Q&A with Yell: How to get your business reviewed online
Depending on the type of product, research in 2015 found that up to two in every three consumers view online reviews as more important than other sources of information when choosing a product online1 . As a business owner, this presents you with an opportunity to grow your business, and stay one step ahead of the competition through asking your customers to leave reviews.
In this Q&A with Mark Clisby, Chief Marketing Officer at Yell will cover:
- Why every business should have a strategy for securing positive online reviews
- Tips on how to encourage customers to leave a review
- Platform features that will help you easily integrate reviews with your website
- How to turn a negative review into an opportunity
Can you provide us with an overview of how Yell works with small and medium sized businesses?
Originally founded in 1966 to provide the iconic printed business directory Yellow Pages, Yell has over 50 years’ experience of helping consumers find and connect with small to medium sized businesses across the UK.
As a result of the internet’s rapid expansion in the 1990s, the business pivoted towards helping customers grow their businesses online. Since then, Yell has provided digital marketing services, such as mobile-friendly website design and build, and online reputation which are available to buy either as individual products or combined in a package.
Why should small businesses encourage their customers to leave reviews?
Reviews are key to helping potential customers research and decide which business they want to use. Trusted, impartial third-party opinions provide credibility, proof of quality, and the expertise of a business. Additionally, reviews provide useful feedback about the level of service your customers experience.
Having reviews for your business may also provide useful information for potential customers looking to use your service. A coffee with your haircut? Or quick home delivery? This information may not be highlighted in your own marketing material, but may make the difference between gaining a new customer and not. Online reviews can also help your business be found easier online as search engines acknowledge the importance of reviews and prioritise this information in search results.
Research from Yell found that 56%2 of consumers who have read reviews expect the most recent review to have been posted within the last month. How can SMBs encourage their customers to leave reviews?
There are a number of different ways you can ask for reviews. It can be as simple as asking customers to leave a review when you submit your final invoice or providing signposts on key marketing collateral such as your website and email newsletters. If you have a physical location such as a hair salon, you can create posters or window stickers prompting customers to post a review online.
Yell.com has a ‘Request a Review’ feature as part of the account management dashboard, and the free Yell for Business app allows small businesses to send review requests to their clients by email or text.
How can reviews improve how your business is ranked in an online search?
Most major search engines prioritise reviews within search results as they understand the importance of ranking trusted and known businesses in online searches. Selecting a few review sites to build your brand reputation on will be key to giving you enough time to answer comments to help you maintain and build relationships with customers.
Choosing your preferred platforms will also depend on the type of business you own. For example, more tradesperson businesses are reviewed on Yell.com than on any other dedicated listing website in the UK3.
It is discouraging when customers leave a negative review, but how can small businesses turn this into an opportunity?
While receiving negative reviews is disheartening, the truth is that it’s difficult to go unscathed. Therefore, it’s important to handle negative reviews in the right way.
Recent research from Yell found that 69% of customers who have raised issues are more likely to return to the business if the issue was resolved quickly and efficiently. If you do receive constructive feedback through reviews, responding quickly will show that you care about your customer and are looking to resolve the issue. In doing so, you’ll build customer loyalty and maintain your reputation.
Negative reviews may also help to identify flaws in your business, and gives you the opportunity to fix it and provide a better future customer experience.