Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency and a Grade.us reseller, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals through marketing and SEO.
Importance of a review funnel for a small business
Reviews can be one of the best sources of marketing a small business can get. But why exactly is that? Thanks to the internet, and a larger variety of information sources, consumers now spend much more time getting information before they buy. According to one study, on average, 10.4 information sources are checked before making a decision.
However, compared to many other sources, reviews are different because in the eyes of the consumer, they are more trustworthy. According to the Edelman trust barometer, opinions of “people like me”, was believed 62% of the time. This comes at a time when traditional mass media advertising is struggling and customer turn to digital sources like your website.
One of the largest challenges a small business in particular have is getting traction. This can be particularly challenging early, when there often are limited funds for advertising. Therefore, it can be really worthwhile to implement a review page for collecting good feedback, and from learning, and reacting, quickly from bad feedback. A review page such as the below is a great central place that you can send your customers to give you feedback on your service. Instead of them having to remember all your different social/review site links, just include your review link in your email and in customer follow up campaigns. A review page such as this can dramatically increase the number of reviews you get.
Below is an example of the review page created for Titan Web Agency:
How to get good reviews
For a small business owner, with a million balls in the air, it can be hard to create a marketing system, on top of every other possible responsibility. You can find yourself in charge of doing everything, for everyone, hardly having the time to breathe between battles.
However, the good news is that getting good reviews is really not that hard. It does however require you to switch your thinking into considering more than just reviews, but also the type of service, or product you are selling, and learning from your customers feedback. Therefore, a way of getting reviews should also be a good model for effective learning.
Here is a step-by-step method that can be followed for getting good reviews:
- Create a quality product or service. At the heart of receiving good feedback is the desire to want to go out of your way to please your customers. It might sound simple, however it is often an overlooked fact. Keep in mind that quality is defined by what your customers want, not your own personal definition of what they should want.
- Interact with your customers. A common mistake many small business owners make is to assume a one-way conversation. Ideally, you want to continually learn what is happening in your market from your customers. Initially that interaction can really help you identify what you can adjust in your offering.
- Identify natural places to get feedback. This can depend a lot on what your business does, however generally speaking the best places of generating feedback can be right after you have made your customers happy, and when they are visiting your website. With time you might notice that your customers can give you ideas for new places.
- Create feedback funnels. A feedback funnel is basically a series of steps that has been created to generate opinions from customers. It´s primary function is to make good feedback social, and for making negative feedback private. A good service for setting up a feedback tunnel is through Grade.us. Here is an example.
- Get customers into the funnel. Start by asking for feedback. You can do that on your website or business cards. Make it a habit to ask after you have delivered. Try to experiment with asking in different ways to find what works best, and even consider offering incentives for giving feedback. Like a discount or a free gift.
- Guide them through the review process. For many customers it might be completely new experience so help them through your feedback funnel. With grade.us it is simply a matter of selecting a review site and then make it easy for the customer to leave feedback by directing their next action.
- Monitor and respond. Ideally you want to monitor what is being written about your business on review places regularly. That way you can respond to good feedback by maybe offering another incentive. Alternatively, you can respond quickly, and privately, to negative feedback to reduce or eliminate its impact.
The main objectives of the above process are to increase word-of-mouth, and to help you create a simple, yet effective way to advertise your business. However, if you are really listening to the feedback your customers is giving, you might also find new ways to change and grow your business.
How to use reviews
Reviews can be used in a variety of ways. The most immediate way is to incorporate it in your advertising. One of the least expensive ways of doing that can be to have a review page on your website, that you frequently update with the latest testimonials. You can also take reviews offline by maybe incorporating it in your signage, menus, or other print material.
However, reviews can also serve a much more important function. From what your customers are saying, new ideas can come. For instance, you might notice that particular elements of your product or service offering are more popular than others. This can lead you to change what you are offering in a new direction you might not have thought of.
You can also use negative feedback to better understand what your target market is, and which details can really make a difference for gaining an outstanding perception. A hard reality can be that for every negative feedback you got, there might be several others that simply left, without saying a single word.
To keep tabs on these reviews, I recommend monitoring your reputation online.
What is your business doing to gather more reviews? What have you seen is the most effective strategy?