There are many reasons you want customers to review your business. Reviews help expose your business to new customers and make them feel confident in choosing you. A large number of reviews helps make your business look established, popular and legitimate. And, of course, reviews also provide you with feedback on what you’re doing well…and what you need to do better.
So what can you do if you’re just not getting a lot of reviews? First, don’t even think about creating a fake review or asking your friends and family members to create reviews for your business. That will backfire on you faster than you can say “social media scandal.”
Nor can you pay customers for leaving reviews. Kind of like buying votes in an election, that’s in violation of most review sites’ ethics policies and makes others doubt the legitimacy of your reviews.
The key word here is “encourage,” and the goal is to gently prod customers to leave reviews by making the process as quick, simple and painless as possible for them. Here are some tips:
After the sale, send the customer a postsale email encouraging them to give you feedback about your business. Include a link to a landing page on your website where customers can choose from several review sites (that is, assuming you’re on several) to review you. That way, they can choose the one where they already have an account so they don’t have to bother creating a new account. You can also reach out on social media; for instance, you could post on Facebook, “Did you know we’re on Yelp? Check it out!” with a link to your Yelp page.
Don’t worry, there are ways to drive brick-and-mortar customers to do online reviews, too. Start by putting signage in your business that tells customers you’re on Yelp or other relevant review site (you can typically download signage from the review site and print it out for display). Also consider handing out cards at the point of sale or printing something on your receipts or bills: “Want to tell us how we’re doing? Visit us on Yelp and let us know!”
There’s a fine line between outright asking for a review and simply encouraging one. Make sure you don’t request positive reviews or suggest that only happy customers do reviews. Focus on the fact that you welcome feedback on your business’s performance from all customers.
Once you start getting reviews, be sure you respond to them and take action when warranted. Last, but not least, keep up your efforts to get new reviews so your review status will be current and not outdated.
Want more online marketing ideas? Register for the Web.com Small Business Forum Online. Being a member of the Small Business Forum enables you to ask questions about online marketing, comment on our numerous articles, get to know other small business owners and receive special offers on business services from our partners. Sign up now to accelerate your online marketing potential!