Gaining customer reviews - Front Page Advantage

I’m a local business – how do I get more customer reviews?

Positive customer reviews allow your business to be ranked more highly by the major search engines and is a great form of local SEO. They also boost the trust people have in your brand, whether they already use your services or buy your products or are contemplating doing so. Additionally, great reviews provide you with free digital content.

Indeed, not many things have such a significant impact on purchasing decisions. After all, they provide the kind of honest insight that no money can buy.

Research shows that the overwhelming majority of us trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, while over 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to support a business which has been reviewed positively.

Review sites include the likes of Google Business Profile, Yelp and others. Some may be specific to your industry – for example TripAdvisor for hotel and restaurant experiences.

As a business owner, you’ll know that reviews help you gather feedback, earn customers and identify problems if there are any. All reviews (good and bad) provide an authenticity you simply won’t find anywhere else.

So there’s no better way to establish your expertise – especially as a local business. Here are some tips for encouraging the right reviews.

  • Collect email addresses while billing

If someone is willing to leave their details with you, the odds are they’re happy with their experience and, hopefully, will share their views with others. When you have someone’s details, follow up with an email after a week or so asking them for an honest review.

  • Request feedback verbally

Get staff members (on the phone and in person) to use their judgement to ask customers for a review when the rapport and time are right. This should be non-pushy, but warm and friendly. It’s not about every staff member asking everyone robotically to leave feedback.

  • Use in-store signage

This can include flyers, brochures, banners, bill receipts and so on. Equally, use modern tech in the form of things like in-store apps and QR codes.

  • Remember online review reminders

Make it easy for people to leave feedback online. Have non-annoying pop-ups and calls to action taking people to your Yelp or Google Business Profile review pages.

A direct link generator tool such as Supple will generate a unique Google review link and email it to customers.

  • Incentives on future purchases

Offer discounts, coupons or similar perks in return for reviews. But Google will take a dim view if you only offer these for positive comments. So you’ll need to offer the same incentive whatever someone writes.

  • Use social media

Make the most of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to ask particular questions about how your business is doing. Direct followers to post a review on their platform of choice.

One trick if you run a restaurant, for example, could be to ask if a specific dish from an older menu that has been taken off the bill of fare should be reinstated. Ask people to state this in their view as a ‘vote’ for having it on offer once again.

  • Respond to all reviews

Always respond, even if just with a simple ‘thank you’.  Replies should always be personal and unique, whatever the reviewer has said.

For a negative review, remember the following:

  • Respond quickly and courteously
  • Accept you have made a mistake and apologise
  • Be polite as you explain things from your perspective
  • Offer a resolution in the form of a refund, voucher or similar
  • If the discussion appears to be veering out of hand, ask to take it offline

Above all, see a poor review as an opportunity to improve.

Finally, of course, striving to provide an excellent customer service is arguably the best way of securing positive reviews in the first place.

Talk to us

At Front Page Advantage, we understand the impact of customer reviews on a business, and their importance to digital marketing. We’ll gladly discuss the tips mentioned above with you in more detail, so that you maximise your chances of securing this kind of online feedback. Get in touch today.