Why business reviews?
Every consumer has a voice and before any purchasing decisions are made, people tend to rely on the opinions of others. Choosing a childcare provider is no different to any other business in this respect.
So just how important are other people’s opinions of your business? According to a survey by Reviews.io, over 83% of those asked said that the presence of reviews is critical in influencing their decision-making. Added to this: over two-thirds of consumers trust online reviews over the opinions of family or friends.
How can I encourage parents to give a review?
When it comes to asking parents, timing is everything. If a parent contacts you to express their satisfaction with the service they've received, this would be an ideal time to ask them to leave a review.
You could also track milestones. For example, if a parent has been using your service for a year, send them an email of thanks and ask whether they wouldn't mind leaving an online review for you. Similarly, you could ask the parents of children who are leaving your setting to move on to schools.
If you have your own website, it can’t hurt to add a ‘Review us’ page, featuring links to you major review profiles such as Daynurseries.co.uk.
Going one step further, you could also arrange for printed materials (leaflets, business cards, handouts) to be left at reception or another place in your setting which is highly visible, requesting parents to leave a review.
Where should I ask parents to leave their review?
As a childcare provider, it’s important to keep your business’s details updated in as many different directories as possible. However, there are so many that it can be overwhelming!
Two of the most trusted sources for local reviews are Google and Facebook (reviews are displayed on your business page under the ‘Reviews’ section). For more childcare-specific business review sites, you could try Daynurseries.co.uk or Childcare.co.uk.
How many reviews should I aim to collect?
Ideally, you’d receive a steady stream of reviews from parents each month. Whilst this is potentially hard to achieve, it may interest you to know that people read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business. So, aim for 7 initially and then encourage parents to give a review as often as the opportunity presents itself.
I’m worried about getting a bad review – what can I do?
Unfortunately, no business will escape from getting a negative review. You may think having no reviews at all would be better than receiving a negative one, but think again. Responding to a negative review is one of the proven ways to increase parents’ trust in your brand!
Online reviews are publically visible, giving you the chance to show that, as a business, you’re keen to right any perceived wrongs and ensure parents receive a highly professional service. It’s also an opportunity for you to step back and assess where improvements could be made.
Here’s another statistic to put your mind at rest: according to Review.io, research has shown that when businesses request feedback from their customers, 89% of the reviews received were positive.
How will a review make my business more visible on Google?
Reviews are not only important to people - they're important to Google, too! In fact, Google now takes online reviews into consideration when it determines your web ranking. Online reviews are thought to make up 10% of how search engines decide to rank search results, according to a survey by consulting company MOZ. This could mean the difference between appearing at the top of the page (ahead of your competitors!) or not.
Encouraging parents to leave business reviews in online directories has a whole host of benefits, for small and large businesses alike. Ultimately, these reviews will make your business more visible to new parents searching for local childcare.
Parenta's Digital Team Leader, Sam Davey, said: "Review sites are incredibly important for your business as they’re one of the first places parents will go to find out about local services. They not only help you build your reputation, they can drive valuable and relevant traffic to your nursery website.
“External links from business directories can improve your Google map visibility and also improve your website's ranking in search engine results."
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