How-to-Increase-Your-Online-Customer-ReviewsCustomer reviews are where it’s at these days, and if you don’t have any you should start thinking about how to get more. Even if you think you don’t need them, chances are pretty good that somewhere down the road, you will. Why?

Because eventually someone will write a negative review about your business. When that happens, you want to be prepared by already having a whole lot of positive reviews online. That way, you’re counter-balancing the negative review…which, unfortunately, can be very powerful.

The fact of the matter is, no matter if you represent a local  Carpenter or Recruitment Agency , and no matter what you think about reviews, you need them. There are basically four ways to think about online reviews:

  1. You get most of your business by word of mouth so don’t care about online reviews. Anyway, you don’t have any.
  2. You get most of your business by local advertising so don’t care about online reviews. You do actually get them, though, but ignore them because you think they’re not important.
  3. You think online reviews are hugely important and you do everything you can to cultivate a growing collection of them.
  4. You think online reviews are hugely important and you try to cultivate them but don’t succeed.

What we’re willing to bet here is that for business owner Types 3 and 4, they’re not doing everything they can to increase their online reviews. For them and for you, here are 5 ways to increase your online customer reviews:

  1. Make it easy for your customers to review your business. Email them with a link that’s usable, for example.
  2. Ask for a review right after their experience with your business- you’re more likely to get a response.
  3. Whether you request a review in person, via phone, or a popup on your website, follow up the request in 3 days with a reminder, if you haven’t gotten one yet. This is a good time to mention that you should always be collecting your customers’ email addresses!
  4. Don’t offer to give your customers anything in exchange for a review. Statistics show that most will do it without an incentive. It’s a bit sleazy to “bribe” for reviews, anyway.
  5. Just stay away from soliciting Yelp reviews. It will not turn out well in the long run. Yelp can tell who’s a regular “Yelper” and who’s just there because you asked them to review your business. Yelp doesn’t like “one-off” reviewers and labels them as spammers, so all your hard work of soliciting reviews will be down the tubes.

Here is an example on How to Invite your Customers to Write a Review ( by email ) :

Please share your experience with [ Web Design Company ] !

Dear Mr.  [ Example Client ],

Thank you for using our web design services.
In order to improve the satisfaction of our  clients we have partnered with the independent review site Top Pages to collect customer reviews online.

Click on the link to rate us on Top Pages

All reviews ( good or bad ) will be published on Top Pages instantly.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,

[ Example Employee ]

[ Web Design Company ]

Here is a video of Roger Williams who speaks on  How to ask your Clients for Online Customer Reviews:

Finally, many business owners are slightly embarrassed at asking for reviews. Most people feel awkward about asking for things, especially when it comes to professional situations. It’s only natural.

One good way to get over this feeling is to pass the buck. Just tell your customers that you read online you should ask for reviews, so that’s what you’re doing. Talk it up as your way of trying to make your business even better for your customers’ benefit, and you’ll have more reviews coming your way very soon- we can almost guarantee it!