Want more good customer reviews online? Here are three tips to make it happen
For many business owners, maintaining good ratings and positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Kudzu and Angie’s List is a “necessary evil” of doing business. And it’s not difficult to see why these services make business owners uncomfortable: they are hard to influence and impossible to control in any kind of meaningful way.
I have three tips though that can help business owners get those great reviews they want.
1. ASK! Seriously. Why wait around for others to pick up the ball on this? Your customers aren’t mind-readers and many would be very happy to take five minutes to pay you a small kindness online. But unless they are dedicated Yelp addicts, your customers probably aren’t proactively thinking about how many stars and how much praise you deserve every time they leave your place of business. The next time someone tells you what a great experience they had, ask them to take five minutes and review you online. You’ll be surprised how many would be more than happy to help.
2. Make it easy. Use graphics in your facility to remind customers to review you online and consider providing links or to make it simple for customers to find your page on review sites. You can also easily include links in your email newsletters to make the process completely seamless for customers engaging with you online. If people tell you they don’t know how to leave reviews, consider creating a quick step-by-step video explaining the process and reminding them again why online reviews are so important to you.
3. Never try to “game” the system. Maybe your customers need a little push and so you decide to offer a gift or discount incentive to people who post positive reviews. That would help, right? This is a bad idea and something that a frequent reviewer will almost certainly call you out on, damaging the credibility of your business and of every positive review you’ve received. Don’t try to buy or manufacture good reviews, it’s not likely to work. But when someone does give you a good review, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging it on your Twitter account or Facebook page to thank the individual. This will also serve as a reminder to your other followers/fans that you value this kind of input from customers. If this person is on your mailing list, send them a nice thank you email. But don’t go over the top and don’t send gifts.
Good luck building up those good reviews!