Encouraging Customer Reviews

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Encouraging Online Reviews

How to Persuade Customers to Leave Your Business a Review

When you’re looking for a recommendation, be it for the best local pizza or a digital marketing agency with glowing reviews, most likely the first thing you’re inclined to do is look for reviews from others who have already experienced a business’ products and services. As a business owner, those reviews for your business are a crucial way to not only get your name and services out there, but help you establish a reputation for providing quality goods and services. Those who are searching for a particular service are actually likely to trust an online review as much as a recommendation from family and friends.

Online reviews are definitely an important tool to utilize when it comes to drumming up new business. The importance of online reviews has gained a significant increase with the rise of sites catering specifically to reviewing and rating local businesses. So, there’s no question great reviews can help bolster sales and profits, but how exactly can you encourage your customers to leave your business a review? Inspiring your customers to give your business review may seem a bit daunting, but it really doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at a few ways to help you encourage more reviews and in turn, more business.

Don’t be Afraid to Directly Ask Customers for a Review

It may seem like the most obvious way, but it can also be the most difficult if you tend to feel uncomfortable directly asking for a review from a customer. It doesn’t have to be difficult though, a great way to start the process is to train your employees to ask customers they’ve interacted with to give the business a review if they’ve had a positive experience. If you’re not comfortable asking your customers in person, try sending emails. You can send out emails to your customers thanking them for their business and asking them if they could post a review to help get the word out about the great experience they had at your place of business.

Think of Some Incentives for Your Customers

Incentives are a great way to offer something in return for asking your customers to give your business a review. The key here, however, is to make sure you’re not coming across as though you’re trying to buy a good review; you don’t want your business to have a reputation for having bought and paid for reviews. So, when it comes to incentives, it’s a good idea to offer them for all reviewers. While it’s never ideal to get a not so glowing review, it’s a good idea to keep it fair and carry through with your promise of an incentive for an honest review.

Make it Easy to Review Your Business

In order to get those reviews, you’ve got to make your business easy to review and the best way to go about that is to be sure to list your business on multiple review sites. The more sites that are available to leave a review on, the greater the chances you’ll have for customers to leave a review for your business. If it’s easy to find in an online review search, customers will be more inclined to leave a review. There are plenty of sites to choose from where you can list your business; Goggle Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, and CitySearch are just a few of the many choices you have for listings. The more listings your business has, the better your chances of customers finding it and leaving a review.

If you do decide to send out emails to customers to ask the for reviews, an important thing to remember is providing a link to relevant review sites, that way they can access the site with a simple click in their email that will lead them directly to your company’s listing. It’s also a good idea to make sure the links to your company’s listing on review sites are easy to access on your main website. If it’s easy to see and access, you’re more likely to get those plentiful reviews to help boost business.

To make your business easy to review make sure you're listed on multiple review sites. Click To Tweet

Online Reviews and their Influence Over Your Company’s SEO

Online reviews aren’t just beneficial to your company’s bottom line, they are also important when it comes to your SEO and where your business ends up in online searches. When it comes to Google searches, there are four key factors involved: Quantity, Quality, Diversity, and Velocity. Of course, garnering a large number of reviews will get you notices on the Quantity key, but what about the other three?

The Quality of your reviews come from being listed and reviewed on respected and verified platforms such as Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google Plus. If your business is reviewed on a higher number of reputable sites, then your chances of being found on a Google search become higher as well, but you also have to think about the Diversity key of your listing choices. For example, if you’re a café owner, it’s probably more effective to list your business on Yelp or Google Local instead of TripAdvisor, whereas if you run a bed and breakfast, TripAdvisor would be the ideal site to garner more reviews.

The Velocity key factors into how many reviews you get at once. It’s actually not a good idea to get too many reviews in a quick span of time because Google may interpret that as meaning you’re paying people to review your business, which will get you a lower search engine ranking. So be patient and don’t try to rush your customers into giving your reviews.

Building your review resume can take time and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Be patient with your customers and continue to give the excellent customer and product services your business is known for and the good reviews will reflect that in time. All it takes is a bit of patience, great customer service, networking, and the tenacity to not be afraid to ask your customers to give your business an honest review.