You might be focused on building your business, making your website perfect, or building up your social media presence. However, online reviews of your business are just as crucial to focus on, and every business should make it a priority to have good online reviews.
Why Online Reviews are Important
Customers read reviews before going to your store. In fact, 90% of customers actually base their buying decisions on online reviews. That’s a lot of customers! As well, research from social media experts at Hubspot also found that 60% of consumers deem online reviews as “trustworthy” or “very trustworthy.” From the research seen above, it’s obvious that customers rely heavily on customer reviews when searching for the right product or service to buy.
Throughout this blog, we’re going to look at 4 different ways you can increase your online reviews. We’ll also delve more into why it’s important for your business to have them and how to properly respond to negative reviews.
4 Ways to Increase Your Online Reviews
Ask for a Review
If you don’t ask for a review, it probably hasn’t even crossed your customer’s mind to leave a review! Asking for a review can be simple, and there are many ways to go about it:
- Ask on the bottom of the receipt
- Have your employees as after cashing out a customer
- Put up a sign near the cash for people to leave a review
- Add in “Leave us a Review!” at the bottom of your emails
Offer an Incentive
If you find you’ve hit a plateau with getting reviews from customers, it might be time to start offering an incentive for leaving a review! Some incentives you could offer your customers include:
- A discount on their next purchase after they show you their review
- Increased loyalty points for your company
- A gift card towards your store
- A chance to win a gift card in a draw
- A free small gift
Add a Review Link in Your Emails
This is a simple yet very effective way to get more online reviews for your business. Simply set up an automated email to go out after a customer has made a purchase, and watch your reviews come in!
Now, of course, not everyone will write a review. However, this does increase your chances of getting reviews and is a simple way to get more reviews for your business.
Give them a Place to Leave Reviews
Customers can only leave reviews if you give them a place to do so! Popular places that customers can leave reviews include:
If you don’t have one already, set up a Google My Business account so your business can get seen on the world’s largest search engine! Customers can find you for information about your business, or use Google Maps to get directions. People also enjoy leaving reviews on Google, and these would pop up when someone searches for your business. As well, Google reviews can help with your business’ rankings and SEO efforts.
Yelp is one of the most trusted sources for online reviews that customers go to. Make sure you have Yelp set up for your business, and monitor the reviews that come in. Yelp will show your customers how quick you are as a business to respond and how often you respond. Make sure you or someone in your business is regularly checking on your Yelp reviews!
Having a Facebook page for your business is also important, so customers can find you on social media! This platform also has high levels of engagement with customers, so ensure you’re also monitoring this platform to respond to reviews and see what customers are saying about you.
What should you do about negative reviews?
Now that you know how to get reviews and why they’re so important to your business, it’s time to learn how to properly respond to negative reviews. Though your business may be doing everything right, there’s always going to be someone who can find something wrong to write about! But don’t worry — you can actually use negative reviews to your advantage! In fact, Harvard Business Review found that responding to negative reviews helped improve your overall brand image.
When responding to a negative review, try not to take it personally. Remember to be empathetic in your response. Whether the customer is right or wrong, apologize that they had a negative experience. As well, highlight how you’re improving to do better and ensure that experience never happens to that customer, or any other customer, again. If you’re lucky and respond well enough, some customers even take down their negative reviews!
Online reviews are crucial for any business to have. If you’re a small business starting out, online reviews can help get your business out there and improve your search rankings. It will also help customers decide to ultimately purchase at your store rather than your competitors.
You can get more online reviews by offering incentives, sending automated emails to customers, having various platforms for customers to post on, and by simply asking for one!
If you’re a small business just starting out and want to learn more about how to boost your online reviews, book a free 20-minute strategy consultation with our experts at TechWyse! We’re always looking for ways to help small businesses and would love to discuss new strategies to help your business.