Think about the last time you bought something online, or reserved a place to stay, or chose a restaurant. Before making a decision, what was one of the FIRST things you did? If you’re like most people, you looked at the reviews.
How many reviews are there? Have they primarily been given 5 stars… or 1-2 stars? If they have mostly 4-5 stars, what do people love about it? And, if there are 1-2 star ratings, what are their biggest complaints?
If there are no ratings and reviews, what are your thoughts? You’re most likely a little leary to purchase, aren’t you? If no one else is trying it, you probably will keep looking for another product that someone else testifies is good, or (hopefully) amazing.
Ratings and reviews – good, bad, or non-existent – can make or break a business.
Customers trust other people’s opinion in today’s social media saturated world more than they trust what a brand says about themselves.
In 2015, BrightLocal released the findings of their Local Consumer Review Survey. They found that 92% of people said they read reviews to determine the quality of a local business before visiting a business. NINETY-TWO PERCENT.
So, what does that mean for you?
If you don’t have a lot of reviews all saying how amazing someone’s experience is at your place of business, chances are you are losing people, and probably a lot of them.
Here are a few other statistics that communicate the importance of online reviews:
Reviews matter. And they matter a lot.
So, given that, here are a few things that are key to know and remember:
- Volume of reviews you have – many customers form an opinion after only reading a few reviews, but they want to at least know that there are many similar reviews just like the ones they read.
- All on the same day – Google doesn’t look favorably on all your reviews happening around the same time frame. Spread them out and consistently ask for reviews. Sort your members alphabetically and reach out to the A-E’s the first week, then F’J’s the following, etc.
- Incentivize – You certainly don’t have to incentivize your members to leave you a review, but it wouldn’t hurt, would it? You can enter them in a raffle for a $25 credit to your retail, or a $5 giftcard to Starbucks, etc. For drop-in’s, you can offer them a 2nd drop-in for free if they leave you a review. Their efforts will be well worth the investment you spend.
- Reviews impact your search ranking – Google likes it when a business has a bunch of reviews so they will use these to rank you higher in searches.
- New customers will pay more for highly rated products or services – You know as well as I do if you read awesome positive reviews about a product, you are more willing to open up your wallet.
- Have reviews on different platforms – The main platforms to have a healthy dose of glowing reviews are Google and Facebook, but it never hurts to have a good handful of positive reviews on Yelp as well.
- Make it “stupid simple” for people to leave a review – Use our template to help people with the review-leaving process. The less clicks they have to do, the more likely they’ll actually leave you a review.
We cannot understate the importance of getting at least 35-50 positive reviews, spread out over the course of time. The more, the better. Invest time in this and it will pay you back in dividends.
Want more help with this? Check out Hub. This month, we’re focused on helping Hubsters get found online and getting reviews is just one piece of that. For only $10 for the first month, you can get your online “house” in order.
Also… if you haven’t registered yet for the 1st Annual Gym Owner’s Growth Summit, do so today!! It’s FREE and it’s 3 days of content from some of the greatest minds in our industry!!