Word of mouth has always been a strong business-building tool for any industry or niche. This is true especially in hair restoration, as individuals buy more frequently when they see the successful journey of others who have gone before them.
Before the internet, word of mouth was a personal recommendation by someone in your familial or social circle. It would influence your purchase decision but on a local scale. Now in 2022, thanks to the internet, it is even more amplified: someone on the West Coast can write about their journey back to a full head of hair and influence someone they have never met on the East Coast.
How many times have you heard a potential patient say they researched hair restoration online? I am sure they came across reviews. According to getmorereviews.com, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Another article on MarketWatch states that the quantity (and quality, but we will address that later) is important. The sweet spot is between 20-50 reviews before consumers have confidence the service has been tried by enough people.
What is it about reviews that are so influential? Consumer feedback humanizes the brand, creates social proof that the procedure provides the results, and gives peer-to-peer insight and a ‘like me’ persona. Let’s unpack this with a little behavior psychology.
First, humans have a pack mentality. Subconsciously being a part of the collective is important for our well-being, so when we see others are doing it, too, it fills this need. Second, seeing someone similar to ourselves who went through it first sets the stage for it to work for us.
For example, if Steve reads a review of someone with a receding hairline and the purchase gave them the solution Steve desires, and there is also photographic proof, Steve is that much closer to being your next hair restoration patient. And all you had to do was ask someone to write the review.
In a nutshell, unlike when they purchase from a nationally known brand like Ford or Apple, consumers are taking a chance on scheduling a procedure from a small business that is unfamiliar to them. Good Google reviews, among others, help to provide trust and social proof that improves consumer confidence in your services.
The Benefits of Positive and Negative Reviews
Now that you see the business benefits of gathering reviews let’s discuss the quality of your reviews. Positive reviews from past patients obviously have more impact on the buying decision than negative reviews. Quality trumps quantity.
According to getmorereviews.com, 94% of consumers are more likely to purchase when the business has 4 stars or more. It drops to 57% with anything 3 stars or less, and 86% of consumers will hesitate in their purchase if a business has a large number of negative reviews.
However, if the rating is too high, like 100% positive reviews, that also creates some distrust and triggers an ‘it’s too good to be true’ mentality in the consumer’s mind. It creates the perception that the reviews were either filtered or fabricated. Marketwatch states that a 4.4-star rating is ideal.
Please be aware that an unhappy customer is more likely to leave a review and will review exponentially more than a happy customer, I recommend showing up as best as you can for your customers when you begin this campaign.
Handling negative reviews with grace, diplomacy, and the goal of making things right can also help the public’s perception of your business. It shows that you value customer service, which builds trust. The public will also recognize that an over-the-top negative review is more likely a sign that the person complaining is being unreasonable.
How Can I Get More Online Reviews?
You can absolutely manually go about gathering reviews by asking customers, sending them the URL you would like to have them leave one on, or do an email campaign to customers with links to the sites, but this method may become a little too task-heavy for your busy schedule and feel like you are pushing the service.
I encourage you to consider utilizing a platform that will assist you in managing the process (you can also hire an agency to outsource it completely). One site I like to recommend is getmorereviews.com. It is easy to use and offers a DIY free 14-day trial, and after, it is a monthly paid version. Below is a snapshot of the 7 steps for how the review platform functions.
1) Review Generation Tool
There are automated email and SMS text message requests, so gathering the reviews is easy.
Customers Vent Privately Instead of “Online.”
Handle Negative Customer Feedback Offline, Blocking it From Becoming a Public 1-star Review
Upset customers can express their negative feelings without posting a 1-star review
Quick & Easy Review Requests
Do it one at a time or with regular bulk uploads.
Send Requests One-by-One
Upload a List & Send Bulk Review Reports
2) Manages Negative Feedback
Instead of publicly displaying a disgruntled patient you can handle their complaints privately. Always remember empathy is the best policy, and put yourself in their shoes, assessing if their comment has any merit. Use it to your advantage to see how others want you to show up for them.
3) Sends Automated Review Reminders
The site will send friendly reminders so you do not have to ask one person multiple times to leave a review. It takes the manual labor out of it. Additionally asking one time rarely gives results. On average, it takes about seven touch points before someone is ‘sold’ on what you are asking.
4) Posts, Links, and Displays Reviews
No need to do any work getting the reviews to link to your website as getmorereviews.com will display your new reviews right on the landing page on your site. Also, if you are curious about how to get more Google reviews, then this will post there for you as well.
5) Facebook Compatible
Research shows Facebook to be a top business-building platform. You can link to your Facebook and have your reviews easily generated there too.
Just log into your dashboard to quickly see and respond to all your reviews in one place.
You can respond to positive reviews with something similar to ‘Thank you so much!’ ‘We are glad you liked it!’ ‘Looking forward to doing business with you again!’ but you may want to implement some policies for an ‘if this then that’ scenario for negativity.
In a perfect world, everyone will love the results of the hair restoration procedure and say all good things, but we don’t live in a perfect world. You will experience some negative reviews, and it is essential to respond appropriately.
A good goal is to work at turning negative feedback into a positive. According to Marketwatch, most consumers will read the negative reviews first, so work to resolve them before becoming public knowledge. Consumers will weigh what they read from others and determine if the negative feedback relates to them enough to prevent their purchase.
7) Generates Reports
You can also generate reports to see your progress. Reports are a great benchmark to know how you are doing and support reaching your goal of 20-50 quality reviews.
I really do love this method of gathering reviews as it reduces manual labor by creating efficiencies. Please consider this as an important business expense to your implementation of getting more reviews.
Why Do People Leave Reviews on Google? What Other Review Sites Are Beneficial?
Google and Yelp are the Top 2 sites to post to, according to market analysis. Google is paramount as your Google My Business page is becoming similar to your website, and Yelp is another market leader, in addition to powering Siri. The third worth mentioning is Facebook because it feeds the ‘like me’ tribe mentality discussed earlier, which people look for before buying. Facebook has the ability to look, feel, and seem like the user.
With getmorereviews.com, you have the option to connect your Google, Yelp, and Facebook accounts to automate your reviews. I would like to point out that it is recommended NOT to use this automation feature for Yelp. Their policies state that they dislike review requests as they feel it is inorganic. Proceed with caution if you decide to utilize the review generation automation, as Yelp could flag your account.
I hope that this article demonstrated the value of building your hair restoration business with the digital world of reviews and has inspired you to begin building your reputation via digital “word of mouth.” By encouraging clients to talk about how you helped them get back to a full head of hair, you will grow your hair business and serve the needs of many new customers. Value reviews like your business depends upon them because it does!
In the best interest of your hair restoration business,
If you’d like to dive deeper into the topic of marketing your hair restoration practice, go here to book a free 30-minute consultation call. And if you liked this post and want to be notified when future posts are published, please consider subscribing by entering your name and email address below. Of course, you can cancel free of charge at any time 😉.