Are you proactively asking your customers to leave an online review as part of your sales process? This is a question we at Fruitful MarketingⓇ ask regularly as we feel it is an extremely important aspect of a business’s strategy.

When you receive an inbound enquiry who has been personally recommended or referred to you, these are the best type of leads. Why? They will already be near the bottom of your sales funnel as trust is already established from the personal recommendation. These recommendations are pulling customers towards your business when they are already in buying mode.

The Federation of Small Businesses shared a powerful piece of research that ‘85% of people trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations’. This is a huge opportunity for companies providing excellent services and highlights how simply asking your customers to leave you a review should be a key part of your sales process. With so many free tools out there to show off your services, such as Google My Business, what a great start it is for a lead to be greeted with strong reviews on Google search before even entering your impressive website. Having a significant amount of online reviews means that customers are more likely to see you as reliable and will therefore be willing to build a relationship with you, resulting in conversions.

What if I receive a negative review?

Once you start building these reviews, it is important that you engage with them whether positive or negative. Dissatisfied customers are more likely to return to your business if their issues are resolved and similarly. Responding as the owner on Google My Business allows you to give your side of the feedback, which can often be unreasonable. Whilst interacting with positive reviews demonstrates the true appreciation you have for this feedback and reiterates the quality of the service you are providing. Always make the satisfaction of your customers a priority.

Given the importance of 85% of customers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, do you sit there and hope people leave you reviews? We are all busy people so make it as easy as possible for your customers to do this e.g. send them a link directly to the exact location where you want them to leave a review. These actions will only take a couple of minutes but will ensure success in the long term, with many leads converting to paying, loyal customers. So, make sure you are dedicating the time to proactively ask for these online reviews from your customers as part of your sales process.

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