Getting More Online Reviews from Students
Positive word of mouth and referrals from alumni are still the most powerful sort of reviews!
However, even if your students spread positive reviews amongst their family and friends, these people will still go online to check other people’s views too.
You may have seen growth simply through word of mouth, but in future online reviews will become more important for your business because:
1. Millennials and Generation Z are tech-savvy and get all their information from online sources. They will find reviews of your business.
2. Reviews online have potential to reach people beyond your usual social channels.
3. Positive reviews and responding to reviews can be an integral part of the online sales process done without you having to do much at all.
Now that we may have convinced you to consider working on your online reviews a little bit more, let us tell you how to do it.
· Linking – Make links to places where you want people to write their reviews, as visible as possible. Have them prominently placed on your website, put up signs around your school where students can see it and even incentivise people to leave feedback. These are the first steps to making students aware that their opinions matter to you.
· Facebook Management – Make sure that your Facebook page up to date and you are inviting students to like it. Create interesting and engaging content aimed at those who had a great experience with you and who can follow, recall and comment. Content is still King. If students have no reason to visit and re-visit your Facebook page, then they will not find a reason to leave any reviews that can help promote you.
· Create a Google My BusinessAccount – Google explain on their website: “Google My Business complements your existing website by giving your business a public identity and presence with a Business Profile on Google. The information you provide about your business can appear on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.”
· Optimise Your Website – Your site should be easy to view on a mobile. Potential customers are spending time on mobiles. If they find you on social media whilst browsing, get a good impression, then click on the link to your website only to find it’s not optimised, their impression of your business will change from positive to negative immediately. Delivering great digital user experiences clearly and with engaging content is very, very important.
· Keep it short – If you are asking for reviews via email, keep the message short and simple and include the links where customers can leave their reviews.
· Review Timing – If asking students for reviews whilst they’re at your school, be wise and choose the right moment. Speak to a student who has just moved up a level, someone who is really pleased with their accommodation, someone who enjoyed a social programme activity last weekend.
· Communicate – Tell your teachers and group leaders about how students can review you. Students spend a lot of time with these people and grow to trust them.
· Appreciate all reviews – positive and negative – and respond to all of them. Replying to a negative review and resolving it professionally will gain more brand credibility than long lists of 5-star reviews.
The art of getting reviews may take some time to set up, but once you have a system in place, you’ll find the task both simple and rewarding.