Coffee Talk #90 – How to Use Reviews to Win New Customers

Don CampbellCoffee Talk with Don Campbell

James Martell, host of Coffee Talk and founder of The School of Internet Marketing, knows firsthand the importance of customer reviews, not only because of how they affect his own business but also because of how they affect his clients’ businesses.

In this episode of Coffee Talk, James discusses customer reviews with guest Don Campbell, the president of marketing blog Expand2Web.com. They talk about why customer reviews are essential to all types of business, including specific reasons such as:

  • The definition of customer reviews and where to find them
  • Using customer reviews to increase your search rankings
  • How you can use customer reviews to gain new business

How Reviews Influence Buying Decisions

When someone goes to look for businesses within your industry or niche, Google+ includes your website in the local results if it thinks local content is included there. And one of the things that Google counts as local content is customer reviews.

Tune in to hear Don share information from other sources, such as David Mihm’s Local Search Rankings Factors report. It explains how Google takes the quality of each review into account along with any other facts to lend credibility to your online presence.

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Customer reviews offer a personal experience. Don shared that he often reads book reviews on Amazon before making a purchase, and James recently used other people’s reviews of a movie before deciding whether or not to go see it in theaters.

And they are not alone. James states that 69% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, whether the review is on their computer or a mobile device.

The Biggest Mistake Businesses Make with Reviews

The biggest mistake that most businesses make regarding customer reviews is not asking for them in the first place. People rarely rush online to write a great review without being prompted. But if they have a complaint or a negative experience, then that’s a whole other story!

Listen to Don explain the importance of getting customer email addresses. You can use them to send email templates to clients at the end of each week, with links inviting them to leave reviews for your business on places like Google+ or Yelp.

Another mistake people make is not monitoring reviews about their business. The danger here is that if a negative review exists for your business online, it holds more weight than a good review with search engines like Google.

James and Don discuss their own experiences with tackling negative reviews on their clients’ websites. They also share the steps you can take to counter if it turns out that your business does receive some type of negative. Don estimates that 90% of the time, the customer who left the negative review will work with you to change their review to a positive one.

How to Get 5 Stars on Every Review

You can try to game the system by purchasing reviews but, as James explained during the episode, Google has a whole anti-spam team made up of employees with PhD’s who are constantly developing new algorithms that spot these types of tricks.

One way that you can build long term relationships with your customers is to use Don’s newly released Get Five Stars system. Fresh from the beta-invite mode, this system offers a dashboard that allows you to:

  • Get feedback from your customers that you can use to improve your business
  • Invite those who leave positive feedback to leave a review on the site of your choosing
  • Contact customers with negative feedback before they can write a bad review

Whether you are a small business with nothing but good reviews or a global corporation with a mix of positive and negative reviews, there is something you can learn from this informational Coffee Talk Interview. Tune in now to listen to the entire show!