In the "old days" people opened the phone book to find restaurants, services and products they needed. Today, they open their smart phone and search Google or their favorite review site.
In many searches, it's the review sites that come up first. Sites like Yelp! and Tripadvisor, for example, are popular review sites that millions of people use to inform their buying decisions. Some people simply don't purchase or use a service without consulting their favorite trusted review site. With that in mind, here are some tips to help your business get more positive reviews.
The first two tips are about creating a positive experience for your customers, which may seem obvious, but it's a good idea to keep reviews in mind. People will often be quicker to leave a bad review than a good review. Keeping your customers happy is one of the best ways to avoid a poor review.
1. Provide Memorable, Quality Service
People expect good service. If you give them what they want, they will likely come back and do business with you again. This is wonderful, however you are looking for more. You not only want repeat business, you want your customer to sing your praises. You want them to tell their friends and family about you, and you want them to leave you a five-star review on Yelp! or Google or Zomato.
People aren't likely to go out of their way to leave a review for "decent" or even good service. You have to find a way to set yourself apart from other businesses. When you go the extra mile or offer a unique, personal touch, you will inspire your customers to leave that glowing review.
2. Respond To Complaints Right Away
This is the best way to avoid a poor review. People want to be heard and acknowledged, and most customers are ecstatic when a business "makes it right." When the customer is disappointed and feels like they aren't being heard they are motivated to leave negative reviews.
Of course, there are always those people who just seem to want to write bad reviews, but you can dramatically reduce these instances by addressing problems as they come up, making the situation right, and giving your customer the feeling that they matter and are valued. In fact, many a loyal customer has been created by the way a business handled a "bad" experience.
3. Be Sure You Are Showing Up In Review Sites
Review sites help you show up in searches, so it is important that you maintain your profiles with correct and current information.
4. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For A Good Review
This is where many businesses get it wrong. It is okay to ask your happy customers for a review. There are plenty of ways to do this. Did your customer compliment you? Great, now is a good time to ask for a review! Put up a small sign that lets people know how much good reviews mean to you. Do you send out emails to your customers? Ask for a review! Do you have social media sites? There's another place you can ask for a review.
5. Make It Easy
Finally, make it easier for people. Let them know how they can leave you a review and where they can leave you a review. Be sure that you have active links to review sites in your email signatures, blog posts and social media. Do you have a Wifi sign-in page? This is another good place to ask for and link to a review.
Remember, it is okay to ask for a review and to let your customers know how important reviews are to your business. Too many businesses fail to do this, by simply asking for the review and making it as simple as possible to do so, you dramatically increase the number of positive reviews your business receives.