Online reviews are one of the most important marketing tools your business can use to leverage its online presence. Online reviews matter because they get more people to see your business. More importantly, they get your business in front of the right people, people who are in your target market, and are likely to use your business. Good reviews can influence more people to contact you or reach out to your business. Even negative reviews have their place, as the way you respond to them can shed light on your authenticity and transparency as a business owner.

Still, good reviews on Google should be your goal, and here’s how to reach that goal.

Why Do Customer Reviews Matter?

Google reviews are an easy opportunity to boost your company’s credibility online. According to research, 90% of customers read reviews before visiting a business, influencing about 67% of purchasing decisions, which is huge for your business. This means that if you have high rankings on Google reviews, people are more likely to visit your business over your competitors. In addition to boosting your business’ ranking on Google, having customer reviews builds trust between you and your potential customers. It provides a level of transparency into your business and increases your brand’s online reputation.

When to Ask for Customer Reviews

There is certain expertise in asking for customer reviews, and you need to know how to utilize it to benefit your business. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Ask for feedback immediately after a transaction or service is completed. In the same sense of “striking while the iron is hot,” you want your business to be fresh on your customer’s mind by asking for a review immediately after a transaction or service.
  • Ask when your customer is most satisfied with your business. If a customer was just raving about your business to your face, take a second and ask them if they’d be willing to leave a good word about your business on Google or Yelp. Chances are, they’d be happy to help.
  • Ask for feedback from an unhappy customer. The point of customer feedback is to give you an inside look at how customers perceive your business. It’s better to receive a sour word from an unhappy customer in person than wake up to an awful review online the next day.

Ask With an Email

Asking outright for reviews from your customers can be tricky and kind of awkward. Having a set-in-stone process can help make the process a bit easier to navigate. Consider creating a custom email format for customer reviews so that your request comes off as professional instead of demanding.

Send a Survey

Every business or organization can benefit from a customer survey. Places like Chick-fil-a treat their surveys with high importance by providing a free chicken sandwich to those who complete their survey. By asking your customers for feedback on your business, you gain valuable insight into your business.

One of the best ways to communicate with your customers with a survey is through email.

Stay Calm When You Get a Bad Review

As stated earlier, negative reviews have their place on Google. How you handle bad reviews speaks to your audience just as much as good reviews. The last thing you want to do with a bad review is to get defensive or offer up excuses that don’t serve your customer. Instead, let the bad review roll off your shoulder, apologize, and work to do better for your customers.

Respond to Every Review

Sometimes customer reviews are long, and sometimes they’re short and sweet. No matter the length of reviews, take time to respond to each and every one. Your willingness to respond to each review will make your customers feel like their voices matter and will boost the likelihood of you receiving more in the future.

Online reviews are one of the best tools to grow your business. By following the steps in this outline, you’ll be well on your way to generating pages of positive customer reviews. For more information about business growth and development, visit our website.