Business reviews can be a good and a bad thing for your business – and can also be a huge factor in your success. Reviews are essential for the consumer – it helps establish trust. No one likes the idea of getting a bad review that could hurt your image but customer reviews are one of the best ways to get an indication of the quality of service provided by a business. Consumers are much more likely to work with, or purchase from, a company that they trust. Your online reviews will help establish that trust and give people confidence in you and your company.
Note: Your rating will show up when your site appears in Google search results, once you have enough reviews on Google. This helps to establish credibility for your business.
Business Review Websites
The most popular and most visible business reviews websites today are:
- Trip Advisor
How to Get Positive Reviews for Your Business
Ask for Reviews
It is okay to ask your customers for reviews. Many customers won’t go out of their way to leave business reviews but you might be surprised at how many of them will leave a review for you if you ask them to. I’ve had a lot of success with sending requests to my customers via email. It would be a good idea to ask your customer to write a review and post it online, if you feel like your customer had a good experience with you. Make it as easy as possible for them and provide a link to a few of your preferred online review websites. The easier it is, the more likely they will do it.
If you provide a quality service and good experience to your customers (or even a negative experience) some of them are naturally going to want to leave a review for you. The best type of review for you and your business are natural reviews. When people comment on their experience with you, without prompting, this is an indication that you’re doing something right (or wrong).
There are multiple services available that help to automate the process of receiving positive reviews by sending your customers a request asking them about their experience. If the customer’s experience was negative they will see a form they can fill out that sends feedback to you to let you know how you can improve. If the customer indicated they had a positive experience they will be prompted to leave a review on Google, Facebook, etc. This type of customer engagement can be very useful for discovering what you are doing well and also ways you can improve.
What NOT To Do
Do not incentivize or solicit customer reviews.
Google cracked down on fake reviews a few years back. Google views soliciting reviews as “suspect behaviour”, also it’s not good for potential customers to be presented with a false view of your business only to discover that maybe your quality of service doesn’t match what they read about you online. It’s also potentially illegal in your state to solicit or incentivize reviews (i.e. paying or rewarding people to leave positive reviews). There are several ways to get reviews for your business without resorting to these frowned upon tactics.
- I would encourage you to make a list of the customers you have worked with in the past few years, that had a positive experience with you, and reach out to ask them to write a review for you. Be sure to include a link to a few websites where they can post the review.
- Consider what you can add to your daily business processes to prompt more customers to leave reviews for you in the future. The request could be something as simple as asking for a review in a follow up thank you email or a thank you note included with the customer’s receipt. If you don’t have access to your customers email addresses this can be a good opportunity to start building up an email marketing list. Not only could this help you get more business reviews but it can also be a good way to get repeat business from your customers.