them to leave a review, so click on “add a review” on your advert and copy that URL. It is totally acceptable to ask again a week or two later, but don’t send more than one reminder. A good tactic is to mention that you’ve noticed they haven’t left a review and invite them to contact you if there was anything you could have done better, sending the link again. Happy clients who may have ignored your first request are usually quick to reassure you by leaving a great review if this approach is used.
Our Customer Service Awards offers businesses an additional way to get reviews as we encourage brides and grooms to vote for businesses by leaving a review and every couple wants their own suppliers to win!
Your clients may invite you to use an extract from their thank you note as an online review. The best reviews include the client’s name for validity and emotive words to show that you went a step further than they expected. Reviews that add a personal element make the biggest impact, giving examples of the significant difference you made to their big day.
As you develop your skills in asking for reviews you can be strategic and use your reviews to reassure future couples about specific issues that may concern them. Simply ask your clients to comment on that particular aspect in their review.
It can feel awkward but if you’re not actively asking your customer for reviews you’re missing out on one of the best free marketing opportunities out there.
Make the most of every review
Once a customer has left a review it is good practice to thank them online, that way they know you are grateful and future couples will know their effort in reviewing you will be appreciated too.
Sharing reviews on your social media shows the reviewer that you are grateful and ensures that even more customers see it. Add your own personal note to the post about why you enjoyed working with that bride or groom and include a link for customers to read it online.
Reviews left on Guides for Brides will automatically appear on your listing on Google My Business, adding Google trust to the review and a huge amount of additional exposure.
What happens if I disagree with a review?
If someone has left you a negative online review it can be hard not to take it personally. The best approach is to keep calm, politely reply online to invite them to contact you directly to resolve the concern. Taking the problem offline is crucial even if you disagree with them. Once the reviewer has discussed their feelings and concerns, apologise that the service wasn’t the exceptional standards you normally pride yourself on and agree on a solution together. They will usually be happy to delete the review but even if they don’t your future clients will see that you were quick to resolve their concern.
Who can leave me a review on my Guides for Brides listing?
It doesn’t have to be just brides, grooms, and their families; anyone that has used your service can review you.
It is fine for you to add reviews that couples have posted for you elsewhere or extracts from their letters or emails, as long as you have their permission and don’t edit their words. Use your own business email address for verification so that we know you added the review on behalf of a client.
To verify that all reviews are genuine we ask for a few simple details which aren’t shared online.
Read your reviews on a rainy day…
Every business owner has an occasional “rainy day”. The best possible way to motivate yourself is to spend a few minutes reading your reviews. Remind yourself why your business is so fantastic and what your couples love about you and you will feel ready to face anything!