Last time, we looked at the value of customer reviews. Today I want to take a look at how small businesses can get the most out of customer reviews.
Some business owners might be hesitant about asking, but often it’s the most important step in the whole process. If your business offers great customer service and they have a great experience with your product, customers are happy to rave about it. If you don’t ask for reviews, you may only end up with negative reviews. So ask!
Here are a few ways to ask:
Make it easy. If you run a brick and mortar business, offer comment cards on the table or at the register so they’re readily available when a guest is thinking about it. Encourage them to review right from their mobile devices before leaving the business! Do you sell your product online? Whether you want your customers to respond on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or your own website, send a link to a review site with their receipt. The less they have to search, the easier it will be for them to write it.
Link it in your newsletter. Do you email a monthly or quarterly newsletter? Along with the great stories about your business, include a link to ask your newsletter recipients to post a review.
Ask on social media. People love to share links and experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Asking every so often on social media can be a great way to remind your customers of their great experience while gaining valuable feedback. And they can easily share their experience with their friends!
But what about negative feedback? As much as people love to talk about great service, some people love even more to talk about bad service they receive. Businesses must be ready to respond quickly to negative customer reviews. This isn’t a time to be defensive; it’s an opportunity for improvement. Address the review quickly, implement change, then ask for a follow-up review. Especially for an online company, this can help the customer see that there are people behind the product.
This means you have to be vigilant. Understand where your customers post reviews (Google, Yelp, Facebook) and monitor reviews frequently.
Since so many customers look to reviews before they purchase from a company for the first time, soliciting reviews is so important for a small business. Not only do online reviews help the customer, but they also help your company in search engines. Ask, follow up, and help build a great customer experience!