4 Tips for Getting Better Online Customer Reviews

You don’t have to upend your business to boost your ratings.

You didn’t know who Maggie F. was 24 hours ago, but you sure know about her now. You just woke up to her one-star review of your business, which she posted at 2:46 in the morning (because of course she did). What did you ever do to Maggie F. that warranted such comments as, “appalling experience,” “infuriating service,” and “I’ve had more fun on line at motor vehicles”? Better yet, what are you going to do about it? Write a book-length rebuttal? No. Threaten to sue? No. Show up at her doorstep? OMG NO!

In this new era of marketing and service, a Google Ad may have less impact on your business than a Google review…or a Yelp review…or an Angie’s List review…or a…you get it. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 93% of consumers read peer reviews, and 60% won’t use a business that gets a thumbs down. So what can you do to boost your online reviews in a world full of trolls, rivals with ghost accounts, and Maggie F.s? You start by accepting the fact that bad reviews are going to happen. Even Shakespeare had his critics. Then you take these 4 simple steps to attract more reviewers, gain a better business rating and better engage your audience.

  1. Be Where They Can Find You (Cast a Wide ‘Net)

    What sites are relevant to your business? Yelp? Angie’s List? Google Local? CitySearch? Set up profiles on multiple review sites—industry-specific and even general review sites like Trustpilot (which shows up on Google). The same tactic applies to social media. Decide which platforms make sense for your business to use, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, and make sure current and potential customers can find you with comments or questions they may have.

  2. Make Writing A Review Easy (and Rewarding)

    Unlike angry customers, who will climb mountains to complain about their bad experiences, not many people will go out of their way to leave a good review, so you want to make the process as simple as possible. Put links to your review profiles in multiple places such as post-purchase emails and newsletters as well as your website and social pages. Incentives are also a great way to entice reviews. (Just be sure it doesn’t come off that you’re soliciting a positive review.) For example, provide a 10% off coupon to anyone who gives you a review, whether it’s good or bad.

  3. Get a Dialogue Going (even with Maggie F.)

    Got a nice write-up on Yelp? Was a photo of your business tagged on Instagram? Give them a personalized thank you! Got thumped on Yahoo Local? Don’t be reactive. Be humble. Let them know you heard them and will work with them to find a solution. It’s important to leave feedback with your customers who review you and to do it publicly, (whether it’s good or bad) to let those reading the review know you care enough to address the situation and try to remedy it. And sometimes, even bad customer reviews are helpful, and can be used as an opportunity to improve your business.

  4. Boost Their Review (and Their Ego)

    Really jazzed about a recent review? Post it as a testimonial on the homepage of your website. Better yet, reach out to the satisfied customer and ask for a picture of them to accompany it. It’s not only a nice way to thank them, a photo adds to the credibility of a good business review. And of course, along with the testimonial, encourage other customers to post their reviews as well.

Contact us today to learn how you can reach those same objectives with Astound’s (well-reviewed) suite of communications products and services.