For local businesses, positive reviews are an invaluable tool for marketing products and services. According to one study, “Nearly 70% of US internet users sometimes compared prices or read reviews before visiting a brick-and-mortar store.” Despite the importance of online reviews, most businesses don’t do much to encourage their customers to leave reviews. Part of this is because soliciting reviews in an ethical way can be challenging, and business owners worry that they may end up with more negative reviews than positive ones. The power of online reviews is too large to ignore and there are ethical ways for business owners to encourage their customers to leave that precious online feedback. Here are three ways to get more positive reviews.
Ask Customer For Reviews After Completing Service
There is a lot of concern about the ethical way to encourage reviews. Sites like Yelp filter reviews they believe are improperly solicited. But this doesn’t mean that businesses can’t let their customers know that they appreciate the feedback in the form of reviews and that all are read by the company. By simply asking for reviews, not good reviews, no one can claim that the business owner was trying to influence what reviewers put. Asking for reviews from every customer helps to alleviate the problem where only the angry customer think to leave reviews.
“You don’t want to be pushy, but after you’ve delivered a service or product, it makes sense to ask that they review it on Yelp, for instance,” notes marketing strategist Jason Arango says. “Let them know that the company takes their opinions seriously and checks that feedback daily.”
Examine Your Current Reputation to See What Customer Care About
Another way to get more positive reviews is to use reputation management as a means to find out what your customer care the most about, then focus on improving those areas. Reputation management can be used to ferret out inaccurate information, but it can also be used to find what people talk about most positively about a business and what things they are likely to complain about. Using this feedback as a guideline, business owners can improve their business in a way that their customers will notice, appreciate, and be willing to write reviews about. To illustrate, if a delivery restaurant is seeing negative reviews about how long delivery takes, they can step to fix the problem and then publicize it in marketing. The business would then get good reviews about how well the new system works. It essence, this is just following the old business adage of turning every weakness into a strength.
Respond to All Feedback Quickly, Especially Negative Feedback
Business owners should try to respond to all feedback they get on channels like Yelp, Google Places, etc. when appropriate. Responding to feedback lets the reviewer and the people that see the review know that company cares about their opinions and that their comments will be read. This means that when someone has a good experience and they want the business to know they will turn to the review channel. Responding to negative criticism is also an opportunity to fix the problem. Not only will this possibly save a customer, many consumers will go back and change their review and acknowledge the issue had been addressed. In this way, responding quickly to negative feedback can turn something that once looked bad for a business into an example of care and concern for the customer.
Getting more positive online reviews can mean a lot for a business. In one study, researchers stated that 87 percent of consumers say positive reviews online have reinforced their decision to purchase a product or service. On the other hand, 80 percent of consumers have also changed their mind about purchases based on negative reviews they found online. But even though they’re important, business owners and marketers can’t pursue to a strategy of good reviews no matter the cost. Using unethical tactics to get good reviews can easily backfire and stain a company’s reputation. Using the tactics above good ways to get more positive reviews by doing the things that make people decide for themselves that they want to leave a review.