Reviews have become instrumental to every wedding business’s success.In fact, 78% of couples find it important to read reviews before deciding which vendors to contact (Source: Making the Most of Reviews Report).
That’s why we brought in planner and WeddingPro Educator Desireé Dent of Dejanae Events for a webinar to gain more insight into rounding up reviews during COVID-19. Keep reading for the top takeaways including advice on how to get reviews when you aren’t doing weddings, why you should ask current couples for “COVID” reviews and why you should stop being scared of a negative review.
Takeaway #1: When It Comes to Reviews, More is More
We’ve all heard the saying, “less is more.” But when it comes to reviews, more is actually more. The more reviews you have, the more confidence couples will have in choosing to work with you.
For venues and photographers, couples read on average more than 7 reviews. For other categories, couples read approximately four to six reviews to get the full picture of how you do business (Source: Making the Most of Reviews Report).
When asking for reviews on multiple platforms, don’t forget about your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Copying and pasting reviews from multiple sites could have a negative impact on your page SEO value. In other words, having duplicate content could cause search engines like Google to rank your page lower than it would otherwise.
Pro Tip: Simply ask your couples to mention something different on each review if they’re reviewing you in multiple places (like The Knot and WeddingWire). You’ll end up with different content and several great reviews.
Takeaway #2: Couples Compare Well-Reviewed Pros Before Inquiring
Couples take several factors into consideration when choosing a pro: your reviews, their budget, availability and meeting you (in person or virtually). But if comparing multiple positively-rated pros, couples take several things into consideration:
- Content of the narrative – what does the review have to say about you and your business?
- Recency of the reviews – more recent reviews paint a more relevant picture.
- Consistency of ratings across multiple sites (The Knot, WeddingWire, Yelp, etc.)
- Total number of reviews – having more reviews shows that more couples are happy with your services.
- Qualities of the reviewer – is the review from a couple? A pro you’ve worked with?
Takeaway #3: Reviews Have a Lot of Power
Collecting reviews is one of the most important things you can do to help your business stand out without bragging. Positive reviews and testimonies are so important for potential clients to see and read as they make decisions about their wedding and event pros. Moreso now then ever, reviews generate a buzz about your business. In fact, they weigh just as much as personal recommendations and referrals.
Reviews also provide information about your business’ personality and quality of work that couples may not see through your marketing materials. Couples want to work with pros they “know.” The more information they know about you, the more they’ll trust you.
Your reviews should live beyond The Knot and WeddingWire. Share them everywhere! Think: on your website and social media platforms! This will help improve your brand and increase your exposure. Moreover, they’ll show off your reliability, expertise and professionalism while building trust and credibility.
Pro Tip: When Desireé receives a review, she screenshots it and adds it to her Instagram Story. She saves it to her “Reviews” highlights tab so that others can easily find what her previous couples or fellow pros have said. She makes sure to tag and thank the person who has left the positive review.
Takeaway #4: Proactively Ask Your Couples for Reviews
The best part of reviews are how easy they are to get – they require little to no money or time. All you have to do is ask! In fact, 42% of surveyed couples didn’t write a review because they were not asked.
Now is the time to proactively ask your couples for their feedback. More importantly, don’t forget to remind them. One in five couples will write a review when asked by the pro; that increases to one in three if they are reminded at least once.
A few weeks after her couples’ weddings have passed, Desireé reaches out to check in and share some photos from their celebration. She lets them know that at the end of the day, she’ll send an email asking for a 5-star review. In her follow-up email, Desireé thanks them for allowing her team to be part of their special day. She asks them to leave her a review along with the link where they can do so. Finally, she promises to share more photos and thanks them again.
Pro Tip: In need of some inspiration? Check out our customizable email template and swipe copy for asking for reviews.
Takeaway #5: Don’t Be Scared of a Negative Review
Receiving a negative review happens to everyone at some point. Although we’re disappointed to see them, they provide legitimacy to the positive ones. In fact, 72% of couples would be more likely to consider a pro with both positive and negative reviews than no reviews at all (Source: Making the Most of Reviews Report).
Negative reviews humanize you while letting couples know that you made a mistake and owned it. They also identify areas of improvement where you can make changes in your business.
Try to respond to all reviews in a positive way, even the negative ones. Consider making the situation “right” by picking up the phone to talk to the couple/pro, writing a handwritten note or responding directly on your Storefront(s). “Responding in a positive way can change the way they feel about your business,” Desireé advises.
We know a false review comes around every once in a while. Reviews cannot be disputed just because they’re negative or statements of opinion. If there are truly false statements or statements of accusation or assumption, you can dispute them. From your account on The Knot and/or WeddingWire, click “dispute” on the review in question. Make sure to have your documentation in hand for the team to investigate.
Pro Tip: How you reply to a bad review says more about you than how you respond to the positive ones. Check out how you can respond to a negative review in a way that shows your professionalism.
Takeaway #6: You Don’t Have to Wait Until the Wedding to Ask for a Review
Do you have couples you’ve been working with to reschedule that couldn’t have gone through this without you? It’s time to ask them for a review. While this isn’t normal practice, this also isn’t a normal year! To keep reviews coming in, ask couples who are in their planning process to write a review about how you’ve helped them during this time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a COVID review. If you are doing weddings now, or have some coming up, make sure to ask your couples to mention “COVID” and any changes you helped them make within their review. This will help to normalize COVID weddings for couples in the planning process and show them what’s possible! Couples are still planning weddings, hiring pros and hoping for a fabulous day.
Pro Tip: When asking for a COVID review, send the couple an email from The Knot or WeddingWire requesting a review. Open with one of your favorite moments from the planning process or their wedding day. If they have sent you kind words or words of appreciation via text or email, type out that language for a faster response.
Takeaway #7: Reviews Help You Win Big
The Knot Best of Weddings and WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® recognize top local wedding pros for their hard work and outstanding service. The awards are granted to top pros on each site and are based on reviews from couples. We make it even easier by contacting couples through The Knot and WeddingWire on your behalf and asking for reviews.
We know this year has been different, so we’re making some adjustments. Now, you just need to collect 5 or more reviews on The Knot to be eligible to win Best of Weddings. Reviews on The Knot must be submitted between November 1, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. CST and October 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
The requirement for Couples’ Choice Awards® hasn’t changed – you still need 5 or more reviews on WeddingWire to be eligible to win. Reviews on WeddingWire must be submitted between January 1, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. CST and December 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
If you weren’t able to join us live for the webinar, or if you want to brush up on the content again, you can view the recording at any time.
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