The importance of a positive online presence for small businesses cannot be overstated. Not only do reviews increase the likelihood of new customers purchasing your products or services, they increase your online ranking on search engines, essentially giving you free publicity.
Though there are many out there who will review your business without ever being asked to, there are considerably more people who will take a few minutes to give their thoughts online if they are approached correctly. For many business owners, a nasty review or two can be a heavy burden, dissuading even loyal customers from purchasing from you again. A positive review, on the other hand, can increase conversions and lead to more visitors.
Doing It In Person
There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. The first step to receiving positive reviews online is giving customers a positive experience, if you have an unhappy customer, however, you shouldn’t solicit their review. Avoid asking every customer for a review; you’ll undoubtedly end up with several mediocre reviews.
Asking a loyal patron to leave a review, almost always guarantees a few glowing words about your store, service or online marketplace. If your list of regular customers isn’t too long, offer your employees a few bucks for every positive review that mentions their names, they’ll be incentivized to go to bat for your business.
Never offer an incentive to a customer for a positive review, it calls into question the legitimacy of your other reviews.
If your business is done primarily online or involves very little in-person interaction, an email to your customers may be the best way to encourage them to leave a review.
If you have a few loyal customers, send them a personalized email thanking them for their continued support and let them know what a review would mean to your business.
Some business owners place a link to their review pages in their thank you emails; this practice often leads to more reviews, however, they may be of varying quality. A more refined, albeit difficult approach is to offer your customers a survey and then send requests for reviews out to those patrons who have reviewed your business highly in your survey.
Whether you receive positive or negative reviews, you should make an effort to respond to those reviews as much as possible, thanking customers for their opinion.
At Fast Capital 360, we specialize in hotel financing, restaurant loans and other forms of funding. Our passion, however, is helping small businesses grow. To learn more about our lending practices and how they can benefit your business, give us a call today at 1-800-735-6107.