The obvious answer is 5-Stars and glowing comments. And this would be very true. But dig a little deeper, and there is the rule of the 3 R’s
Gone are the days you can anonymously post reviews to your site with positive comments. And on the flip side negative reviews to a competitor (I know you would never do that).
With the advent of our numerous online profiles (Google, Facebook, etc.) posted reviews need to be verified to have originated from a real person.
Having to log in to leave a review was a barrier not so long ago. But today with the proliferation of smartphones and social networks most everyone has a Google or Facebook account. And the chances are that the consumer is already logged in from their phone or desktop.
A no-brainer but not to be taken for granted, a posted review bears more weight when it explicitly references the reviewed product/service for which someone is reading a review. Anything you can do to encourage someone to leave descriptive and specific comments provide tremendous influence on any consumer researching your business.
Both Google and consumers pay more attention to reviews posted in the last 30 days than ones older than 3 months. A 2017 survey revealed that recency is the 3rd most critical factor for a review influencing the reader.
Reviews have a shelf life and keeping a steady stream of posted reviews in important to a successful online reputation. Here are some key takeaways from the Local Consumer Review Survey in 2017.
- 77% of consumers think that online reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant
- 18% of consumers only care about reviews submitted within the last two weeks
- Only 4% of consumers pay any attention to reviews submitted over a year ago
But Wait, there is “One More Thing” (or R)
When someone says a nice thing to you in passing, it is a natural reaction to reply in gratitude. The same is true for online reviews and is encouraged by Google. It demonstrated to the world that your business is genuine and cares. It also makes your business more memorable to the readers. A good rule of thumb is to respond in proportion to the posted review. If the posted review was a one or two liner, a simple thank you would be appropriate. But if someone posts an amazingly glowing and detailed review, it should get your attention for a thoughtful message of appreciation.
On the flip side, when a negative review gets posted, and it will happen, a timely response is critical. Consumers are smart and will consider the business’ reply. Just recently Google added a feature which will send an alert to the reviewer’s account/email when their review receives a reply.
It is all about engagement in the eyes of Google other internet properties.
If you know how to directly contact person who left a negative review (we should all have a good CRM database) you can attempt to communicate to understand the issues and offer some resolution privately. The reviewer can change or remove their negative review.
It’s a Wrap
In conclusion, keep the rule of the 3 R’s when you are in the process of acquiring reviews. It will get you more and better performing reviews.