In our day and age, before testing a new restaurant, hairdresser or even an osteopath, we usually have the reflex to do a short investigation online. We check the location, website, opening hours and, most importantly, online reviews. Do you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business or practice? And that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Looking at it this way, online reviews are a huge factor in spreading positive word-of-mouth and making your business more successful. So, if you don’t have an online booking platform that allows your clients to leave online reviews after visiting your business or practice, or if you do but you are not sure if you’re using it to its full potential, read this short article👇
1. Get Reviews Automatically
The very first step you need to take to optimize your online reviews is to get online! If you don’t have a website or homepage, a Facebook or Instagram page, creating one is not only a good idea, but a critical step. The goal is to boost your business’s visibility on the web, as well as increase the overall accessibility to your services for your current and potential clients. By adopting an online booking platform, you will:
- Ease the booking process for both you and your clients;
- Automate most communications sent to your clients.
For example, you can configure your platform to automatically send an email to your customers, thanking them for their visit and inviting them to publish an online review. This is a great way to encourage your customers and get them to write reviews. Many of them are more than satisfied with your services, but don’t think of leaving a review on your website or social media page on their own. An automatic email will give them the push they need, help you stand out by getting more reviews and ultimately, pull in all those potential clients roaming the web to find the #1 professional in your field. Here at GOrendezvous, our statistics show that 40% of clients will write a review, and 10% will write a review with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5.
2. Bring Quality and Quantity Together
You probably have a few very loyal clients that leave great online reviews on your webpage or scheduling platform but it’s just the first step. Even if they are positive reviews, having just a small amount of them won’t fully sway your potential clients your way. Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business. If they come to find fewer than 10 reviews, chances are they won’t be very impressed and may have second thoughts, leading them to pick a business with more reviews. However, you probably have more than 10 customers who are willing to help you by sharing their opinion. The only thing left to do is to turn these good intentions into concrete and written online reviews, and that’s when your platform comes into play.
3. Opt for Consistency and Continuity
Another important aspect is the consistency of your online reviews. To be as efficient as you can, you need to make sure to have new reviews on a regular basis and that the first reviews seen by clients, current or potential ones, were not written one year ago. Did you know that 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past two weeks? If your oldest clients have already reviewed your services in the past, don’t hesitate to follow up and encourage them to write new reviews. Your services and business/practice have evolved over the years, and your loyal and long-time customers are the best people to attest to that.
PRO TIP: You also need to make sure your reviews stay consistent. You don’t want an excellent review to be followed by a mediocre one. If you know that one of your clients is a tough critic, ask for his personal review and feedback orally, but maybe deactivate the communications sent to him to avoid a public review that is unrepresentative of your services.
Online reviews are an amazing marketing tool that really makes a difference, and it’s so important to maintain a good reputation. If you are not using an all-in-one online scheduling platform or don’t have a personal website, creating one should become your top priority. With an online booking platform, automatically send your thank-you emails, and allow your clients to review and rate your services in a single click. To take it one step further, you can also send out customized surveys to your clients after their appointments. That way, you can get in-depth comments about your business and services to make sure you always stay on top of your game.