Neil Patel teaches his readers to leverage
online reviewsto increase their visibility and reputation.And there’s a good reason for it. Think about your own behavior as a customer/client. If you’re planning to purchase a product or pay for a service, do you check what other people are saying about what you’re planning to buy? As Neil Patel mentions in his blog, there’s a 97% chance that your answer to that is yes.
Before diving into how Neil Patel’s makes the most out of his reviews, it’s important to state that first and foremost, he actually gets
people to review his products and services. Whether it’s Neil Patel reviews
examining his own persona and professional expertise, or Neil Patel Digital reviews
examining his digital marketing agency’s services, the first step in leveraging the power of online reviews is actually getting people to make them.
So with that said, let’s dive in and learn how to first of all get your customers and clients to review your business, and learn how Neil Patel himself takes advantage of his own business review to increase visibility and reputation.Encourage reviews for social proof
In the online world, user voices
are still important. User reviews are a powerful form of social proof. What is social proof? Social proof is part of the psychology of persuasion. When people see social proof - whether in the form of user reviews, celebrity endorsements, or in one of its many other forms, they take action to attempt the “correct” behavior for any given situation. In the case of user reviews, people will buy products that have a positive rating, or eat at a restaurant that’s full of rave reviews, because they want to be like everyone else.
Once you’ve accrued a few positive reviews of your website, products, or services, take screenshots of them and include them on your website and share them on your social media websites.
Once people see that others are leaving you stellar reviews, they’ll be more likely to do it, too. As stated above, an overwhelming 97% of people read online reviews and use them as part of their purchasing decision, so the more good ones you have, the better.
Neil Patel does this on his website with embedded tweets from his listeners on his Marketing School podcast website
, and testimonials for his consulting services
. Ask for reviews
Encourage reviews in-person by leaving your business card with review sites on the back. At the end of the job, mention that you’d appreciate a review of your experience because your business relies on referrals and reviews to continue operating. Where should you encourage people to leave reviews? Google, Yelp, and the social media platforms you’re actively using are great places to start. Depending on your niche, there may be others worth investing time in.
You can also gently ask for reviews in an email after the sale. Rather than sending the review request immediately after someone makes a purchase, schedule the follow-up email to go out a few days the sale (within three to five days) so they have time to use it before leaving a review. Simply include a link to where you’d like them to leave the review in your email. Be careful not to wait too long, though, and they won’t be as excited or willing to take the time to leave the review.
It’s important to remember that suggesting someone, whether in person or via email, should leave a review for you, doesn’t mean it will happen. The key is to make it as easy as possible for them to do it, and of course, provide such a great experience they’ll be excited to tell others about it.Don’t incentivize in exchange for a review
Some businesses, in an effort to increase the number of reviews they get, offer incentives, such as cahs back or a free gift, in exchange for a review. While this seems like a good idea, it’s against the Terms of Service (TOS) for many review sites, because it looks like people are being bribed into leaving a positive review, regardless of their actual experience - or worse, like you are buying your reviews. If a review platform determines you’re guilty of this practice, you could lose all your reviews, and even be subjected to a fine. Lose those reviews, and you’ve lost powerful social proof.
What can you do instead? You can offer a discount on products and services for the future. This offers two benefits: more reviews, and more sales - which bring in more revenue. This doesn’t qualify as an incentive, because you can provide the discount regardless of whether they leave the review or not. It nurtures the customer relationship by rewarding those who have had a positive experience with you and by giving you another chance to impress a customer who’s left a negative review.
In the name of transparency, encourage reviewers to disclose they received a discount. This can boost sales in the future because transparency builds trust.Address all reviews - Even the negative ones
Encouraging customers to leave a review means you’ll no doubt receive some negative ones. It is, after all, impossible to keep 100% of people happy 100% of the time, and people are less likely to trust your brand if no one has anything negative to say.
It’s tempting to take the negative review personally and go on the defensive, but it’s best for you and the customer if you don’t. Instead of being combative with the reviewer, use Neil Patel’s HEARD method: Hear
what the customer is saying - even if their claims are unfounded. Empathize
by putting yourself in their shoes. Apologize
for the issue. Offer resolution
- take the conversation off the review platform, either by email or phone. And finally, diagnose
. Find the source of the problem and fix it. This lets anyone who sees the review know you’re making the effort to fix your mistakes. Refusing to address customer issues could lead to more unhappy customers and negative reviews.
Be prompt with your response, even if you’re just taking a minute to say you’re investigating the issue. Customers just want to be heard (see why Neil’s approach is so easy to remember?) and if you let it go too long, you’re only doing more damage to your brand’s reputation.
, “Believe it or not, earning perfect reviews isn’t critical for your business. In fact, negative reviews can actually help your business in ways you may have never expected... 85% of consumers look for negative reviews in order to make informed purchase decisions. And this number skyrockets to 91% among consumers from the ages of 18-29. Why? Because bad reviews give customers a sense of the worst-case scenario. They want to know what can go wrong to understand just how much it will matter to them. Too many positive reviews can seem fake
to some shoppers, so you have to watch out.” So if you get a negative review, relax - you’re actually humanizing your business, which is important. It’s how you respond to the negative review that matters most.Use Google Alerts to catch mentions of your company
Sometimes, users will choose their preferred platform to review your company. They may use their blog, forums, or social media profiles, instead of leaving a recommendation on your social media accounts or your preferred platforms. While it’s not your preference, their comments are still important and have an effect on the people who see them.
Setting up Google Alerts makes it easy for you to keep track of brand mentions so you can see what people are saying. This is a form of social listening that you can also apply to social media. Whenever you get an alert, you can add comments to show your appreciation for their kind words, or step in to right a wrong. It’s a good idea to set up these alerts on social media especially because while some users will tag you, not all will… and you may not see all the tags you receive.
Regardless of the sentiment associated with these mentions, take time to respond appropriately to all of them, even the good ones.Wrapping up
Reviews are crucial to your success online and off. Many people turn to review sites and social media to learn more about a business. If you have plenty of good reviews, they’re more likely to contact you. If they see a lot of negative comments, or that you haven’t even taken the time to respond to unhappy customers, they’ll decide to go with your competition.
, “If you take action now, it will take a couple of months before you begin to reap the results. Make no mistake about it, though – if you can increase the number of positive reviews for your business, revenue will rise.”
Getting reviews isn’t easy, but following Neil’s advice will not only improve your chances of receiving them, but also put them to work for you helping to build your brand reputation and strengthen customer relationships.