When you own a business, you know that online customer reviews are very influential. From Yelp to Healthgrades, Angie’s List to Trustpilot, people are sharing their experiences on everything, and what they say has an impact.
These days, a Google review can shape your business far more than a Google Ad. According to a Zendesk survey, 90% of participants claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decision, and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews.
As social media expert Brian Solis said, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Many businesses focus on what to do about the one or two bad reviews, but the most effective way to combat a few negative words is to load up on the rave reviews. This means you’ll need to encourage your happy customers to take the time to write about their experiences. Here are six tips to get you started:
1. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites
Consider all the sites that are relevant to your business: Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, and CitySearch. Even if you don’t think you are in a review-driven industry like restaurants and hospitality, general review sites like TrustLink and Trustpilot are great (Trustpilot has the added benefit of showing up on Google).
2. Ask Your Customers
The next time a customer compliments you via email, phone, or in person, mention that you’d appreciate if they left the same feedback in an online review on Trustpilot, Yelp, or the review site of their choice.
3. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website. Yelp offers downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banners that you can use on your website or print out for your store.
4. Incent (but Don’t Buy) Reviews
Sometimes even your most satisfied customers need some extra incentive to take time out of their busy schedule to write a review. Offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation. You just need to make sure your offer is for writing a review, and not for writing a good review. Monthly giveaways, where you choose one reviewer at random, are effective ways to encourage reviews, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for a review.
5. Thank Your Reviewers
Read the original article from Forbes.com: https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2014/08/28/6-simple-ways-to-get-customers-to-review-your-business-online/#1266fe4214c5