More businesses are moving online out of necessity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the reason for the necessity is devastating, the good thing is that this is pushing businesses to do things they might not have tried before – including creating, or expanding, their online presence
When used correctly, your business’ online presence has the potential to increase your customer reach, no matter the economic climate. We can be thankful that in this age we have the internet available to help us reach our customers, even if our storefronts are closed or restricted.
But naturally, with more businesses becoming active online, this means more competition. Online reviews are an awesome way of helping your business stand out from the others.
So, how do you get online reviews? Here’s a quick and simple guide to get you started.
1. Deliver Products & Services Worth Raving About
There’s no substitute for this. If you want to get 5-star reviews, your products and services have to be worthy of it. Listen to your customers, ask how they feel about your business, and then be open and willing to take on feedback and improve what you do. Strive to provide the best products and quality service.
Customer service is paramount. Always treat your customers with kindness and respect. When your business is memorable for the right reasons, the easier it is for your customers to find the words to leave a raving review.
2. Ask for Reviews from Customers in a Timely Manner
Yep. You need to be proactive about this. A few people are really keen to leave reviews (particularly if they have not had a good experience!) and will do so off their own bat, but the majority will need a prod. And because people are more naturally motivated to leave a negative review, it’s important that you take action to gather positive reviews – otherwise you may end up with a few negative reviews, and no positive ones to balance them out!
There are several ways you can ask your customers for review:
- via text
- via email
- via signage in your business premises
- via your website
The best time to ask for a review is very shortly after the business transaction, while the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind.
3. Make it Easy for Customers to Leave an Online Review
Well-intentioned customers can easily get distracted on the way to leaving a review. The internet is a vast place after all! Let them know where you’d like them to leave a review (e.g. Google or Facebook), and even better, provide them with a link that will take them directly there.
Don’t be afraid to remind your customers either. If they don’t respond the first time, ask again a few days later. But don’t go overboard and hassle them repeatedly!
4. Respond Quickly to All Online Reviews – Even the Negative Ones
It is polite and good online etiquette to respond to all reviews. Thank your customers for making the effort. Other people will also see that you are active and responsive, and will be more likely to want to do business with you as well.
It’s particularly important to respond to negative reviews, although many businesses find this difficult. But not responding will do you more harm than good – and launching a retaliation attack will be even worse.
Seek to understand the customer and rectify the situation. Potential customers are going to look at negative reviews, but how you respond and handle them will go a long way in improving your online reputation. If you handle the situation well, this will turn into a positive for you. You may even find your disgruntled customer becomes highly-satisfied and thankful, and turn into a raving fan!
Negative feedback is also an opportunity to assess if you need to make improvements to your products and/or services.
Naturally, there are always going to be unreasonable people out there who leave scathing reviews just for the fun of it. In those cases, reply to the review with a short, polite response. Engaging in a debate will only drain your energy, and it won’t change their minds.
Online reviews are a highly effective tool for boosting your online presence. If you’re not already actively collecting reviews – what’s holding you back?
Want to make collecting reviews easier?
We can help you the reap the benefits of boosting your online presence through online reviews.