After all the effort involved in driving prospects to a website it is a waste if they don’t stay around long enough to view what is on offer. Every effort should therefore be made to maximise retention and conversion by building credibility. Research (source) shows 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has past customer service reviews and ratings.
The issue is where to place customer service reviews, testimonials and recommendations for maximum impact. For any business with a local customer base a Google+ local listing maximises the chance the reviews will show near the top of page 1 Google.
Any search query such as ‘service’ in ‘location’ will return the Google 7 pack containing up to seven businesses Google selects that match the query. A click on the company name takes the user to the main company website while customer reviews are listed at the bottom of the listing. Listings showing customer reviews instantly have more credibility than those that don’t.
A further advantage of reviews on Google+ local is Google appears to give businesses with reviews a higher priority than those that don’t. As more businesses wake up to the power of Google + business listings the competition is intensifying and any advantage is welcome.
There are two main ways to secure customer reviews on a Google+ business page. The first is to ask them to log into their Google+ account and leave a review on your business. Of course, this assumes the customer has a good understanding of Google products and how to use them. The second assumes the customer has a smart phone but is a simpler alternative. In this case the customer simply clicks on the Google Maps app and this provides the facility to easily leave a review for your business.
Google+ local has the advantage of a page 1 listing compared to a business website that may have a significantly lower listing on page 2 (or below) when a prospect types in a relevant search term. However, as any website should be the key promotional item and information hub for any business it is the best possible space for testimonials, customer service reviews and recommendations.
The challenge is how to generate the customer service reviews and testimonials on a website. First of all it is crucial to ask customers to participate; with this in place it is vital that the review process is as easy as possible for the customer or they simply will not bother. There are both excellent hard copy based systems and internet based systems available that make the process simple for the customer.
With reviews in place they may be selectively developed into case studies to further build credibility and ensure any prospect quickly identifies your business as a credible supplier and engages them to at least learn more, or better still to pick up the telephone and call.