According to this survey, 71% of people feel that reviews make them feel more confident that they are making the right purchasing decision when they are visiting a website.
71% is a large number, and although this survey might not have been sampling the entire population of the United States, it is still very significant. What if your business doesn’t have any customer reviews? Let’s say that you are a doctor and you have a competitor that has a practice just one city away – or even in the same city as you. Will a potential patient go to their practice because they have more reviews? What if you have negative reviews?
These are all appropriate questions – in fact, these are questions that we should constantly be asking ourselves as business owners and marketers. Your business needs to be making an effort to get your patients, clients, or customers to leave reviews on various platforms for your business.
Here are reasons why:
We have all been in the situation where we want to buy something, and then we find out that a friend or colleague has bought the same item that we are thinking of purchasing. What do we do in this situation? Most likely we would ask them how they like the product, if they enjoyed the customer service, or if they would recommend the business or product to anyone else.
This kind of information is much more valuable to us than reading what the company has to say about themselves online, right?
Well, the same thing goes for plastic surgeon online reviews; people who are looking to make a purchasing decision would much rather hear from a real person who has already been in their shoes before they make their final choice.
Increase in Website Traffic
If you are getting real reviews on platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, Google+, Manta, or Yahoo, there is a higher chance that people will click through to your website and therefore increase your website traffic.
The same study that I mentioned earlier shares that businesses had a 15% increase in product page views (website visits) within 30 days.
There are search engine optimization benefits to having your website listed on directory sites which can also increase your online presence, and eventually your ROI (return on investment). How? Well, having backlinks that lead to your website (even if they’re ‘nofollow’) helps your website’s overall domain authority and will eventually increase its rankings.
Additionally, since most of the local directory websites (such as Yelp) have an option for you to submit your address and phone number, your local traffic search will also increase.
In other words, submitting your website to directory listings can help increase your local website presence, and overall rankings within search engines.
The issue that we all have to deal with is actually getting these reviews. However, this task is a lot easier than it seems. You may be wondering how to ask someone who just paid for a product or service to take extra time out of their day and do something for your business for free? Some people might take it personally and feel annoyed or ambushed by you or your employee.
Additionally, it can be difficult to choose which website to drive your customers to for leaving you reviews. As if it wasn’t difficult enough, there is an added challenge of actually getting someone to follow through with leaving the review because by the time they open up the webpage and get to your business, they might have to make a profile.
The question now becomes how we can get our customers, clients, or patients to follow through and leave a great review for our business.
Provide a Quality Experience
One of the first things you should do to ensure that your other efforts will be beneficial is to take a step back and evaluate the overall experience of your business. Remember that you have to provide a great product, service, AND experience in order for a customer to really feel satisfied.
Offer an Incentive
One of the biggest challenges with customer reviews is that it requires your customers to take time out of their day to do something for free. So, what happens if you take the “for free” part away?
Recently I saw Subway offering customers a free cookie if they took time to fill out a survey. This is a perfect example of how you can offer an incentive to someone. Give your customers something of value. If you have a practice, let them know that if they leave a review for your business that they can get a free bottle of lotion the next time they come in.
Make It Easy
You’re already asking them to take an extra step for you, the least you can do is make it easy for them. Have your team come up with a “how-to” infographic and hand (or email) it to your customers that are interesting in leaving you’re practice a review.
Let’s not discredit customer reviews because they seem “easy” – they can offer a number of benefits to your business at little to no cost.
Let Us Help
We can help you create a strategic plan to increase your online reviews, website traffic, and more. Contact our medical marketing practice today – we are waiting for your phone call!