Online reviews can massively impact a business, for better or worse. When people don’t have any experience with a certain brand, they’re likely to do some research first.
That research can involve looking at reviews for the business, and even how it responds to negative reviews.
If a customer doesn’t like what they see, you could lose their business. On the other hand, if your reviews reflect a great service then they might even tell their friends and family.
If you want to boost your business, it’s time to focus on getting some positive reviews. We’ve listed several of the most effective strategies below.
- Make it simple
- Reward the ones that do
- Offer fantastic customer service
- Focus on the solution
- Be professional about criticism
- Stand your ground
- Ask for them
Why reviews matter
You might not realise how much reviews actually matter. For instance, did you know that 90% of people check online reviews before buying from a business? As many as 94% even said they usually avoid businesses with fewer than four stars.
With this in mind, making sure your business has a high rating is essential to maximising revenue.
Review sites you should use
There’s no shortage of review sites, but they’re not all equal. We’ve mentioned a few main ones below so you can decide which is best for your business.
Perhaps the most important review service you need is Google. When someone wants to learn about a business, the first thing they do is google it.
Since it’s their first port of call, you want your Google My Business page to portray your business as well as possible. You can also be sure that your Google rating will have a higher reach than any other platform.
Trustpilot’s main focus is ensuring accurate reviews. Their ‘transparency report’ highlights 2.2 million fake reviews removed in 2020, so you know that any reviews on Trustpilot are genuine.
This can work extremely well for businesses, because customers who check your Trustpilot profile know they can trust the information written there. Readers can develop an accurate perspective of your business, so the more positive reviews you have there, the better.
Having star ratings can make your business much more trustworthy, but you need a significant number of reviews to get one.
Enter reviews.io. They’re a paid service that integrates with various platforms (Facebook, Google, Shopify, etc) to help develop your business’s online reputation.
If your business offers outings to customers, then TripAdvisor is your friend — especially if you’re based in a tourist destination. Whether you offer food, holiday stays, or ‘experiences’ having positive TripAdvisor reviews is essential.
If a customer is looking for things to do in your area, they might be searching primarily on TripAdvisor. Results are typically organised by highest ratings, so if your profile is lacking then your business might not even get seen.
How to get positive reviews online
Getting people to review your business can be tricky. Some will review it because they want to, others won’t no matter what you do.
There are ways for you to improve the number of positive reviews your company gets though. Keep reading to learn how you can improve the amount of positive reviews for your business.
Make it simple
If you want to get more positive online reviews for your business, you need to make it as easy as possible. If a customer has to jump through 20 different hoops to leave a review, they’re not going to do it.
By making it simple, you’re encouraging customers to go through the process. So how can you simplify things for them?
Having links and QR codes to your review page is a great way to do it. This makes it unobtrusive for your customer, but still visible for those that want to review.
If your business uses an online checkout, then adding a review link to your confirmation page could really help.
Reward the ones that do
People love feeling appreciated. Offering rewards to customers who leave reviews on your business can be an excellent way to encourage online reviews.
A common reward is giving a discount on their next purchase. This way you can tempt customers into giving you their return business, while also letting them feel rewarded.
You’re not limited to offering a discount though. The incentive for reviewing is entirely up to you, so you may want to brainstorm some ideas first.
It’s important to find the right balance between what’s cost effective for your business, and what makes the customer happy.
Remember, you aren’t allowed to pay people to write positive reviews — but incentivising customers to provide feedback is fine.
Offer fantastic customer service
People are typically driven by their emotions. We usually remember how something makes us feel, rather than the exact words or actions. This works for positive situations as well as negative ones.
So translate this into your business. Think about the positives and negatives of your business from a customer’s perspective. You might try imagining yourself as the customer to get a better understanding of their view.
If you really want to get in their head, you may want to ask for anonymous feedback. This can work especially well in local communities, where people may feel awkward about telling you something directly.
Focus on the solution
Things go wrong with every business. It could be a technical glitch, or a customer’s order might have slipped your mind.
As long as it’s not a major mistake, you might be able to turn it around. This can involve giving a customer a complete refund on their order, giving them future discounts, or something else.
The solution you come up with should satisfy the customer. Once the situation is resolved, examine the issue and how you can prevent it from occurring again.
By owning up and ensuring it won’t happen again, a customer is more likely to respect and appreciate your efforts.
Be professional about criticism
No matter what type of feedback you get, as a business you must remain professional at all times. If you resort to name-calling or arguing, it can damage the perception of your business.
Instead, rise above the criticism and look at it objectively. Was there a genuine issue? If so, how can you rectify it? Responding well to criticism can make others want to visit and support your business.
You might even be able to convince the negative reviewer to visit again and change their mind. Even improving their review from three stars to four can mean a lot for your business.
Stand your ground
Unfortunately, there are people who just like to complain to see how far they can get. When dealing with these types of people, there’s very little you can do to appease them.
Of course, you should always try to please a customer first (unless they’re being disrespectful or abusive).
Only stand your ground if the customer genuinely has no grounds or is being unreasonable. For example, ordering a rare steak, complaining it’s undercooked, and demanding the entire bill for free.
In the rare situations where a customer is complaining for the sake of it, it’s important to stand your ground. They may leave a negative review, but you should reply to their complaint with a professional breakdown of their actions.
By setting the record, instead of ignoring it, you can ensure future customers aren’t put off by their poor review.
Ask for them
One of the best ways to get positive reviews for your business is to ask for them. Unprompted criticisms are a lot more frequent than praises, and the wider public doesn’t always think about leaving a good review.
So don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave reviews about their experience. If you prompt them, they’re much more likely to do it and you might see your score soar.
A simple “if you enjoyed your visit today, then please leave a review” can work wonders.
Managing your future revenue
Once you’ve started to reach higher star ratings, you might notice that your revenue starts to increase. To make sure you’re prepared ahead of time, you’ll need the Countingup app.
Countingup is the two-in-one business current account and accounting software. By combining both services into one, they make sure you have clear control over your finances.
So prepare for future sales and download the app today.