Here’s How to Get More Online Reviews the Right Way
If you’re a business owner who feels the intense pressure to grab more online reviews than you’re currently scoring, you are not alone.
5-star online reviews from customers are almost better than gold.
That’s because almost every potential customer (9 out of 10) culls through online reviews before they make a purchasing decision. Those online reviews may be on an Amazon product page, or Google Reviews. Maybe they’re on Yelp, Angie’s List or Tripadvisor.
And never underestimate social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for “influencer” reviews that can make or break a business’ ascent to profitability.
The more 5-star reviews you have, the more you can use that wildfire word-of-mouth marketing that really means something to potential customers. So, just how to get more online reviews?
Another important question: Why collect online reviews?
If you don’t try to collect online reviews actively, you not look less reputable to potential customers, but you are missing out on the potential SEO benefits of a large, impressive collection of positive reviews.
The more reviews you collect, the more text there is about your business (hopefully good news) that Google and other search engines can index and pull up when someone tries to search for your product or service.
So, that urgency you feel to collect online reviews is fully justified for the survival of your business in a wild world of potential competitors all clamouring for attention in the same online sphere.
Of course, not every online review is a happy one, so you’ll need to learn how to deal with negative reviews positively too. But let’s just start with how to get more positive reviews online in the first place.
One word of caution about how to get more online reviews for your business…
Before we go any further, it’s important to get this out of the way: you should never, ever, ever try to post fake positive reviews. Never. Don’t do it, and don’t try to pay anyone to do it for you. Not only can most potential customers smell a rat like that, but you could land yourself into serious legal trouble. It’s trouble that could leave your business permanently damaged by a bad reputation and ostracized by respectable online reviews channels. It’s simply not worth the risk to your business. So don’t even try it. Now, back to how to get more online reviews the honest way:
1. Claim all of the Online Reviews Listings that Belong to You
Make sure to keep your official listings on Google Reviews, Yelp, and across social media updated so that customers have a place to leave reviews. If you claim those channels and keep an eye on them, you’ll have a better idea of how customers are feeling, and it is also easier to send a link to customers to request a review on your customers’ online review channels of choice.
2. Ask for Online Reviews
If you don’t ask, you will miss out on hundreds of online reviews you could be collecting. Here’s why that’s bad math for you. Happy customers are great, natural brand ambassadors; but for some reason, they are not as likely, without some prodding, to post a glowing review as angry customers are to post a negative review. Unhappy customers are highly motivated to complain, which can badly skew your online reputation if you don’t take any action to remedy the unfair statistics. Just one unhappy review can reduce your sales by a third if you’re not careful, and it takes at least 40 additional 5-star reviews to cancel out the negative vibes caused by that one bad apple.
The thing is, asking for online reviews has to be a constant activity in order for you to build up that impressive library of ravingly happy reviews from your fanbase. You really can’t skip a day, or a customer. Everyone on your team has to be in on the effort. But if you’re so busy delighting the customer in the first place, it can be very easy to forget to ask for a review. And forgetting can be a costly error. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem...
3. Use a Reputation Management Software Tool like Reputation Builder
If monitoring online reviews on all of the online channels listed above seems like a never-ending effort that takes time away from what you do best, you’re probably right. That’s where a reputation management software tool can simplify matters greatly. Reputation Builder takes many of these important, but time-consuming tasks and automates them, which simplifies your process and saves time while also boosting your ability to get more positive online reviews for your business, and even prevent negative reviews from going live.
4. How to Get More Positive Reviews Online with Reputation Builder
Reputation Builder gives you three easy options so you can choose the best way to ask your customers for online reviews. This allows you to customize the mode of asking so that it is most convenient for your customer to leave a review. The easier it is for your customer to leave a review, the better! So, you can choose how Reputation Builder puts out those automatic review requests, depending on your unique business and customers. These are the three key “request feedback” modes you can choose from:
a. Ultimate Mode
Ultimate Mode gives you the opportunity to maximize your online reviews collection by bringing in both first-person feedback that you receive in the shop, as well as that collected by third-party review sites. Reputation Builder sends your client an email that makes it extremely simple for them to create that 5-star review. To enhance the amount of data you can collect from Ultimate Mode, you can also customize surveys that your customers can fill out, which boosts your marketing research efforts too. Ultimate mode also enables you to collect Net Promoter Score (NPS) information! Why is this important? This one question can help your customers become your online promoters: “How likely are you to recommend [this company] to friends or colleagues?” Scores in the 9-10 range are good. Anything below that and you can use the data you collect to improve your products and services.
b. Review Mode
Review Mode is a quicker, easier process for your customers with a two-step request to provide an answer to the NPS (How likely are you to recommend…?) question, and an easy link to write a review on one of 2-4 third-party review sites that you select.
c. Direct Mode
With direct mode, the email request provides one simple step for your customer to choose to leave first-party or third party reviews right there. It’s a fast, direct way to build your online review library, but you do risk having the odd negative review leak to the world before you are able to use direct feedback (like you get in Ultimate Mode) to correct a problem in-store. Still, if you know how to handle a negative review, there are ways you can turn even that to your advantage through skillful, sincere customer service and diplomacy.
5. Remember to Say Thank You!
It seems so simple, and yet it goes such a long way. Whenever you get a positive review, thank your customer. While you may run into difficulties if you try to incentivize reviews (many ——third-party online review sites will penalize you if they discover this behavior), a simple thank you to a customer who leaves you a positive review helps you build a positive relationship with them and allows you to build a strong fan base of support.
6. Be Active on Support Forums and Social Media
In today’s marketing atmosphere, your customers expect your company to be available for assistance, comments and connection. It’s all about “relationship marketing”. This doesn’t always mean that you have to spend a lot of time on all of the social media platforms all the time. A little market research can tell you where your customers are most likely to hang out by demographics and followership. For example, if your customers tend to be millennials or younger, they’re most likely on Instagram. Generation X and older may be more likely on Facebook. These are just broad, sweeping generalizations. You’ll need to examine your followership for specifics and devote time to building those relationships. This can be another important and very natural way to get more online reviews as well. Reputation Builder can help you keep track of the reviews you receive in these locations too, which will help you know how best to allot your time.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Reviews
Whether you made a mistake or the customer was just having a bad day, negative reviews will happen. Whether they help or hurt your business is mostly a matter of how you handle them. If you’re proactive and follow the advice in this post for handling negative reviews, you can usually make a fan out of an angry customer. In the case of trolls, however, you should definitely report such activity to the third-party online review site to petition them to remove it. Most online review sites do have policies against trolling behavior, and you should aggressively defend yourself against it.