According to BrightLocal, 88% of online shoppers trust reviews posted to consumer websites over word of mouth. Who knew that the opinions of strangers would make such a difference in consumer behaviors? So, where do you want your reviews posted? How do you encourage customers to take the time to review your business? Let’s take a look at how you can amp up your online credit (and business reputation) by jockeying for five stars across the board.
Where Can You Get Five Star Reviews?
Many of the websites you want your company’s listing to show up on (with said 5-star reviews) are the sites you use personally when perusing the internet. These include:
Yelp is one of the most popular company directory websites with an easy-to-use platform for consumers who want to leave their opinion regarding products and services.
Once you set up your Facebook business page and designate yourself as a ‘local business’ there will be on option on your homepage for users to write a review.
When your business is Googled, a business summary will populate on the right-hand side of the page which also displays your rating. You can set yourself up to get 5-star reviews via Google through a Google My Business listing.
If you’ve got a service related business this is a terrific review site where five stars can go a long way.
Any and all businesses should have their info with the Better Business Bureau. Audiences who are less tech-savvy or social media-oriented are still likely to know about the BBB.
10 Tips for Getting Five-Star Reviews
1. 5 Stars Starts with a Great First Impression
Even if it’s just a prospective customer, a person’s first interaction with your business sets the stage for their perception of your business and their future interactions. If they have the wrong impression, they might act differently which can, in turn, cause you to act differently, which can put a damper on the relationship. While it may not result in a poor relationship or a negative interaction, it may very well put a damper on any chances of a five-star review.
2. Shoot for the Stars
Make reviews a priority. Strive for as many five-star reviews as possible. Remember, online customer reviews are very influential when first-time customers are considering doing business with you. So, get off on the right foot with stellar feedback from loyal customers!
3. Ask for Five Stars
Don’t be shy. It’s okay to ask for reviews, and it’s even okay to ask specifically for 5-star reviews. In fact, the more honest and transparent you are about it, the more receptive and understanding people will be. After all, you are running a business and this is an important aspect of your growth.
4. Start Simple
Ask customers you know have had pleasant experiences with you to leave a five-star rating on any site of your choice to build a strong foundation and online reputation. It might be easier to start with your longtime, loyal customers who have the most familiarity with and trust in you.
5. Take the Right Approach
When asking for five-star reviews,
- Let them know that leaving their high opinion will help others in search of the same things they were able to find through you and your business.
- Include links to your review profiles in customer correspondence like receipts, email signatures, marketing materials, and on your website.
- Be specific about which platform to leave the review. The more guidance you give, the more likely the action will be performed.
6. Provide Unforgettable Service
For those brand new customers, you need to wow them with impeccable service to incite a positive response and inspire them to take a moment to review your business. Make it memorable. For example:
- If you’re an online business, make the process from the moment they hit the purchase button down to opening their packages at home as unique as your company.
- Create handwritten notes to first-time customers thanking them for supporting your business and provide links to review sites.
- For in-store customer interactions, have branded pens attached to a note to them with the review site info.
There are endless ways to make this a fun experience on the customer’s side.
7. Maintain High Standards
Treat each of your customers with a high level of respect and let them feel how important their business is to you by:
- Answering any and all customer inquiries with patience
- Being attentive to customer needs and suggesting solutions
- Remaining flexible enough to meet all customer expectations
- Provide fast, thorough and pleasant communication
These suggestions are basic service standards that make a huge difference in your customer’s experience and the happier they are with your service the more likely they are to leave you a five-star review and become repeat customers.
8. Treat Customers as Individuals
While it’s important to provide a high service level to every customer, try not to be too robotic in your delivery. People want to feel like they’re connecting with you and your staff on a personal level. Listen to your customer and tailor your suggestions to their specific desires. Remembering people’s names on second and third visits or their order gives customers the warm and fuzzies and can help set you apart from your competitors. Make a sincere effort to get to know the people keeping your business afloat.
9. Ask for Feedback
Sending out periodic polls or feedback surveys helps you to get five-star reviews in a few different ways:
- It helps you to identify gaps and make improvements that may lead to such a review.
- If a customer fills out a survey and realizes they are very happy with your business, they just might be inclined to click on the link to write a review that you stuck at the end of the survey.
- Satisfaction surveys indicate to customers that you care. That customer might experience a few drawbacks about your business, but your sincere efforts to maintain great service may be what is most important to them.
10. Resolve Issues
Once you’re on your way to collecting online reviews, keep an eye on them and if one or two not-so-positive comments slip in, respond to the jilted patron immediately. Let them know that you’ve heard their complaint and will make adjustments to ensure it won’t happen again.
Don’t do this in vain. Invite the disgruntled customer back in for a second shot and in return, if you’ve met their expectations, ask that they either amend their original review or at least post a positive one to balance it out.
Don’t underestimate the power of an online review. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon so best get in front of them and aim for the stars.