Let’s start with a story about why you need positive business reviews.
Cami owns a small toy store called “C’s Toys” where she sells handmade, old-fashioned toys. She’s been in business for a few years and has done fairly well. She heard that she needed to be more web friendly and has set up a website because of it. She also set up social media accounts but does not use them very often, posting about once a month or so. One day, one of her regular customers comes in to talk to her. The regular customer, Lynn, says she has a friend that is looking for an old-fashioned toy and Lynn recommended C’s Toys. Unfortunately, this friend looked online and only found negative reviews from when C’s Toys first opened. She stated that unless it has better reviews, she wouldn’t go. Cami Googled herself and checked her reviews. She had 5 negative reviews and 0 positive business reviews. She was shocked especially because many of her customers usually tell her that they would never go anywhere else.
This is a fictional story but many businesses have found themselves in similar situations. They have a lack of positive business reviews and are losing potential customers because of it. A survey conducted by Zendesk found that 90% of participants were influenced by positive online reviews and 86% said negative reviews influenced their decision as well.
The good news is that fixing your online reputation is doable, with a little work.
The first step is Googling yourself or your business and seeing where you stand. If you have an overall negative ranking (most of your rankings are 3 stars or less) than you have a problem. If this is you or your business, then it is time to start the process of gaining positive business reviews.
Obtaining reviews is easier than you might think. Here we will show you 5 simple ways that you can start obtaining positive business reviews now.
1. Set Up Social Media Accounts (and use them)
One of the best ways to start gaining positive business reviews is to set up multiple social media profiles. Customers can then leave reviews on your social media account directly. Then, if and when problems come up, they can be handled quickly and easily. Often times, bad reviews can turn into good reviews if the situation is handled well enough.
Unlike C’s Toys’ social media accounts, you need to be active on yours. Customers are more likely to interact with your business on social media if you post and comment frequently.
This is probably the simplest thing you can do. Just ask your customers for their feedback and ask them to share it online. Make sure that you give your customers a great experience though, otherwise they are likely to be annoyed if you ask.
If a customer gives you a positive review through phone, email or in person, don’t be afraid to ask them to share the same feedback online. Most customers understand the importance that reviews play in your business success and don’t mind sharing as long as they have a great experience. Sometimes all the customer needs is just a little reminder.
3. Keep It Simple
No one is going to want to leave a positive business review if it is hard to do so. If you want good customer reviews, you need to make it easy. Add plenty of links to your social media accounts and to your website review form. When customers leave reviews on your website, make sure to ask if you can share them on your social media as well. Remember that the easier your process is, the more good reviews you will get.
4. Incentivize Reviews
Many of you might be cringing at this advice because it sounds like you should buy reviews. That is absolutely incorrect. You should never buy reviews because they sound phony and look horrible for your business. Instead, offer an incentive for customers to leave a review. Make sure that it is clear that the incentive is for any review, not just positive reviews.
After several reviews have been left, then choose a winner every few weeks or once a month, depending on your strategy. This encourages customers to leave reviews of all kinds and with more reviews in general, you should get more positive reviews as a result.
5. Always Say “Thank You”
Whenever possible, make sure you thank every one of your reviewers. If the review if positive, then thank them for the positive review. You could even surprise them with some sort of reward. This will turn a satisfied customer into a loyal brand ambassador.
If the review is negative, thank them for alerting you to the problem and start working towards a solution. The negative reviews can sometimes change to positive reviews if the situation is handled quickly and efficiently.
No matter what, always interact with your customers. You will gain more loyalty and a better reputation when you do.
Gaining positive business reviews is not impossible. If you are in a situation like the fictional “C’s Toys,” then start using these 5 simple tips today. Review where your online reputation stands, figure out your strategy and then, get started. Soon, you will see more positive reviews and more customers because of it.
What other ways do you encourage customers to leave online reviews?