How to use location reviews to make local businesses better
After what feels like a lifetime in lockdown — and purchasing items almost exclusively online — most of us are yearning to visit a vibrant local business to make a purchase right then and there.
Just in time for (most of) the world to open back up, Trustpilot is excited to introduce Location Reviews, which empower reviewers like you to read and write branch-specific reviews — and of course buy with confidence from the businesses in your local community.
Here at Trustpilot, we’re all about starting constructive conversations between businesses and consumers. To that end, we’ve outlined three reasons you should make the most of our new Location Reviews feature along with some helpful tips to keep in mind along the way.
Why Location Reviews are a key part of supporting local businesses
Read and write reviews specific to your local branch of bigger businesses
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: leaving honest and accurate reviews helps businesses improve, and leads to better experiences for the customers that come after you. This positive effect is even further amplified when you’re able to leave reviews for the exact business location where you had your experience.
Let’s imagine that like most of us, you choose to do your personal banking with a huge nationwide provider with five branches to choose from in your town alone. Whether you had an experience that made you jump for joy — or one that left you with a new gray hair — your review will have a stronger impact sooner if you leave your review for that specific branch location rather than the company profile page featuring all of their reviews.
Instead of having to travel across a national corporate ladder to be heard, your reviews left on the location profile pages of the businesses you interact with will have a far easier time getting in front of the right people. This increases the odds that your praise will be heard by whoever needs to hear it — and likewise your constructive criticisms.
Help your favorite local businesses get discovered in Google search results
We can’t overstate how make or break Google rankings are for the businesses in your community — especially after a severe economic downturn like we’ve endured around the world over the last three months.
Have you ever noticed that Google seems to show you local businesses in search results, even if you don’t include “near me” in your search query? Google knows that the majority (61%) of shoppers prefer to shop with brands that also have a physical location over brands that are online only, and despite the importance of eCommerce, 90% of worldwide retail sales still occur in person — that is, when we’re not social distancing.
With this in mind, Google wants to show you local answers to your search query first — and leaving reviews on a business’ location profile page can help that business show up as a top result. But how, you ask? In short, Google can see that Trustpilot is among the top 400 most visited sites in the world, and therefore considers our business profile pages to be extremely trustworthy. This means that local profile pages on Trustpilot are likely to show at the top of local search results, especially if reviewers like you are actively posting about your recent experiences.
So if you’ve asked yourself in recent months if there are any other ways you can support businesses in your community in their time of need, writing about your experiences on their location profile page is a great way to go.
Acknowledge local businesses going above and beyond in difficult times
Although daily life might feel like it’s starting to go back to normal, the businesses in your community will feel the effects of the global pandemic for years to come. Throughout the pandemic, reviews helped businesses adapt quickly to evolving customer needs and even provided a real-time channel giving customers a window into how businesses were handling the coronavirus.
So if you’ve noticed businesses in your community going above and beyond to help their customers in their time of need, embracing important social causes, or speaking to major human rights issues, consider writing a review on their location profile page to let others in your community know.
Taking a minute to acknowledge that a local business has gone the extra mile during difficult times, or demonstrated exemplary values, is information that your whole community will appreciate.
Some things to keep in mind while leaving reviews for local businesses
While everyone’s experience as a customer is unique, there are some best practices you should try to incorporate into your review writing whenever possible:
1. Always ensure that you’re leaving your review for the correct business location
As stated above, reviews are almost always valuable to businesses — but they’re even more valuable to multi-location businesses if you share your experience on the correct location profile page. If the business at hand has more than one location, make sure you double check that you’re reviewing the branch that you actually interacted with. If the business hasn't started using location reviews yet but has multiple branches, be sure to specify where your experience took place.
2. Offer constructive feedback so the business can improve
The most valuable reviews are the ones that go into enough detail to give both the business in question and prospective customers an accurate sense of your experience. Consider sharing specific factors that contributed to the positive, negative, or middle of the road rating you’re giving them. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you might even consider commenting broadly on what the company is doing well or how they could be better.
3. Address the full breadth of your experience, not just customer service
To make sure your review is as useful as possible to other potential customers checking out this local business, try to address all aspects of your experience. Sure, customer service is a huge part of this, but if you have thoughts on the product quality or even the business facilities, writing about them in your review could make a huge difference for the customers who come after you.
4. Reviews aren’t written in stone — you can and should update your review over time
Maybe someone from the business in question got back to you with impressive reparations to make your situation better than it was before. Maybe you gave a business a second chance and noticed an improvement in customer service. Whatever the case may be, it’s very possible that your opinion of a business might change over time. Taking a minute to go back and update your review — on the correct local profile of that business — helps not only the business, but the other shoppers in your community, too.
When in doubt about what to include in your reviews, you can always refer to these guidelines. And if you notice that a business has multiple locations showing up on their Trustpilot profile page, be sure to navigate to the correct location before leaving your review. This is a surefire way to make sure your feedback is heard loud and clear by the powers that be at any given company, and just as importantly — by fellow shoppers in your area.