Ever wonder how your competitors keep bringing in such amazing reviews? Machine shops aren’t exactly synonymous with digital marketing.
And that’s exactly why it works so well. Blending untapped markets with local search engine optimization is a recipe for success.
People live on the internet, and trust what it tells them. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Building your brand around Google business reviews makes for an excellent online presence without targeting things you might not need, like social media.
You can give your customers faith in your company with nothing more than personal accounts and interactions.
It’s what makes reviews so powerful. They can tell someone everything they need to know about your company, and you’re getting them for free.
Google business reviews can help your company thrive. Here’s how.
Why Google Business Reviews?
Well, they’re free. And free has a 100% return on investment. There’s no reason to pass up free interactions with customers.
But there’s more to it than that.
Google business reviews were the most important local SEO ranking factor in 2017. They’re above long-held SEO standards like internal links, keywords, HTML, etc.
Put another way, Google loves when people talk about you. Any press is good press and Google rewards you for it with online visibility.
Reviews are also an easy way to build your brand presence. Your customers aren’t likely the kind that heavily utilize social media. You’re in the industrial business, after all.
However, even though consumers aren’t following your Twitter account, doesn’t mean they don’t want to interact with your brand online.
As we mentioned above, people listen to online reviews. If your friend recommends a restaurant, you’re probably inclined to try it out.
People also use reviews to ask questions for next time. Did someone ask if they could get rush delivery parts? Respond with an answer.
When you respond in a helpful way, your brand becomes trustworthy. 90% of consumers back brands they’ve interacted with on social media.
While Google business reviews aren’t “social media” per say, they’re basically the same thing. People interacting over the internet.
So now that we have the why, what about the how?
Getting Reviews to Begin With
Getting reviews is the first step to building your brand with Google business reviews. You need enough consumer reviews that Google sees your page as relevant.
The idea is to appear in what’s known as the 3-pack. If you Google a local business niche like “haircuts near me,” you’ll see three businesses appear at the top of the results page.
That’s where you want your machine shop to appear. The more reviews you have and the higher your rating, the more you’ll appear.
Start by simply asking customers to leave reviews for your company. They aren’t a new thing and the success of companies like Yelp show just how eager people are to recommend (or disparage) businesses.
A very respectable 87% of people share positive service experiences with other consumers.
People also like taking the easy way out. Make it easy for that 87% to share their reviews.
Take the resulting link and send it to your customers. A great way to ask for reviews is through follow up emails about product quality or delivery times.
Ask how their experience was and send them the link to request that they leave feedback.
Not only will this build reviews, but also forge a personal connection between your machine shop and the client. They know you’re genuinely concerned about their experience.
Collecting google business reviews is only half the battle. Once people start leaving their thoughts, it’s your job to respond.
It all comes back to that customer interaction we mentioned earlier. People are more likely to trust your brand if you interact with consumers.
More trust means more potential customers, which means more exposure, and more success.
Everyone loves good reviews. But should you respond to praise? Of course! People love personal connections.
If the review says your parts are exceptionally high quality, respond! Thank them for the praise and offer up some extra information about your company.
Did they know you’re expanding into different delivery services?!
Middle of the road reviews are the easiest to handle. Responding to constructive criticism makes your machine shop brand look great!
Let’s say your review looks like this: “Wow! Great quality parts, but the delivery was a little slow. Couldn’t get in touch with customer service in a timely manner. Three stars.”
First, touch on the good. Tell them you’re glad they loved the parts. Next, tell them you’re sorry for the delivery and the service.
Hard to reach customer representatives are frustrating, and that’s something you need to know about. You’ll handle the issue asap.
Handling Bad Reviews
With anything good on the internet comes the potential for a less than favorable outcome.
Bad reviews will happen. You cannot possibly make everyone happy. However, bad reviews still represent an opportunity to build your brand.
How you handle adversity can show potential customers the philosophy behind your business. Do you get defensive, or try to solve the problem?
The main focus is always taking responsibility for the issue. Stay transparent and own your mistakes. This lets customers and potential clients alike know you care.
A simple, “I’m sorry. This is why it happened. What can I do to help fix the situation” can show potential customers that even if something goes wrong, you’re always there to help.
We’re Here to Help
Machine shops and online marketing don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. But we’re here to change that!
There’s no reason your local business can’t benefit from nailing down your Google business reviews.
Not only do they build your online presence and endear your company to potential customers, they also increase your Google ranking.
If you’re ready for digital marketing that forges connections and boosts your SEO, get in touch with us.
We’re ready to take your small business to the next level.