Regardless of what industry your business is in, social proof is such an important thing to seek out. Customers list online reviews as one of the biggest factors that influence their purchase decisions, so focusing on getting good reviews for your business is a smart way to invest your time. Here are some strategies that can help you get to five stars:
Make Sure You Have a Business Profile on Relevant Review Sites
Your industry will be the main factor regarding what review sites you ultimately sign up for, but the basics that every business should be active on are Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook. Yelp is one of the most popular review sites, but you have to create a profile to leave any reviews—so many customers find Google Reviews and Facebook are far more accessible. Depending on your industry, you might also want to look into more niche review platforms such as TripAdvisor and Angie’s List to be active on as well.
Include Reminders at Times When It’s Convenient
Unfortunately, customers who have a bad experience are more likely to leave a review—so if you want reviews from happy customers, it’s good to make a point to remind them that your profiles exist! Prompting your customers to leave a review at times when it’s convenient (say, on your social media feeds when they’re already scrolling, versus when they’re in-person and not near a computer) will make them far more likely to click through and leave some thoughts about what makes your business stand out!
Add Extra Review Incentives (but Don’t Break Any Rules)
Encouraging your customers to leave reviews with special incentives can be effective, but review sites can be quite strict on what is and isn’t okay. It is important that you are following the guidelines to avoid getting your reviews deleted—or worst, getting banned from the site altogether. Instead of giving customers incentives to leave reviews, you can run a promotion that incentivizes customers that have already left reviews. This way, you aren’t soliciting any reviews or skewing your ratings in any way—but making customers aware of the promotion might make them more likely to submit their review.
Be Sure to Say Thank You and Address Naysayers
If the review site of your choice allows it, make sure to leave every single customer a note of thanks publicly for their review. This will show other customers that you are genuinely thankful for the reviews you get. Similarly, be sure to address any negative feedback your business garners with a personal note and an offer of resolution—simply offering an email to discuss it further will make your business look better in the face of adversity.