Let’s face it, it isn’t easy for a small business to get reviews online. I’ve seen excellent small businesses with a great product/service and a very strong online presence that have been in business for years only have 5 or 6 reviews online. I’ve seen other businesses that have made a few small mistakes and upset just a few customers that have 20 negative online reviews.
Reviews can make or break a business–especially a small business. So just how in the world do you begin to not only get positive online reviews but also eliminate or prevent negative reviews?
First of all let’s focus on getting positive reviews. The best way to start getting positive reviews is to go that extra step to please a client or customer. Offer them something outside of what you are supposed to be offering them to make them extremely pleased with your product or service. Whether you are selling a product and you offer them a free accessory or you offer a service and you offer them a free hour of work with the purchase of 10 hours. When you go above and beyond, customers remember that and are much more likely to write a review.
The next best way is to be direct and ask for a review. Now there’s a right and a wrong way to ask for reviews so make sure you listen carefully with this one. You want to ask for the review from a customer that is extremely satisfied with what you offer, but at the same time you don’t want to be pushy or look desperate for a review. Drop the customer a casual email asking if they’re happy with your services, what you can do to improve your services, and mention that you would be thrilled if they were willing to write a review for you to help potential customers make a decision. The most important part here is to make the customer feel like them writing a review will not just help your business, but will also help potential customers who are shopping around.
Lastly, a great way for getting reviews is making a contest out of it. Post on Facebook, Twitter, or your website that you are looking for customer feedback and reviews and the most creative review will win a free month of service, a free product from your company, a free iPod, or virtually anything. People love free gifts and will put extra time and effort into writing a good review if they have some incentive.
Now that we know how to get positive reviews, let’s talk a little about how to get rid of negative reviews. Obviously we have no way to hit “delete” on the negative reviews, so first reach out to the customer to ask them what you can do to change their mind about your product/service. Some customers will reply to you and might even change their review if you fix the problem, others won’t even give you the time of day and will completely ignore you. The best way to get rid of negative reviews is not to get them in the first place, so try to go that extra step to please everyone, even the customers and clients who get on your nerves and who you really just want to tell to take a hike.
The best tool for getting rid of negative reviews though is getting tons of positive reviews. But remember, customers are WAY more likely to go online and write a review about a negative experience than a positive one, so give your happy customers a good reason to want to write a review for you. Having good online reviews often is the difference between success and failure online, so get started today with working to get positive reviews for your company!
If you don’t have time to work on your company’s online reputation and reviews, contact The Marketing Masters and ask about our online reputation services. We’ll take control of your company’s online reputation and reviews and use our years of experience in online marketing to help improve your company’s reputation and work with your customers to get as many positive reviews as possible.