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News, tips, and advice for small business owners

How to Get Positive Online Reviews

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Stephanie Davis

Word of mouth—it’s everywhere, and it’s more powerful than ever. Last week we covered what to if you encounter negative reviews about your business. This week, we are focusing on the positive.

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Positive reviews – everybody wants them but how do you get them? In today’s digital world it seems you see negative reviews posted more than the positive ones. Why? It doesn’t mean that the businesses aren’t doing positive things, but it seems to be human nature that we share the negative experiences faster to warn others and get some venting off our chests.

So: how do you encourage your customers to leave positive feedback for your small business?

Ask For It

One way to get more positive reviews of your small business online is to simply ask for it. If your customers enjoy your product or service and support you, they will likely be happy to leave feedback. With all of the ways to share reviews it’s quite likely that even though you have happy customers, they simply don’t know where to post. Let them know which websites they can and should share positive reviews on.

You’ll want to consider where reviews will have the most impact for your business. Maybe you are hoping to boost presence on social media so you ask for Facebook reviews, or you’re hoping to increase local brand awareness when Google your business or similar businesses so you want positive reviews there. It will help to have the reviews in multiple places because you will get traffic from different websites. Chances are your loyal fan base wants to help you succeed.

Have Visual Cues

Often times when a business has positive reviews, you will see a sign posted in the business’ physical location or on its website. For example, if a restaurant in Chicago has been rated highly on Trip Advisor for multiple years in a row, they may have a sign in the window announcing their high ranking, which could help lure people in the door. And, since customers see this is a site used to rate the restaurant, maybe they will in turn go right back to that site and leave a review of their own experience. The same restaurant might include a badge from Trip Advisor, a link to their profile on a review site, and/or a selection of reviews on its website or online reservation page, as well.

Make It Easy

One of the biggest things people complain about in general is not having enough time. When they have other, more urgent priorities competing for their time, such as work or taking care of their families, people don’t always want to spend extra time leaving a review. So you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

As previously mentioned, clearly stating where you would like to see the review is helpful because people won’t be guessing where it should go. You might also consider using a survey to gather feedback. If you do this, keep the survey short and let people know up front how much time they can expect to spend on it. Anything less than five questions or minutes would like be a safe choice. And, if you’d like them to share any free form responses from the survey to a review site, make sure you have an easy way for them to do so built in.

You might consider including a link to a review site or survey in your customer communications, such as when you email a receipt or appointment thank you.

Bottom Line

Reviews can be tricky to manage and can impact your small business more than you might expect. Whether positive or negative, take time to respond to all reviews and follow through on the free feedback you receive. If you consistently see the same remarks, find ways to fix what isn’t working, or keep up the good work on what does.

How do you go about getting positive reviews on your small business? Tweet us @SurePayroll.  

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.