Online reviews are the modern version of word-of-mouth advertising, and savvy businesses are making the most of them. Customer reviews can encourage new customers to contact your business, and more than 80% of consumers say they give online reviews the same weight they give to personal recommendations, according to the Better Business Bureau. Good reviews from current and former employees can also help you recruit staff more easily, by showing that you run a good place to work. What if your business doesn’t have any reviews yet, or doesn’t have very many? Here are some tips on getting more reviews the right way–and avoiding a few review pitfalls.
What you can do to get more reviews
Ask your clients and their family members to leave reviews on your page at SeniorAdvisor.com and other review sites. You can also invite your employees to review your business on career sites such as Glassdoor.com.
Let your clients and staff know you’re open to their feedback. Make it easy for them to reach you by phone, by email, or in person when they have a concern or a question. When you’re accessible you make bad reviews less likely, because you can resolve problems before they reach the “bad review” stage.
Respond to all user reviews, even the positive ones, and don’t just cut and paste the same response over and over. Individual replies show that you value what your clients and visitors have to say. When there’s a negative review, reach out to that customer directly to see how you can solve the problem. Many times, people will go back and update negative reviews if the business makes a sincere effort to correct the issue.
Online review practices to avoid
Don’t offer your clients perks or discounts in exchange for leaving reviews, and be sure to ask for reviews in general, not “good reviews.” Review platforms generally prohibit review rewards and requests for positive reviews, because that undermines the reliability of the reviews. For example, Yelp’s rules prohibit paying people to write positive reviews, which the company says “not only isn’t ethical, but can also be illegal.”
Also, remember that everyone can see your replies to reviews. Don’t let frustration or anger at a bad or inaccurate review color your response. Even an unfair review gives you an opportunity to show your business in a good light, if you respond thoughtfully and in a way that focuses on solving the problem. For example, you can ask that the customer contact you directly or offer a possible solution as part of your response. Be polite, be sympathetic to their frustration, and show that you care about the experience your clients and employees have with your business.
Want to learn more about using online reviews to grow your business? Visit the SeniorAdvisor.com Knowledge Base to find out how to add your business to the SeniorAdvisor.com listings or claim your existing business profile.