According to BrightLocal’s 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, about 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they’d trust a recommendation from a close friend. About 85% responded that they read up to 10 reviews before making a decision to frequent that business. It’s easy to see that you should encourage customer feedback to increase your business profits.
Know the Best Review Sites for Your Industry
The first step is to figure out just where people are reviewing businesses like yours. If you are a restaurant, for example, you’ll want to get reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor to start.
However, you’ll also want to watch what people are saying on:
- Local directories
- Angie’s List
- Insider Pages
Encourage Happy Customers to Comment
While you don’t want to outright ask for a positive review, if you have a customer that is a regular and seems happy, it is appropriate to ask them to review your site the next time they are online.
The key is to not ask for a “positive” review. It should be entirely up to the customer how she reviews your business. You want honest reviews and not just a bunch of glowing praises that aren’t authentic. If you service your customers the right way, then the reviews will naturally be mostly positive.
Here is an example of what you could say to your customers: “We are trying to get more online reviews. If you would like, the next time you’re on Yelp or CitySearch, we’d appreciate your honest feedback.”
Go Out of Your Way to Satisfy Complaints
No matter how many satisfied customers you have, there are going to be times when someone walks away unhappy. Sites like Yelp allow you to respond to these complaints. Do so professionally and promptly and try to resolve any issues the customer had.
Not only will other potential customers see that you care about your customers’ concerns, but you may take a negative view that person has of your business and turn it around, thus creating a loyal customer from an unhappy one.
Finally, don’t stress over negative reviews. Do your best to resolve the issue and always look for ways on how you can improve. However, you cannot control what others post online. You can only control how you respond and how you adjust your policies to better address concerns.
Disclaimer: A merchant cash advance is the purchase of future credit card or debit card sales and is not a loan product.