One of the best ways to get new clients is based on the recommendations of happy existing clients, and one of the most trusted sources for recommendations is Google reviews. A good review can go a long way to getting new clients, just like one bad review can turn off prospective clients permanently.
Online reviews are important because they can affect your ranking in search engines and ultimately the decisions of your prospective clients. More online reviews can get your website a higher SEO ranking, making it more likely your prospective client will see it pop up in a search.
Why Positive Online Reviews Are Necessary For Your Business
If you think having online reviews are "nice to have" but not necessary, consider a few statistics:
92% of consumers now read online reviews
63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews
88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores
Why Use Google Reviews?
Google Reviews in particular are very important, simply because millions of consumers use Google to find businesses and services. It's a volume game. Google reviews simply get attract more eyeballs than any other online review system.
Google reviews are also more credible than other sites because Google doesn’t allow you or your reviewers to be anonymous. This gives your clients more confidence that you are a reputable business owner, and that the reviews are real comments from actual clients.
When a review is displayed in your Google search results, you have the added advantage of customer testimonials appearing right there for a prospective client to see. Instantly, the prospect's likelihood of signing up with you just increased!
Now let's take a look at how you can get more 5-star Google reviews for your business, whether you're training clients in-person or online...
5 Steps to Get Way More 5-Star Google Reviews
In order to take advantage of Google reviews, you must ensure your business is Google-verified. To do this, simply register your business on the Google My Business page.
1. Set up and share your review link
First you want to set up your Google Review Link that will give your clients access to reviewing your services.
Once you’ve done this, you simply need to get your clients to participate by leaving a review. How do you do this? Well, just ask them!
Many customers will be happy to leave a short review, especially if they’ve had a positive experience, but they won't do it if you don't ask them.
I have created an email template using "canned responses" in Gmail. This makes it easy to send the same request for a review to all my clients. Here's a quick tutorial showing how you can do this too:
2. Make the review experience as easy and smooth as possible
Make sure you include clear instruction points at every step. The easier it is for your clients to leave a review, the more they'll want to do it.
You can also personalize your response emails – customers really appreciate this! That feeling of a personal connection might be the difference between a one-time purchaser and a long term client.
Use the canned response technique (above), but consider adding a personalized line to begin each email. Your response rate will really go up when your clients think they're getting a personal message, not an e-blast going out to dozens or hundreds of others.
3. Remind your client's regularly
Give customers many different options through which they can access your Google reviews. Remind them on your website, via social media pages, when they make a purchase, when they achieve a new fitness milestone, or even if you speak to them on the phone for a check-in.
Remind them often... until they give a review at least.
Even something as simple as adding a call to action in your email signature will generate feedback from your clients.
It is really important that you respond to reviews. Thank clients for their feedback and address any issues that they may highlight.
Customers appreciate it when they see that a business is engaging with its clients, and they will be more likely to leave their feedback if they think it’s being valued. When you publicly thank your clients for their reviews, other clients are more likely to follow suit.
It might be difficult for you to manage your reviews, especially as you’re trying to grow your business, so there are a number of third party tools that you can use to help you keep track of them.
5. Offer incentives
Occasionally you can offer an incentive, such as a discount, a free class, or some other bonus, in exchange for a review. You definitely don’t want to overdo this one, but timely incentives can generate interest among your clients.
For example, I've offered review incentives on my birthday: "Don't get me a gift, just tell me what you've enjoyed during our time working together and get ___________!"
Remember, online reviews are a great way to get feedback for your business, to improve your ranking on search engines, and to improve your "know, like, and trust" factor with new clients. Set up your Google Reviews link right away and start collecting feedback from your clients.