You know that your business needs online reviews. Not just reviews, but your business needs quality reviews that will make other consumers want to work with you as well.  Journalist, and internet guru, Chris Anderson said, “Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.” This sums up just how valuable those reviews are, and why business owners need to seek out ways to build up their online reviews.

Not everyone feels comfortable finding ways to entice your customers to leave you those ever-so-valuable reviews, but it’s actually easier than you think:

Make it Easy

Make it easy for your customers to leave you reviews by ensuring your business can be found in several places online. Your online listings should include: Google, Yelp and Facebook, at least. There are so many places for customers to review your business, and those are the top three. The more easily people can find your business online in order to leave reviews for you, the more likely they will do so. Many people have a Google account, but no Facebook account. Or maybe they have a Facebook account, but no Yelp account. Because of this, it’s important to be found on all of these platforms so your customers can leave reviews wherever it’s most convenient for them.

Another way to make review-leaving easy for your customers is by putting direct links to your review profiles in multiple places for them. For example, a follow-up email or text message to remind your customer about the review, and provide them with the link(s) to do so makes it very simple for them.

 

Ask & Give Incentives (But Don’t Buy)

ASK, ASK, ASK! This is so simple, but so many people don’t do it. Many people just don’t think of leaving a review because they don’t realize how important it is to your business. By asking your customer to leave you a review, you are putting it in their mind. Be sure to mention how much it would mean to you if they leave you a review, so they know that they’ll be helping you out. Don’t forget to ask for a review after each and every service. Your employees should be trained to do the same, and always mention a review at the end of every job they complete.

It’s fine to provide incentives your happy customers to leave you a review, since it takes time out of their day to do it. But never offer to pay your customer for their reviews. Google, Facebook, Yelp and other platforms punish businesses for ‘buying’ reviews, and it could be very detrimental to your online reputation. However, putting together a list of everyone who leaves a review each month and doing a giveaway at the end is a great incentive. If you do choose to provide incentives your customers, be sure you’re not offering them monetary gain, and that you’re asking for an honest review, not a GOOD review. You want your customers to be honest about your business, and so does Google!

Thank Your Reviewers

After your customer does you a favor by leaving you a review, the least you can do is thank them. Your responses don’t need to be long-winded or time-consuming to write, but they should be full of appreciation and personal. Be sure to include your customer’s name in your response, and tell them that you’re thankful for their review, their kind words, or their business.

Thanking your reviewers shows readers that you care about your customers and take time to speak with them and address them. This is good because it goes a long way in building trust and showing your high concern for customer service.

Now that you know a few easy ways to get reviews from your customers, implement them! Train your employees and focus yourself on building that online reputation full of positive reviews for your business.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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