How To Get Positive Online Customer Reviews

While developing and maintaining your small business’ marketing plan, it is vital to pay attention and get positive online customer reviews.  Many of these reviews could be the first information about your small business that potential new customers stumble upon, so it is important to be aware and engage with them.

google customer business review

Indeed, engagement with online customer reviews is the same as engaging with your customers – which in turn will build your small business’ relationships with those customers.  In fact, according to a BrightLocal.com study, 73% of consumers say positive reviews increase their trust of a small business.  The same study also discovered that even 1 star review have a 107% better conversion rate than no-reviews products.

So, good reviews are great for your small business, particularly when they are posted on high profile sites such as Google and Yelp.  In today’s Internet and mobile phone world, the first thing people do before utilizing a small business’ goods and/or services is check its reviews on sites like these.  If they see multiple positive reviews, they will be more inclined to become potential customers in the future.

Hot to Get Customer Online Reviews

The first thing to consider doing in order to foster positive online reviews for your small business is to encourage happy/satisfied customers to leave you good ratings.  Especially just after they have made a successful purchase – when the experience remains fresh in their mind – you may want to ask them to leave a review.  Be specific in where you would like them to leave a review.  Make it as easy and as simple as possible for them to do so.

Begin this process by seeking out your most loyal, frequent customers.  They are the ones who are most familiar with your goods and services and the way you treat your customers.  If they have been coming back so often, they probably have good reasons for doing so and are often enthusiastic about sharing those reasons online.

Coupled with this tactic, it may be a good idea to send follow-up email campaigns to those loyal subscribers, and those who have recently had dealings with your small business.  Provide links to the specific online places you’d like them to leave their positive reviews.  The least amount of clicks to get to this review site – the better!  You don’t want to give your customers any excuse not to leave a review!

dealing with customer reviews

In order to ensure all is going smoothly, you should routinely check your business reviews on the top sites such as Yelp and Google.  It is vital you are aware of how people are talking about your small business online.  Google+ Local reviews are an invaluable resource for a small business owner such as yourself – as they show up on the search engine results page (SERP), which basically means that these Google+ reviews are the first thing potential customers will see when they start searching for your small business.

Once you are aware of what people are saying about your goods and services and the way you treat your customers, you must become proactive about responding to reviews: both positive and negative.  This all feeds into having the ability to engage with potential, current, and past customers.  As for how to deal with negative reviews: there are a few best practices.

First of all, you should make sure the review is factually accurate and includes constructive criticism.  If the review does not contain these two things, it is not useful – and therefore should be ignored.  However, if a negative review is both factually accurate and does contain constructive criticism – do not argue with it.  Instead, address the customer: empathize with their frustrations, validate them, and give a personalized response concerning possible solutions.  This way, both that particular customer and potential customers who may discover the conversation online will be able to witness how you deal with customers.

What had once been a negative customer experience has now become an educational, empathetic conversation – and it will be able to boost people’s estimations of your small business.  This could lead to future, lasting, trusting relationships with potential customers.

Avoid Posting Fake Reviews

It is also vital to avoid posting fake reviews – as these can become incredibly damaging to your small business.  It is likely customers will be able to figure out it’s your small business posting these sorts of reviews – and any trust in your goods and services will vanish very quickly.  Indeed, some consumer review sites, such as Yelp, have already put systems in place to warn readers of suspected paid reviews.

Instead, in order to gain more positive reviews and engage with actual potential customers more, you could offer promotions for positive reviews.  Prizes?  Discounts?  Seasonal tie-ins?  You could also add QR codes and other simple ways to get your customers to online review spaces in the simplest and quickest ways possible.

The important thing to remember when fostering online engagement with online review systems is to be authentic.  If potential customers see that you are being honest, enthusiastic, and empathetic with their concerns – they will flock to your small business.  There’s nothing quite like trust when people are looking for a place to buy goods and/or services.