As a small business owner, you may feel a little uncomfortable about asking for customer reviews, because you don’t want to irritate or offend your happy customers. However, the truth of the matter is that consumers feel more appreciated when businesses asks for their feedback.
Your “enthusiastic” customers may not leave reviews because; throughout their busy day they simply forgot about it. In view of the fact that online reviews is a powerful tool to bring in new and repeat customers through your doors, you have to overcome that awkward feeling of asking your customers for reviews.
In reality, customers who are angry and frustrated tend to leave an online review more than your satisfied customers. I know, it doesn’t seem fair but unfortunately it’s true.
For this reason, businesses need to actively encourage customers, who are smiling on their way out the door, to leave reviews. Look at it this way: this is how you build your reputation in the community. Use this as a part of your marketing strategy to build a positive online reputation.
With that said, let’s look at the three easy ways to get more positive customer reviews:
1. Customer Reviews – Good Old-Fashioned Customer Service
This is the most important step in getting more positive customer feedback.
Having a great product in combination with outstanding customer service is so powerful, that if your customer has a bad experience with your product, how you handle it can make that person a customer for life.
Since your staff is the first person your customers see, they represent your company. Make sure they have a well-defined plan on how to handle upset customers. This will help eliminate customers posting negative reviews due to the incorrect actions of employees.
If someone is unhappy with your product or service, try to solve the situation right then and there, before giving them a chance to leave a harmful review.
2. Simply ASK Your Customers for Reviews
I know, it sounds easy enough, but for many businesses, it’s still a hard thing to do. I think many people are hesitant to ask because they don’t want to make a mistake and stop the customer from coming back again.
That’s a good reason, because you don’t want to damage your good reputation. So let’s go over some mistakes to be avoided when you ask for customer reviews:
- Never pressure someone to post a review. It’s a good practice to “encourage” reviews. So don’t be aggressive in your approach, but passive.
- Don’t let your customers feel they are being harassed to leave reviews by continually asking them throughout the course of their stay. You could really turn them off by doing so.
- You don’t have to offer incentives, bribe or pay for customer reviews. Your goal is to get sincere and honest reviews. If you do actively offer incentives, make sure you are following the review site’s guidelines.
- Never write or ask anyone else to write fake reviews. Most consumers are internet savvy and can usually tell if a review is fake or not. Remember, your company’s reputation is at stake here.
- And don’t instruct your customers on how to give you a review. There is no need to give out subtle hints about giving you a 5 star rating. If they were happy when they left your establishment, they will say so in their review.
3. Create a Review Space on Your Website to Collect and Showcase Reviews
Now this is a great way to help you establish your online reputation.
On your website, set aside a section that will collect and display your private customer reviews and testimonials. You can post your favorite reviews and as many as you want. There are several ways to achieve this and various types of software available to ease this process.
When people visit your website, they can see your customer reviews displayed there, which can be extremely powerful in turning some of your potential customers into raving fans for your business.