Remember those alien looking marks you’d see around town?
picture courtesy of Wikipedia
When I lived In New York city I’d find them everywhere, like on the walls of subway cars. Passengers would try steadying themselves against the rumble tumble of the subway as they attempted to grasp a clear image of the thing with their phone. They would be wrapped around scaffolding bars, fire hydrants, toilets in bar bathrooms, and on building walls.
Where did they all lead to?! Somewhere. They always lead to somewhere.
At this point, you’ve either never heard of or seen these scrambled codes and if that’s the case, hold on for a brainwashing. If you have seen them, you’re probably thinking, “Dude, those are long gone. No one uses those anymore.” My editor even asked me the same question when I pitched this story, but I managed to distract him by rambling on about something else. You all may be right (don’t tell the first guy!), sort of.
In a 2017 story from the tech-y magazine Wired, the author, David Pierce, is cautiously optimistic about the return of QR Codes. He argues that they were just ahead of their time:
“They required a world where everyone always had their phone, where all phone had great cameras, and where that camera was capable of doing more than just opening websites. Over the last few years, both the underlying technology and the way people use it have caught up to QR codes. Before long, scanning codes will feel as natural as thumbing your fingerprint to unlock your phone. And the rise of QR codes will bring augmented reality into your life in all sorts of previously impossible ways. QR codes aren’t a failure from the past. They’re the future. For real this time.”
We’re bringing ‘em back, baby! We think they’d be a good tool that could drive customers to review your business, that is if you haven’t already enlisted an Online Reputation Management specialist like WebPunch.
Despite never really scanning the ones I saw around town, regretfully now, I had the chance to talk with a local business I patronize about how they were getting customers to review them online.
Just like the business we talked about in the recent article, How to Get All Your Locations to Show in a Google Search, this one wanted to get more customers to review them for obvious reasons, as well as to get their newest location to show up with the others in a Google Search. (Keep reading if you want to understand the WebPunch way!)
To help out, I made a one-sheeter that said something like “Waiting for excellence? Let us know how we’re doing with an online review.” Then I gave them the option of punching in a shrunken link to the shop’s Google Review box or to scan a QR code that also went to the review box. Bam! Two options.
Don’t forget, when generating links for your business’s Google Review Box, it’s best done on a mobile device. If you do it on a desktop and a customer punches it in on their cell, it won’t work. So, any time you want to generate that link, follow these steps on your cell phone:
- Log out of your email
- Google search your business
- Click on the reviews
- Click on write a review
- It will take you to a screen to log into your email, copy that link.
- Use it and abuse it!
For more info on that, see our earlier coverage about this in 5 Steps to Get Mobile Users to Review Your Page (I know, I added the 6th step).
A few Free QR Code Generators
- QR Code Generator
- QR Stuff (I used this one. Worked great!)
- QR Code Monkey (some creativity in the name!)
The idea was to print that sheet with the QR code off, hang it up where people are waiting for their drinks so they could either punch in the site or scan the QR code if they have the app on their phone.
In case you’re wondering, the verdict is still out on whether it’s helped yet, though I’m confident it will. It hasn’t been long since they wrapped up the project and I’m not sure if the QR code has even been put up yet. I do know that since then, the location has gotten one new review! Yow.
Admittedly, one of the pitfalls of this is that you could be inviting detractors—customers who will rate your business poorly—to review your business. That’s why at WebPunch, we gather internal, private information about a customer’s experience to find those detractors and then turn them into promoters before requesting a public review from them.
WebPunch does offer some wonderful services in its Online Reputation Management Software that gets your customers reviewing you more online. However, this whole QR Code pitch is a quick-and-free little something that may work for your business if you haven’t brought on a Reputation Management company. Print and post a one-sheeter with the link and code in areas of your establishment where customers are lounging, leaning, or loitering and give them something to do in their free time that will benefit their future experiences and your business.