The Key to Getting Online Reviews and Building Your Reputation

In the business world, only two types of customers exist – the ones who had a positive experience with your company and will happily recommend it to other people and the ones who had a negative experience with your brand and are unsatisfied with it.

While the former might be happy to give their recommendations in the form of a good review online, the latter will most probably vent their anger by giving you a bad review.

Reviews play an indispensable part in making your business successful. A vast majority of customers trust online reviews just as much as they would trust a family member’s or friend’s recommendation.

In this blog, we will discuss how you can get more reviews from those happy customers and deal with the reviews coming from those disappointed customers.

There are so many popular review sites – Google, Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, and so on; it’s a never-ending list. But why is it essential to get reviews on multiple online platforms instead of focusing on just one? Because you need to ensure that you are covering all your bases.

Customers who are reading your business’s reviews on Google might not check out your reviews on Facebook, Yelp, or Amazon, and vice versa. This will also contribute to your SEO. The more places your company is present online, the better.

Typically, Google is the preferred review website, which is good because these reviews are also displayed on your GMB page.

Google My Business is free of cost service that shows the name, address, contact information, working hours, etc. of your business to prospects online. Users can also see your business’s star rating from there. Besides these, there are a lot more reasons why businesses must have a GMB page.

First of all, it shows your business information to potential customers helping them to get to know you, your services, when you open/close, how they can reach you, etc. Moreover, it also increases your chances of being displayed in “near me” searches by virtue of local SEO.

Acquiring online reviews can also help increase your rankings in the search results.

GET FACEBOOK REVIEWS

Today everyone (well, almost everyone) uses Facebook. The social media giant enjoys more than two billion monthly active users making it even more essential to get reviews for your business on Facebook. Moreover, the platform has introduced a new feature that shows your company’s star rating in search results whenever a user searches for your or similar business.

Star rating matters a big deal because most people don’t trust a business with a star rating below 4!

When a customer drops a positive review for your business on Facebook, they let other people know that they are happy with your products and services and are actually promoting your company to their family, friends, and peers.

If you ask your customers to give reviews on Facebook, they will most probably have an account in contrast with platforms such as Yelp, where they may need to create an account to give reviews.

You can also ask people to leave reviews via your Facebook posts. For example, let’s suppose you organized a big event or sale recently. You can then create a post to ask your customers what they bought and drop their thoughts about it in the comments. This trick works effectively to prompt feedback and acquire reviews.

GET REVIEWS ONLINE

Review platforms such as Yelp are great for businesses offering services like house cleaning and restaurants. However, in order to leave a review on Yelp, the user needs to log in to their account first. Now, this can be a drawback since not everybody will have an account on Yelp. However, users can see the reviews without having to sign up.

There are plenty of review sites like Yelp that you might not even know yet. It is vital for your business to get reviews on at least one of these platforms, but including more sites in this list will be helpful for your business.

Depending on the industry your business operates in, find a relevant review site. For example, if you run a restaurant or cafe, getting reviews on platforms such as Yelp (besides Google and Facebook) will be an added advantage. All you need to do is a bit of research to choose a site that best suits your business.

Another good point to consider is knowing your target audience and which sites they go to looking for information.

SHOULD YOU ASK CUSTOMERS TO GIVE YOU REVIEWS?

The majority of the people will quickly form a judgment about your business after going through 4 to 5 reviews.

You have to motivate your customers to give you reviews, and being a business, you need to track those reviews carefully. You also need to know the art of refining the bad reviews that you’ll naturally get.

If you think that this job is too boring or you are not a fan of confrontation, then all you need to do is employ a digital marketing agency for your brand’s reputation management.

This tactic will contribute towards making your business much more successful.

Do you want to know the key to getting online reviews?

Indeed it all begins with providing a great customer experience, but then what? How exactly do you gain reviews online from customers?

It’s quite simple actually – ask them. And do it right away. There’s no need to get awkward at all. You are basically asking your customers to give feedback that will support your business’s growth. And there is nothing wrong with that. And to tell the truth, more businesses need to be doing this often.

However, one thing that you must take care of while doing so is remember that timing is a crucial factor here. Before asking a customer to give you a good review, you need to ask yourself these questions first:

  • Did this customer have a positive experience with your brand?
  • Did they recently compliment your business/products/services?
  • Did you work closely with them?

After asking these questions, you will get a good idea about the customer’s perception of your brand. If you think they will probably give you a good review, then why wait? However, if you have even the slightest doubt that they might leave you an average or poor review, then wait. You should first build a good relationship with them before you ask for any favors.

In a nutshell, if you ask a satisfied customer to give you a review, there are high chances that they will be more than happy to do so.

However, make sure that you don’t just go asking for ‘a review.’ Ask them to give a 5-star review. Another thing to remember is to make it clear where you want them to leave a review. For example, you can do it politely, like “Would you mind giving us a 5-star review on Facebook?”

SEND AN EMAIL

Don’t feel like asking your customers straightforwardly? Or maybe your organization is too huge to visit every customer and ask to give reviews?

Sending an email to ask your customers for reviews is an easy and simple way to quickly get the task done. This also makes it easier for the customers to just click on an URL, land on the site where they have to leave a review, do it, and exit. We all know that email marketing plays a crucial role in helping a business grow, so why not leverage it for reviews as well?

Once a customer purchases a product from your brand online, and their package gets delivered to them, you can send them a follow-up email and ask about their experience with your brand. Ask them to rate your product or the overall experience with your brand and inform you if they faced any problems with the delivery. This will allow you to make any changes if required.

Otherwise, you can also wrap up your email with a simple line such as, “Don’t forget to leave us a review on Google!” In this way, neither you are being too pushy nor asking them directly while still feeding the idea in their head.

However, if you send an email, make sure that your call-to-action is perfectly clear and bold. It must be written so that the reader will know that clicking on this button present below will take me to a site for leaving a review. Make things as simple as possible for your customers.

Because frankly speaking, you are the one asking them to do you a favor, so you must also be the one doing all the heavy lifting. If the customer has to search where they need to give a review or feel confused, they will most likely drop the idea.

REWARD THE CUSTOMERS FOR GIVING THEIR REVIEWS

If you are facing difficulty getting reviews from the customers, you can offer them a reward like a gift coupon or discount in exchange for the review. However, if you choose to do this, there are some things you must bear in mind.

The first thing to consider is your budget. If you are going to offer a free item, gift coupon, or discount to your customers, you need to make sure that doing so doesn’t strain your budget. You can present this as a limited period offer or inform the customers via a single platform only.

Do not go on posting it on all social media platforms and emailing your customers. It will look as if you are hunting for reviews. Or even worse, it might give people the idea that you are trying to buy their reviews, and that’s definitely not what you want.

You want to get genuine reviews from customers who love your business and willingly recommend you to others by leaving positive reviews. If you run a brick-and-mortar business, you can offer incentives in person in exchange for online reviews.

For example, if you own a cafe, you can put up a sign “Leave us a review after your first meal and receive a coffee for free!” This way, you can ensure that the customers giving you reviews have already had their first experience with you. These reviews will then help drive more people to your cafe.

Remember, when sending an email, your copy plays an imperative role. If you can come up with a smart copy, it might induce the customers even more to drop a review.

HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE REVIEWS

Now that we have discussed how you can get good online reviews, it’s time to discuss how you should deal with getting negative reviews online.

More than 90% of customers agree that reading a negative review about a particular business online has entirely driven them away.

When it comes to reviews, customers tend to type out about their poor experiences with a brand more than the good ones. So there is no denying the fact that while you seek to get good reviews, you will be receiving bad reviews too. That’s just the way it works. Therefore, it is for your own good to learn how to deal with negative reviews ahead of time.

Just go through these five simple steps:

  1. Track Your Reviews

That’s right. You must keep an eye on your reviews routinely because you have to respond to them often. But no need to panic. You don’t have to respond to all of them.

But the smart thing to do here is to ensure that the customers leaving reviews for your company are legit and have actually been involved with your business in any way.

  1. Read Carefully

Don’t start raging the moment you read a negative review about your company and give a scathing reply in the heat of the moment. Take time to process it (just don’t take long enough that you forget to respond only). Craft a cool and composed reply that the others will see as a carefully considered response rather than the one written in anger.

Responding outrageously to the reviews is not the solution, and doing so is not only bad for your reputation but will also reduce the chances of your business’s survival in the market. When prospects check out your reviews, they also see your response. Treat the customers with kindness, even if they strike your brand.

  1. Craft Replies

You will receive all kinds of reviews; some will be bad, some will be good, but don’t try to cover the negative reviews with the positive ones. Instead, think about how you can respond to these unhappy customers. This will help you in creating a list of generic responses that you can modify and expand easily later. Just make sure that those replies are transparent, frank, polite, and helpful.

  1. Respond

When you receive a positive review, you can happily respond to them with a simple message like, “Glad to know that you had a good experience with us…” Accordingly, you will also get negative reviews that are not at all a pleasure to read. However, even then, you should respond to those reviews and that too on time – because believe it or not, customers expect brands to do so!

There are three kinds of bad reviews that you need to pay attention to:

  • Customers who actually had a terrible experience: Don’t start fuming. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want to hear from a brand had it been you in their place?
  • Wrong business reviews: This happens way more often than one would think. However, you still have to respond to them politely. And even better, apologize on behalf of the other company even if you don’t know it.
  • Scammers doing prank: These are the people who have never done business with you but leave bad reviews to ruin your reputation. This can be a prankster, scammer, or even a jealous competitor. Google removes suspicious reviews, but if you find one, you can always report it. That’s why it’s crucial to track your reviews as it can badly hurt your brand’s image.

Here are a few tips to help you come up with better responses to the negative reviews:

At times, it can be tough to come up with a calm and polite reply for someone who is infuriated at your brand. This is why it is best to outsource a reputation management agency to deal with situations like these. However, if you still want to do things on your own, you can follow these tips:

  • No business is perfect; actually, nothing is, so don’t hide. Accept your mistake and apologize. Be sure to tell them the team is working hard to offer them the best of the best experience.
  • You might want to offer something for free like an item, gift coupon, discount, etc. to unsatisfied customers to win them back. But be careful; you might want to do this in private as others might start writing bad reviews just to get free stuff.

For example, if you own a cafe and a customer was served cold noodles, you can respond to their review like this:

“We’re really very sorry that our service was not up to the mark. This isn’t how we normally serve meals to our customers. We would be delighted if you could please come back to try our noodles again! If you face any issues ever again during your next visit, please talk to our store manager Steve directly. He will be more than happy to assist you. For any other queries, concerns, or issues, please drop us an email at cafe@abc.com.”

Now, this is an excellent response to an outraged customer. Not only the company accepts its faults, but it also offers a solution, making the customer feel satisfied.

  1. Continue Tracking

We just can’t exaggerate how crucial it is to track your reviews continuously. You will be able to appreciate the customers leaving positive reviews and address the problems faced by customers.

Conclusion

Getting reviews from your customers might be a tough task, but it all begins with offering good customer service. However, even after the customer has bought your product/service, you must continue pouring in your efforts if you want them to review your business.

Reviews carry a lot of weight when it comes to business. Therefore, be sure to monitor them and reply to them, whether it is a positive or a negative one, regularly across all the platforms. Remember, this might be time-consuming and tedious. If you don’t feel like doing it, you can always hire a professional reputation management agency to deal with all this on your behalf.

Keep this guide in mind to get more online reviews, deal with bad reviews, and build a solid reputation for your brand.

Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a digital marketingSEOSMOPPC, and web development company that comes with massive experiences.  We specialize in digital marketing, web designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.

SOURCE : The Key to Getting Online Reviews and Building Your Reputation

Comments are closed