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If they aren’t, positive online reviews need to be part of your digital marketing strategy because they nudge the consumer in their decision making process. If your competitor is crushing Google Reviews, people see that. But getting folks to take action on your behalf isn’t always easy.
Matt Casady, Local SEO Manager for STOR-N-LOCK Self Storage, a multi-location self-storage center joined Allison to talk about their fantastic success in implementing a positive Google review strategy.
What To Do:
Don’t Be Shy – You HAVE to Ask
Matt shared that the management at several STOR-N-LOCK locations expressed insecurity in asking for reviews. Shyness, even. He had amazing advice for them. When you’ve got a customer standing in your lobby doing business with you, they’ve already chosen you.
Unless you’re in a very specific niche, your customers have other choices. Yet here they are, in your lobby, paying you money. Have confidence in that process and learn from their why – either to affirm what you’re doing right or get insight on what you could be doing better.
Matt shared that they have five (5!!) phases of implementation on their online review strategy. It sounds overwhelming, but it really isn’t. His best nugget of advice is to start with what you already have in place or what you’re already doing.
If you’ve already got an email newsletter, put a link at the bottom to online reviews. If you’re already doing SMS marketing, include it there. If you have a follow-up phone call system in place, have the team member making those calls ask for a review. If you hand each customer an appointment card for their next interaction with you, put information about it there. If they’re sitting in your lobby for any period of time, have a tabletop or wall display with a url clearly visible with a call to action.
Recognize the BEST Time to Get a Positive Online Review
People are busy, that’s not new information. No matter how great their experience was with you and how much they promise to go home and leave you a positive review, life gets in the way.
THE best time is to achieve a completed review is while that customer is right there, in your business, having a good experience. The completion rate is MUCH higher if you can engage them about a review and have the tools to complete it right then and there.
Matt shared one part of their strategy that took Allison by surprise – which isn’t easy with her bank of knowledge and experience. He told us that they set up a vanity url that redirected to the review site to make it easy for anyone to remember and complete a review. It was something they were able to use on their site and printed material consistently.
What NOT To Do:
What’s the #1 dealbreaker in getting positive online reviews? Incentivizing the reviewer. “Give us five stars and get a free coffee!” The consequences are huge with the review platform AND with trust if you do this. Simply put, don’t.
You can, however, have fun within your own teams and incentivize them to interact with customers in an effort to get a review.. Matt talks a bit about how he works with his on-site management on this.
Thank you to Matt for taking the time to speak with Allison. If you’d like to connect with him, you can find him on LinkedIn here.