Positive online reviews are a vital factor that influences your customers’ decisions. Before deciding to buy a product or use a service, the majority of consumers check out reviews. They then base their decision on the type of reviews they read. So, having just one or two reviews—even if they are 5-star ones—isn’t going to cut it. When it comes to getting reviews, the more, the better.
In your company, the best marketers are not your sales team—they’re your existing customers. Real reviews from customers provide social proof about the quality of your products, service, and customer care. Even though marketing tactics can get your message out there, it’s positive reviews for your business that will affect customers’ decisions.
The article looks at seven ways that you can quickly get more positive online reviews. You may be surprised that boosting your online reviews can be as easy as asking for them. But first, there is one essential question to ask: why are reviews so important for your business?
The Importance of Online Google Reviews
Customers want to know what they’re buying before they part with their hard-earned cash. That is why they will search out reviews—positive and negative ones—before purchasing. Here are a few scenarios on how customer reviews affect purchasing decisions:
- A few mixed reviews—Customers are wary of products that only have one or two reviews.
- Lots of negative reviews—This is a warning sign to stay clear of the product, and most customers will do so.
- A handful of 5-star reviews—While this may seem an ideal scenario, consumers don’t trust reviews that are all 100% positive.
- Lots of positive reviews and a few negative ones—This is the most trustworthy scenario. The mixture of reviews gives an impression of authenticity. It also shows your customers that your business has nothing to hide.
Many statistics prove these scenarios. Here are just a few to consider:
- One study found that consumers expect trusted businesses to have at least 40 online reviews.
- Other Research discovered that over 90 percent of people read online reviews.
- Eight-four percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from a friend.
- Spiegel Research Center found that consumers are skeptical of “perfect” star ratings. The best average is between 4.2 and 4.7.
7 Ways to Get More Positive Reviews for Your Business
Let’s look at seven easy ways to encourage your customers to share their experience with others.
1. Claim your review profiles
Customers can leave reviews on third-party sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trustpilot, and TripAdvisor. Your first step to get reviews is to claim your business profiles on these platforms. When looking for local services, most customers check out reviews before they contact the business.
Let’s look at two of the most popular ones:
- Google reviews—When your business shows up in local search results, your average star rating can show up alongside your search result entry. Potential customers can quickly check out what others have been saying about your business. It’s crucial to claim your business on Google My Business and complete your full profile. Your business will then show up on Google Maps. After customers have visited your premises, Google will offer them to rate your business and share feedback.
- Facebook reviews—It’s vital to claim your Facebook business page. Billions of people use Facebook every day. Therefore, users can check out your business without leaving their social network. Having a strong social media profile also helps engage with customers personally.
2. Optimize your website to get more reviews
Customers can leave reviews on third-party websites, and you have no control over the content they write. It’s crucial to make it easy for visitors to your site to review your business. Your blog posts, social media profiles, and emails should have links that direct visitors to where they can leave reviews.
To optimize your website for reviews, have social media badges to direct visitors to Facebook, Google, or Yelp.
3. Create incentives to boost reviews
One excellent way to increase the number of reviews you get is to offer incentives. The reason why incentives are necessary is apparent when you know the three factors that motivate people to leave reviews. The main factors include:
- Unsatisfied with service—A small proportion of customers will immediately leave bad reviews if they had a bad experience.
- Received outstanding service—When you exceed the expectations of your customers, they will be inclined to leave an unsolicited positive review.
- They receive a request with an incentive—The majority of your customers will be happy with their experience. But without proper prompting, they will rarely leave a review.
There are many gimmicky incentives to leave reviews. And, we’ve probably all come across them—free cups of coffee, coupons, competitions, or even hard cash. But all of those tricks give the impression that you are trying to buy positive reviews—hardly something that builds a solid reputation.
Starloop has come up with a novel idea—we plant one tree for every review you get. This altruistic, ethical approach gives your customers the feeling that they are doing something to help you and the planet.
4. Know when to ask for a review
There are many times along a customer’s journey when you can ask for a review. So, you want to make sure that you ask at the right time. For example, if you invite them to leave feedback at the wrong time, it could end up in a negative review—one that hundreds of people could read.
Here are a few moments, when asking for a review makes sense:
- They tag your brand on their social media profile
- When the re-order a product or use your service again
- If they have success using your service or product
- If they refer a customer to you
The type of business you have can determine the right time to engage with your customer. For example, if you have a beauty salon or provide a service, you can promptly ask customers to rate their experience a day or two after.
5. Know how to ask to get more reviews
When it comes to asking for reviews, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. In our experience, asking outright for a review can send the wrong message. It either sounds like you’re desperate or that you are asking specifically for a positive review.
Asking open-ended questions is the best way to get more honest reviews.
Here is one that we’ve found works that best: “Would you like to leave some feedback on your experience?” This type of question implies that you value their honest opinion. It can also result in reviews that sound more natural and honest to others.
Of course, if you sense that someone was less than satisfied with your service, it’s probably best to try and resolve the issue before asking for feedback.
6. Streamline the review experience
Remember that people lead busy lives, and leaving reviews is the last thing on their minds. As we already discussed, the majority of your happy customers never think about leaving reviews. They may not even know that they can. Or, they may not realize how critical reviews are to your business.
The only way to get more positive reviews is to ask them and then make the review process as easy as possible. Here are a few suggestions on how to make leaving reviews on enjoyable experience:
- Keep it simple—It should be possible for your customers to leave reviews with a maximum of two or three clicks.
- Limit the options—Direct customers to one or two of the best review sites that are relevant to your brand. Send invitations by email or text for the best results.
- Don’t give up—Sometimes it takes a couple of gentle nudges to encourage customers to share their experience.
7. Reply to every review — positive and negative ones
Replying to negative reviews is just as crucial as replying to positive ones. Even if you get a one-star review and harsh criticism, it’s vital to respond politely to address the issue. Of course, you may feel that the poor review is unfair. But, going on the defensive isn’t going to help. And remember, others are also reading the response. So, view it as an opportunity to provide some excellent customer service.
According to Harvard Business Review, replying to negative reviews can result in a better star rating. The study found that constructively addressing customer complaints strengthened the company’s reputation. Also, when businesses responded in detail to negative comments, the number of negative reviews dropped. There is also some evidence to suggest that more customers are then willing to leave positive reviews.
If it’s vital to respond to negative reviews, it’s even more important to respond to positive ones. Just a quick, personal thanks for the excellent feedback can do wonders for your reputation and also generate more reviews.
How to Get More Online Reviews
Many small—or even large—businesses find it challenging to develop a strategy to get and manage online reviews. It takes time to send emails, respond to every review, and monitor feedback.
The Starloop review management software makes it effortless to get more positive reviews for your business. How does Starloop help you get more reviews? Here is how why our software is so useful:
- Emails are sent to your customers using low-pressure language to encourage your customers to leave feedback.
- Leaving reviews just take one or two clicks
- The incentive for your customers to write a review is that we plant a tree for every review you receive.
- If there is no response, up to two more emails are sent.
- The system is entirely automated—saving you time to allow you to run your business successfully.
- You can quickly respond to every review.
Contact a member of our team today if you want to find out how reviews can help your business be more successful. We can help you get more positive online reviews, perform better in Google rankings, expand your customer base, and increase revenue.