10 Ways to Generate More Five-Star Online Reviews
Your reputation is important, especially to prospective customers that have not used your services before. After all, online reviews are one of the biggest factors influencing consumer behavior today. The more five-star reviews you receive the more positive of an impact on your business’ search performance.
It is important to have a pro-active approach to reviews. You should always be asking your customers for them, but there are additional methods to help generate them as well. These include:
1. Ask for reviews
It’s not a big secret, but the best way to generate more reviews is simply to ask your customers for them. You can do this verbally, with signage in your place of business or as part of your emails to them. There are some review sites will not allow for you to solicit a review, while others are quite open to it. Before reaching out to happy customers for reviews, make sure you read review sites’ terms of service and content guidelines.
2. Listing and Reputation Management
The secure claim of your business name across the Web, on social networks, local business listings, community sites, local search networks, and online review sites is extremely important. It will enable you to be found across the web and also monitor the customer-driven conversations about your business. Most importantly, it will allow you to participate in these conversations, thanking those for a positive response and quickly address any negative comments.
3. Respond to reviews
People see if you are responding to your reviews. It is more likely that you will generate new reviews if you show a commitment to responding to existing ones. Something as brief as a thank you or a short apology about an incident will show potential and existing customers that your business cares about feedback, making them more likely to engage and post reviews of their own.
4. Resolve customer issues
This begins at your business before they go home and log in to post a review. Sometimes even the worst experiences can generate a five-star reviews and customers who’ll say they are 100% satisfied. This happens only when a business makes an effort to identify and resolve customer issues and show a commitment to delivering customer service. Excellent customer service should be a daily priority and can provide these opportunities to positively affect the customer experience, no matter how problematic that experience initially seemed.
5. Improve your phone service
A good phone service is necessary for a positive customer experience and effective in preventing negative reviews. An unhappy customer can be driven to write a negative review if they are kept on hold or find it hard to reach the party they need to speak with. So make sure you have a good system in place. Train your people. Teach basic phone skills and set a greeting with information that is easy to understand and follow.
6. Create deals and specials
Special promotions and offers can do more than just attract new customers to your business; they can also generate more positive reviews from customers who are already in your location. People love pleasant surprises. If you make them happy, they will be a lot less reluctant to post reviews and spread the word about you.
7. Build social media buzz
One of the simplest ways to ask for reviews is to post a message on your social media profiles. Make it easy for customers by adding a link to the review page where you want them to go.
8. Conduct surveys
Conducting a survey is a great way to collect customer feedback. Surveys also enable you to identify which customers are satisfied (and which aren’t), so that when you do decide to request for online reviews, you can filter those who are likely to give you five-stars from those who aren’t likely to give you high ratings.
9. Optimize your timing
The best time to ask for reviews is immediately after the purchase or the transaction. That way, the feedback you collect accurately reflects the actual customer experience – without the passage of time blurring potentially important details.
10. Participate in community events
If you want to expand your reach and influence in the local community, make your business available as a resource for fundraising and charitable activities. This is a great way to gain the goodwill of potential and existing customers, as well as build positive buzz around your brand. On online review sites, businesses that are perceived as charitable and vested with their local community often outrank, outperform, and outscore those that take a more passive approach.
By taking these steps you can provide your business with many opportunities to be rewarded with five-star reviews and, in turn, new customers who are excited to receive the same level of business from you.