What do you see when you look at your reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook?
How often do you get a five star review? Do you have an equal amount of four and three star reviews?
You may find those three star reviews frustrating, and four star reviews can be even more aggravating. After all, you were that close to achieving five stars. So what went wrong?
What’s the difference between three stars and five stars, or even between four and five stars?
It all comes down to this– what seems like a little thing to you, as a marketer or a business owner, is likely a huge thing for your customer.
They’re focused on the relationship between them and your business. You’re focused on keeping your head above water, making a profit, and growing your business. Your attention is divided a dozen different ways.
But your customer’s attention is laser-focused on their relationship with you, how well you deliver, and how you make them feel.
I’m a marketer and a business owner, and just like you, I’m a consumer, too. I see both sides of this conundrum every day.
Looking at this problem through a consumer’s eyes, I’ve determined the seven most common reasons why you’re probably not getting as many five star reviews as you’d like.
#1: You Treat Me Like an Afterthought
Some business owners and their employees have kind of a sixth sense. They can tell when a customer needs something, and they know how to meet those needs.
This is both a blessing and a curse.
When I walk into a business and the employee I meet treats my purchase like a foregone conclusion, they don’t feel like they need to earn my business. In their mind, I’ll be buying no matter what, so the rest doesn’t matter.
This can happen when I call a business on the phone, too.
Think about your own business. When you’re talking to a customer, do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions, simply because you’ve had that conversation so many times before?
Your customers can tell if you’re going into a transaction half baked.
Similarly, when you act annoyed at their presence or their phone call, or when you act like you don’t need their business, they’ll sense that something’s a bit off.
You should pride yourself on meeting your customers’ needs and knowing what they want before they do. That sixth sense is an excellent skill to have.
Even when you’re not annoyed, a customer can tell if you’re acting aloof or just serving them like a robot.
Even if you deliver on your product or service, that extra feeling of detachment is the difference between a three star review and a five star review.
2: You Don’t Keep Your Promises
Your relationship with your repeat customers extends far past the first transaction. Since reviews happen after the first transaction, you still have to focus on delighting your customer after you’ve received their money.
If you don’t keep your promises, even if they’re implied promises, you cannot delight your customers.
Not keeping your promises can include:
- Missing a scheduled phone call
- Missing a scheduled appointment
- Being late for a phone call or an appointment
- Not opening your storefront on time
- Charging a different price than your sales materials advertise
- Not delivering on product or service guarantees
As a business owner, I understand all these things can happen. Life sometimes makes you late, and sometimes wires get crossed. I’ve made some of these mistakes multiple times.
When you inevitably fail to keep your promises, you can still salvage your customer relationships and earn a five star review.
Take ownership of the situation, apologize, and make it up to them. Tell your customer you value your time, and then act in a way that makes them believe you.
Again, even if you deliver a service that’s far above average and missed an appointment because something unexpected came up, what’s your customer going to think?
They’re going to focus on you missing the appointment. They don’t know what’s going on in your life– they only know what’s going on between them and you.
Own the mistake, make it up, and earn an extra two stars on your review profile.
3: You Don’t Treat Your Employees Well
Think of the last time you were in a busy, understaffed restaurant. Or in a fast food drive through lane that just didn’t seem to move. Or the last time your pizza showed up an hour late.
The employees who served you were probably apologetic. They probably gave their best possible service, but looked stressed out– like they might fall apart at the seams at any moment.
It’s true, sometimes understaffing happens because someone calls in sick or someone doesn’t show up to work.
But when you deal with a stressed out employee who seems to be working hard enough for two, three, or four employees, who do you blame?
As a business owner, you might.
Consumers are likely to blame the business instead of the employee. Most consumers are not business owners, so they empathize with stressed out and overworked employees more than they empathize with the business itself.
They usually appreciate great service from a frazzled employee, but they’re not likely to leave a five star review.
Though some circumstances, such as employees falling ill, are unavoidable, having a business full of stressed out, overworked employees won’t earn you a five star review.
A business full of happy, well-adjusted employees reflects well upon your business. It’s not just in the service they provide to your customers– it’s also reflected in their overall attitude and demeanor.
4: Your Product or Service Isn’t That Good
This is by and far the most obvious reason on the list.
If your product or service underdelivers, it will be reflected in your reviews.
Listen to what your customers want, and then refine.
As business owners and marketers, we often think we know exactly what our customers want, but we fail to meet their needs because we don’t listen.
If the same issue seems to crop up over and over again in your online reviews, pay attention and correct the situation. It can be painful at first, because none of us want to admit that our business isn’t delivering.
But once you accept that you need to take corrective steps, you’ll see more five star reviews, have happier customers, and make more money.
Besides, we’re never done improving. It’s just part of owning a business.
5: You Have No Verified Web Presence
Have you registered for every third party review platform that’s relevant to your business?
If not, your business is there, but there’s no one home.
Your business is listed on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other sites by default. But if you haven’t updated all of your relevant information and added photos, your business page might look something like this:
There’s nothing there that signifies this is a real business run by real people.
A customer could leave a review for this business, but why would they? The business hasn’t taken the time to register a profile, so the customer won’t take the time to write a review. Let alone a five star review.
What’s the point of leaving a heartfelt, honest review if it’s not going to reach the business owner? Or if no other consumer ever reads it?
You might earn some reviews if you don’t have verified profiles across review platforms, but they won’t be five star reviews.
6: It’s too Cumbersome to Review You
For most consumers, leaving online reviews is a clunky process. That’s why I created RevenueJump in the first place.
There are some consumers who are already immersed in online review culture, and they’ll leave you a review without any problem. If you’re not meeting the criteria outlined in the previous sections, that’s who your three and four star reviews are coming from.
The average consumer, though, doesn’t leave reviews. Even when they have the best intentions, people get distracted and forget to leave a review.
They might be too busy with life, or they might even feel intimidated by the process. They might even wonder where to start, or worry about their writing not being good enough for a review platform.
They also might not have an account on Yelp, Facebook, or Google. If they do have an account, maybe they’ve forgotten the password.
In any case, it’s your job to make the process less cumbersome for your customers.
It can be done. Here’s a real world example in my neck of the woods:
111 Google reviews and a solid five star rating! They’re doing something right.
If you’re a competitor of Capell Interiors, it won’t be easy to catch up to them. Walk your customers through the review process. Hold their hand and give them instructions, including the basics of account creation.
If they’re already comfortable with one platform, that’s where you should ask for the review. Find out their needs and concerns, and help them through the process.
Using a helpful piece of software to make the review process easier is always an option, too.
7: You Don’t Ask
If your service is on point, all of your online profiles are up to date, and you’ve made it easier to review you, there’s still one more step to getting more five star reviews.
You have to ask.
I don’t mean setting up a review station in your business, or offering any sort of monetary incentives in exchange for reviews– I mean simply asking for a review.
If you explain how much your customer’s review means to you and your business, it makes them feel special. It makes them feel included.
They might leave a three or four star review on their own accord. But if you’ve delivered on every level, and then ask for a review (and made it easy for the customer to write a review), then you’re on track for another five star rating.
If you have all your ducks in a row, it really is that simple. Uber drivers ask for (and receive) five star reviews all the time. That’s because they provide good service, and their platform makes it easy. Think like an Uber driver.
Remember, your customers don’t see what happens behind the scenes at your business. They can only judge you from your interactions and your service.
Once you make sure you’re focusing on positive interactions, keeping your promises, and the quality of your services, you have to make leaving a five star review easy for the customer.
Better service combined with less friction is the key to earning those five star reviews.
Thanks for reading!