Word of Mouth Advertising
It’s not hard to agree that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Many local businesses in Jacksonville make their living with word of mouth advertising. You do a good job or sell a good product and people will talk about you. This same principle is true for the internet believe it or not.
Reviews are the equivalent of people talking about your product or service just in an online environment. Some Internet Marketers would say that is why Social Media is so important. For now I would have to disagree. Here’s why. When people go to their social media source such as the almighty Facebook or Twitter thy are in an engaging mode. They either want to talk about themselves or find out about other people. They most likely are not in a purchasing mode.
I’m not saying ignore Social Media but there are far easier ways to leverage Reviews and online word of mouth than Social Media. Consider Social Media the new kid on the block that has forgotten to take their Ritalin – its all over the place.
No local company in Jacksonville should spend money on Social Media development before devising a comprehensive Review Acquisition Strategy.
What is a Review Acquisition Strategy?
Its simply a strategy for acquiring reviews through your various forms of marketing. The reviews we are going after are the ones in the Local space such as Google Places, Yelp, Angieslist…etc. It’s those 5 star reviews with real customers talking about your business. With more people using search engines instead of the local yellow pages these online reviews are becoming vital to sustaining a local business especially in Jacksonville where word of mouth rules.
Unfortunately without a Review Acquisition Strategy your online identity is left to the highly motivated internet personas leaving negative feedback. Lets face it the people that will leave a review on their own without any prompting are usually the people that want to complain. Maybe it’s deserved or maybe they just love to complain, regardless we all need to take control of this space and seek out our core clients and ask for positive reviews.
I tell my clients to ask for a review after every job or sale. How to implement this? When getting common information such as name, address and phone – simply ask for their email. If they ask why – tell them its for followup so they don’t have to call. Most people would prefer an email follow up rather than a phone call anyway. At the end of the day or latest by the end of the week send out a follow up email to everyone you sold your product or provided a service to. You can say something like this:
Thank you for choosing XYZ company. We appreciate your business and wanted to follow up with you on the service we provided. If you are not completely satisfied please respond to our email and we will contact you immediately.
If you were happy with our service we would invite you to leave us feedback on <google places link> or <yelp link>.
We hope you will call us again if you ever need our service.
The above email gives the client the opportunity to respond to you directly if they are not satisfied. This is very important. You do not want to send a “Please leave feedback” email without directing where you want any complaints that you uncover to go. If they are not completely satisfied you need to spell out what you want them to do such as call or respond to the email so you can directly handle their complaint.
Of course if they are satisfied you have now provided them with links to your chosen review sites which makes it very easy for your customer to leave you a review. As long as leaving a review is very simple and convenient you will find most people won’t mind leaving you a positive review. This one strategy that should be implemented by every business that has a local presence and wants to take control of their online reviews.
If you have other strategies about gaining positive reviews and would like to share please leave feedback. I would be open to discuss what others have found to work. You can read more here