For many small businesses, a single online review could be all that it takes to make or break the business. In the event of a negative review, fewer customers may be inclined to utilize the services or products of that business. With less and less business coming in, the small business has no choice but to pack up and sell out. Understandably, many small business owners may be wary of allowing their businesses to be reviewed online. However, it’s absolutely critical that businesses have an online presence. This includes having an online reputation.
Long gone are the days where people believe in what commercials are selling to them. Instead, customers are more cautious about where and how to spend their money. They want to be sure that each of their investments is going to be sound. Your company’s commercial isn’t going to satisfy them. They want reviews based on the experiences of other customers. Reputation management can be a powerful tool at your disposal. It can ensure that the online reputation your business has is strong and attracting more customers.
How can you receive more online reviews? This article will discuss six ways in which you can bolster your online reputation in order to maximize the traffic in your store.
1. Handle Bad Reviews
One of the first actions that you should take is to correct bad reviews. Having a team manage your reputation is a great way to do this. They’re constantly on top of reading all of the reviews that come in about your business. If something raises an alarm, then they can inform you about the complaint. Perhaps you need to speak with your employees about their behavior during their work hours. Perhaps your product needs refining. Perhaps, even, your customers have a suggestion that can make your service or product just that much more efficient.
You should listen to what your customers are saying and then fix the problem. Deleting the review isn’t going to help anyone. The problem will still persist in the company and others are sure to discuss it besides that one customer. More importantly, just deleting bad reviews can seriously turn away customers. No one likes a company that censors them. It can give you an extremely poor reputation instead.
2. Make Reviewing Easy
Sometimes online reviews can be difficult to receive because the process of leaving a review is difficult. People are just as mindful of their time as they are their money. You need to ensure that the reviewing process for your company is simple and easy. They should be able to quickly leave their review without much of a hassle. Sometimes this may mean having an app or place on your website where they can write their testimonials directly. In other cases, you may want a professional site that deals with handling reviews to take care of the process. If you choose to have another site host the reviewing process, then you need to have a link on your website. This link will direct your customers to that review site where they can easily leave their thoughts and suggestions.
Finally, in the event where you send online receipts, it doesn’t hurt to have a link included in the email that offers them a chance to leave a review. Right after a purchase is a great time to ask your customers to leave a review.
3. Have A Strong Online Presence
A way that you can make reviewing easier and also help grow your online reviews is to have a strong presence online. Your company needs a website. Whether you include a place for reviewing or not right there on your website is your decision. However, you should also utilize social media. Almost everyone is on social media these days. Many customers prefer social media to write their reviews because it’s easier. They’re already scrolling through their own personal dashboards. Leaving a few comments on your company’s Twitter or Facebook page won’t cost them a lot of time.
By having a strong online presence, you can also encourage customers to leave reviews a lot easier. They’ll know exactly where to find you online and leave their thoughts. You can interact with them directly on social media to pick at their thoughts about their experiences with your business.
4. Email Customers
Another way to receive more reviews is to bolster your email marketing campaign. Besides sending them a link to review or provide feedback in their receipts, you should also send follow-ups. Typically, a business will always have a newsletter that’s delivered each month if not every other week. Not only does this newsletter keep customers informed about new deals and promotions that the business is having but it can also be a great way to ask customers to leave feedback. To make sure that you don’t seem to be pestering people, you can change up the vocabulary of your requests. Instead of saying ‘review,’ for example, you can ask them for their ‘feedback,’ or their ‘insight.’
The language that you use in your email should be used in such a way to make them feel empowered by offering their thoughts on the experience that they had. You should endeavor to make them feel as though their experiences mattered.
5. Offer Benefit
Typically, more people will perform an action if they know they’re going to benefit from it in some way. This is a strategy that you can utilize to bring in more reviews for your business. For example, you can state that for every review that you receive in a given time, your company will plant a tree. Or perhaps by reviewing, the person is added into special sweepstakes where they can win a free item or service.
6. Exceed Expectations
Finally, to get those reviews, you should really wow your customers. If you can provide an incredible experience for them, then you can bet that they’ll share it.
About Matt Mascarenas
As a copywriter for legitlocal.com, Matt spends time finding ways of improving customer and brand relationships throughout the entire lifetime of a product. He helps develop strategies that businesses can implement immediately for real-time results.