Ep 34 The Skinny On Reviews

Ep 34 The Skinny On Reviews
September 23, 2016 bradp

Brad Post, Create the Movement, host
Josh Rich, Create the Movement, guest

Brad Post, Create the Movement, host: Welcome back to this edition of Create the Movement podcast. Brad Post here sitting with
Josh Rich, Create the Movement, guest: Josh Rich.
BP: How are you Josh?
JR: Pretty good Brad. How are you?
BP: Good. Let’s get started. We’re going to be talking about reviews today.
JR: There’s tons and tons of different places that you can ask for customer reviews and customers can review you. Which is great. The problem is knowing which one is right for your business and the pros and cons of each one. And the question of how to get them – everyone wants good reviews.
The three biggest ones in general are going to be Facebook, Google Maps, and Yelp. Again, if you’re in a niche, there’s probably going to be some niche review that you get. We focus a lot on Google Maps just because there’s a lot of SEO value in that.

Google My Business

BP: Like Google My Business?
JR: Yeah, Google My Business, your local listing, Google Maps, whatever you want to call it. So that is a ranking factor. That’s been said by Google: that having good reviews and a lot of good reviews will absolutely bump you up in the local rankings. So, the only downside to Google Maps is that they’re kind of hard to get. You have to have a Gmail account to do it. But if you’re not necessarily looking at SEO; if you’re looking for credibility, I probably wouldn’t do that. Because it’s hard to get.
BP: Yeah. I mean not everyone has a Gmail.
JR: Yeah, exactly. And even if you do, you have to be signed in. It sounds dumb, but even if you have one you just want to remove as many barriers as possible for your customers to give you that review.

Facebook

Which is why Facebook is great. Because everyone has a Facebook. And people have it on their phone so they can instantly log in, find you on there, and boom you’re good.
BP: With Google reviews they require a certain amount of characters, too. To approve them, I believe? With Facebook you can just put a five-star and ‘they’re great’ from what I’ve seen.
JR: Oh really? Interesting. I didn’t know that.
BP: Because not all of mine get approved sometimes.
JR: Interesting. I haven’t seen that before. Yeah, Google is somewhat what icky about how their reviews go down. But, like I said, Facebook – a lot less barriers because everyone has it their pocket already. The downside though is that that has not proven to be a ranking factor.
BP: Yeah. And people could give bad reviews very quickly.
JR: Yeah. That’s also a good point.

Others – Yelp, Angie’s List

Then Yelp. I don’t know if you have to have a Yelp account, or not?
BP: You do.
JR: Okay, you do. But most people have either Yelp or TripAdvisor. Most people have some sort of app on their phone already so they kind of have it set up. But, whatever you shoot for, the biggest question you have to ask yourself is where your customers are. And where are they looking?
If you’re a contractor Angie’s List is probably going to be something you’re going to want to build up. That’s where you’re going to want to drive customers to. But I would recommend, especially when you first start out, that if you launch a campaign to get reviews you have to pick one. You can’t just say, “Hey, review this, this, and this.” Because you’re not going to get good feedback. It’s way more impressive to say, “Hey, we have over a 100 five-star reviews on Google, or on yada-yada-yada.”
And I will say one thing you need to take into account as well is the credibility of the site. I can’t necessarily prove this, but I think that a lot of people think that saying that you have over a 100 five-star Google reviews versus a 100 five-star Facebook reviews, I think that the Google holds more weight. Maybe because people know there’s barriers. “Oh, they actually went to the trouble of logging into their Gmail.” Versus, “I was sitting in the waiting room on Facebook, I was there anyway, so I just did it.”
BP: Might as well give them a five-star.

Choose One

JR: Exactly. I would definitely look into which reviews hold more weight, and also, where your customers are actually looking. That’s kind of a bit of a process, but you have to pick one before you launch any sort of campaign.
Once you have picked your horse, the question then becomes how do you get the reviews and how do you ask. This is definitely going to depend on your industry. But a few things that you can definitely do is anytime you finish a project with a customer, or complete a sale, is just ask for it. And that’s something that we probably need to do a better job of here. Send out emails and ask regularly with our monthly clients. But even if you’re a plumber and you finish a thing, put it on your receipt, “Hey, review us here.”
BP: And make it specific. “If you could go to Google.” But you have to have a Gmail address. And give them a link where they can go and review you. Same with Facebook.
JR: Yeah. And one of the best things you can do, even if you’re like a brick-and-mortar coffee shop, if you can collect emails after they buy it – that’s great. I went to PetSmart and they asked for my email when I was checking out. No, I went to get a haircut, too. This is so weird. I went to get a haircut and they asked for my physical address, my email address, and my phone number! I kind of get the email address – managers can give you coupons. But what are you going to do? Send me a text message? What’s that about?
All that to say that people are somewhat used to at least being asked for personal information. They might say, “No.” But they’re not going to be offended by it.
BP: Can I say something on that. I think retail has been very programmed recently to be more intentional about that.
JR: Very aggressive I would say even.
BP: Yeah. My daughter works at Old Navy and they don’t ask. They’re like, “Hey, what’s your email?”
JR: It’s not like an option. “Hey, would you like to give us your email?” No. It’s like, “Hey, I need your email.”
BP: And if you don’t want to give it to them you have to say, “No.” Or, “Do you really need that?” And sound like a jerk.
JR: That’s a bit of a tangent.
BP: Sorry.
JR: No, there is a marketing concept of an opt-in versus and opt-out. If you give the option to opt-in – people won’t do it. But if you actually just make them opt-out – they’re going to stay with you. Because people are just lazy. There’s a study for organ donors. Somewhere like in Scandinavia. That they made everyone an organ donor. If you got a driver’s license, you’re an organ donor. It went up like 80%. No one wanted to opt out. And the opt-process was just a checkmark, “I don’t want to do this.” Versus checking, “I do want to do this.”

Email Marketing

Again, if you can make it an opt-out versus an opt-in, you will get so many more contacts. And that is not only good for getting reviews, but it also helps build an email list if you ever want to do an email-marketing campaign.
If you’re are retail, if you are a service industry, collecting emails is a great way to do business. Both for reviews and for long-term growth. When you send out that email asking for reviews include the link. All they do is click it and go do it. And if you have to have some sort of log-in instructions, try to write something that is compelling. I know it’s a barrier, but it’s easy – takes five minutes. Maybe even set up a timer and do it yourself. And say, “We did it. It took two minutes.” That way you can give it to them and be as upfront as possible.

Bad Reviews

One thing to consider is you’re going to get bad reviews. It’s just the nature of the beast. It’s fine. We get this all the time that people, our clients, will be like, “Hey, we got this bad review. Can we take it off?” Our answer is always, “No.” As far as I know, any credible reviewing system will not let just take off bad reviews. You can disable reviews, but then you lose all of your good ones.
Don’t freak out about bad reviews. Unless you start getting and overwhelming amount of bad reviews. Then you might consider disabling that feature until you have a base willing to give you good reviews.
One thing to put your mind at ease, if you have one bad review out of fifty so it knocks you down to like a 4.7 stars instead of five stars, I would argue that’s actually better than a five-star review. Because people think, “Oh, this is a real company with real reviews. It’s not just their mom and their cousins that give all five-star reviews because they’re family. These are actual customers.” So I think it ads legitimacy. It’s way more natural. You shouldn’t have your mom give you a three-star review to make it more natural. But don’t worry about it. You don’t have to have this pristine five-star review to seem credible.

Paid Review Systems

Another point is paid review systems. Since we do a lot in the legal marketing arena there’s a ton of these sites that will charge you an arm-and-a-leg to be on there. But it’s this peer-reviewed system. You can probably talk more about the value. Is it valuable?
BP: I think it’s more of an ego thing for specific industries. It’s really just a money-making system. It’s kind of a fraternity-boy, sorority-girl like club. That, “Hey, you write me a review. I write you a review.” It’s very similar to LinkedIn.
JR: But you have to pay $200 a month for it. All lot of those companies will spin it as, “Oh, it’s a paid-review system so it’s more legitimate.” But I would argue that if you’re doing it just have this credible review system – it’s not worth it. I don’t think you’ll see a good return of investment on it. If they charge you for other services, that’s fine. But any company that says ‘be on our company to get good reviews and pay us’ – avoid those at all cost.
BP: Yes, I agree. Awesome.
JR: I think that’s it. Give this podcast a good review.