Most local businesses agree that word of mouth advertising and recommendations from friends are the best way to get new clients, and Google knows that too. So when Google dev1eloped their Places, they built reviews into the equation for determining which businesses should be given the highest rank. It’s not the only determining factor, but now more than ever, good – not just any – reviews are what you need to get on top and be seen in that lucky seven list of local businesses that show up on the first page for geo-targeted (local) business searches.
Getting reviews is like pulling teeth
But getting reviews isn’t easy – at least the good ones. Disgruntled patrons love having a place to complain and will gladly take the time to do so, but happy customers don’t usually want to bother, particularly because it isn’t that easy and it is time consuming. Several months ago we sent out review requests to family members of a client and it literally took 3 reminders and 3 months to get the sons of the business owner to follow through with the favor. Unrelated customers are even less motivated.
So how can you ease of the pain of getting reviews? I’d love to hear your answer to that question, but here’s a new tool at your disposal that can simplify some of the process for you.
Use QR to get business reviews in Google Places
A QR code is a 2D code that can be scanned by smartphone cameras to automatically pull up text, photos, videos, webpages, and more. All new smartphones come with the ability to read QR with the aid of a phone app. Look for QR reader in your phone’s app store and install it now if you need to. On the iPhone, options include QuickMark and Optiscan. On Android, Barcode Scanner is a popular QR code reader.
As QR codes become more popular and start popping up everywhere, you’ll be happy you have the scanner because the codes will open up a whole new world of information to you. For now, though, we’re going to learn how to use QR to facilitate the review process.
How do you get a QR code?
To begin, you will first need your own unique QR code. You can generate your own QR code at Kaywa.com, and and you may want to later for other reasons, but for our purposes today let’s use the one Google has already provided you if you have a Google Places account.
How to get your Google Places QR
- If you don’t have a Google Place account you will need to do that first.
- Log into Google and go to the Dashboard for your Place page now.
- On the right, click the “Print QTR Poster” link.
That link will open a page with your own personalized QR code. Scan the code and you will be taken to your Place page where, incidentally, there happens to be a link to leave a review.
Try it now if you have a smartphone with a QR reader installed. Pretty cool, huh?
So what do you do with this QR code now?
Since this particular QR code lands the user on your Place page where it’s easy to leave a review, it would be great to include it anytime and anywhere you ask for reviews. That means printing it on documents or including it in digital files as an embedded image.
Here are some places you can ask for reviews and where you can include your QR code. When you do, don’t assume everyone will know what to do with the code just yet, so you may want to also include some small print with instructions. Eventually, though, those codes will be as common as UPC codes so no explanation will be necessary.
Where to ask for a review
- Thank you letter (check-out letter if you’re a property manager or hotel)
- Web page
- Bill (restaurants, take note!)
- Store sign (Why not print a copy and put it in a plastic stand on your counter?)
- Customer Christmas cards
- The last frame of a YouTube video
What else can you think of?
But doesn’t this make it too easy to get bad reviews?
You may be worried that if you open the door to the review process you might also be opening the door for complainers. While this is true, don’t worry about it. If all you got were glowing reviews, your potential customers may not trust any of them. After all, who’s perfect all the time? You’ll look more credible if you have both positive and not-so-positive.
More importantly, you should be concerned about delivering the kind of service that motivates your customers to leave you glowing reviews.
This is one of the great things about online reviews. Not only do they help consumers make the best choices, they keep businesses like yours on their toes so no one will – hopefully – ever have a reason to say anything bad about you.
And now you have an easier way for them to say something good.
Before you go, please leave your own ideas on how to get reviews or how to use the QR code. You can also read more about QR codes here. Learn why the time is now for QR. And then if you like this post, please Tweet and Share with your Facebook friends. Thank you!
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