As a small business or local business owner, you probably know you should be getting reviews from your customers.
For a local or small business, online reviews are extremely important. For one, having reviews of your products and services can have a positive effect on potential customers who are searching for a local or small business like yours online.
FACT: 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
FACT: 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
In addition, having multiple good reviews on sites like Google My Business and Yelp can help make your business more relevant to search engines in your local area. So having online reviews is a huge advantage to your business.
Getting online reviews, however, is another story. Most customers won’t automatically leave reviews, which means you have to remind them to do so. How you encourage reviews of your business depends on the type of business and service(s) you offer and also trying out different methods and seeing what works.
That being said, here are some great ways to encourage your customers to post reviews to your review profiles online.
- Ask customers to leave you a review immediately after their transaction with your business. You can hand out a card at that point (business card size is perfect) with where and how to leave the review. If you’re an online business, ask for feedback in a follow-up email.
- Got a customer call, email or in person compliment about your business? Go ahead and ask that they leave you that same feedback in an online review on your Google My Business or Yelp profile.
- If your business is industry specific, ask users to rate your business on websites specific to your industry, like Trip Advisor or Urbanspoon for example. This helps to increase your visibility and place your business where your competitors are or where they haven’t even thought of being yet.
- Have regular customers or longtime customers? Send them an email asking for a review. They are highly likely to leave feedback.
- Got a newsletter that you send to your customers? Include a link to your review profiles in the newsletter to encourage reviews
- If you don’t have an email signature, create one and add links to your online review profiles in your email signature. This is highly recommended if you reach out to customers on a regular basis.
- Ask your customers as a personal favor, to leave feedback for your business and offer them an easy way to leave a review.
Online reviews are a cornerstone in managing the reputation of your local business or small business, as well as obtaining new business. Take the time to get customer reviews for your small business to get the benefits and grow your presence and your business.