Online reviews are digital gold. Most bride-to-bes are millennial know-it-alls. If you’re not established online, chances are they will skip right over you. These clients put a lot of stock into the reviews of others. It’s the new and improved word-of-mouth marketing...so to speak. People pay attention to the experience others have had with your business, and that experience is a reflection of the quality of service you offer. In fact, a study by Harvard Business School’s Michael Luca, showed that a one-star increase review sites can lead to a 9% revenue increase.
Acknowledge ALL Reviews
Not just the bad ones. This can be a lot of work, depending on how many reviews you get everyday. A good vendor will acknowledge a customer who had a negative experience, but a great vendor will also show appreciation towards those who share their positive experiences. All it takes is a simple thank you. That kind of personal attention is priceless to a reviewer.
Register on ‘Wedsites’
While Yelp and TripAdvisor are great review sites, you want to be available on wedding sites the majority of brides or similar personas are visiting. Popular wedding sites include Onewed, TheKnot and WeddingWire, which are great for all-in-one wedding vendor profiles.
Don’t Sweat the Negative Reviews
You can’t make everyone happy. And while negative reviews are not something a business wants to see, they can actually have a positive impact. Brides pay attention to these reviews the most and, more importantly, they watch how the vendors respond. Sandy Malone of Brides.com used to have the same worries, “until one of my brides told me she wouldn't have believed my company was real if it had been nothing but hundreds of flattering comments — interesting perspective.”
Do NOT Write Your Own Reviews
Not only is writing false reviews tacky, but it violates the policy of almost every review site out there. If caught, your review pages could be completely wiped (negatively impacting your SEO), you could face a hefty fine, and worse, the integrity and credibility of your business can be destroyed. That’s not something that’s easy to back down from.
Check out how one business went from 4 stars to 1 star over night.
Do NOT Bribe Your Critics
It’s so easy to tack on a Starbucks gift card in return for a coveted 5-star rating. However, review aggregators and ratings trackers actually forbid business owners from offering compensation for reviews. Besides, bribery is never flattering, and makes a company look desperate. Instead potentially offending someone by buying their good will. Simply encourage them to share their experience. Most people will appreciate simply being acknowledged as a customer even after services rendered.