Businesses often have a long to-do list that includes getting the word about new promotions, making sure they order enough products or equipment to support customers, and ensuring employees get paid. But an online presence is part of that checklist, since customers and clients primarily turn to the internet to get information about a company before choosing to buy from it.
One area that always seems to be an issue is online reviews. Customers care what others are saying about your brand online, with the information often prominently featuring in search results. In fact, research consistently shows that reviews influences buying decisions for the majority of consumers. It's important for your business to have a large number of reviews and that a substantial number of those reviews are positive. Here are four techniques you can use to get more five-star reviews.
Set Up a Presence
The first step toward getting reviews is to ensure customers have a place to leave them. Unless you're selling through a marketplace like Amazon or Etsy, customers will likely go directly to sites like Yelp and Google to comment about your products or services. To set up your business page on Yelp, you merely
that captures all of your business information and wait for approval. Once approved, you'll be sent an email inviting you to claim your business page. If your business has more than one location, it's important to claim each location by going into your account settings and choosing "claim another business" from the additional options section. With Google, use the
tool to set up your Google page, which will also make it easier for customers to get information such as your operating hours and location.
Don't be shy about asking your customers to leave a review. When interacting at the cash register or by phone, simply mention that you're trying to build your business's review presence and ask them to take a few minutes to post a review on Yelp, your own website, or another external site. If you email receipts to your customers, include a link to leave a review. For paper-based receipts, you can include a QR code or website link that encourages customers to provide feedback. For your own site, you can incentivize customers by offering a coupon or entry into the contest for every review they leave.
A well-timed gentle nudge can make a big difference in the number of reviews you receive. Use
by sending a reminder emails after a set period of time. Use your email newsletters or in-store signage to ask customers to find your business on Yelp. Set up a menu item on your website titled "Reviews" and link to your various review pages on that site. On social media, occasionally post a reminder to leave a review using a fun graphic. If you have loyal customers, ask them to provide a testimonial, either by text or video, or excerpt that review on your site. You'll eventually have a page filled with positive comments about your business that will help build confidence for new visitors.
If you collect reviews on your own site, create a form that collects reviews while customers are using your site. The most likely place for this type of form is as a page that displays after a customer completes a purchase. You can look for a widget specific to your web-hosting platform or find
that works with a variety of site types. In addition to the overall customer experience, businesses that sell products may find it useful to allow reviews on each item. Customers will appreciate information such as how a piece of clothing fits or whether a gadget works a certain way. In addition to building a review presence on your own site, you'll also be able to get valuable feedback about the user-friendliness of your business and products that you can use to make improvements.
Reviews are important to online visibility, providing content that helps with search rankings. With more customers than ever relying on reviews before making purchase decisions, businesses can't afford to leave reviews to chance. By taking proactive measures, businesses can boost the number of reviews that customers leave for their products and services, benefiting their bottom line.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter