It's no secret that for businesses, customer reviews are one of the most valuable forms of advertising. No matter what type of product or service your business offers, customers will scour the internet for past customer experiences with your brand before accepting your offering. This is the case whether you're an electrician, a local restaurant, a hair salon, or anything else in between. Having consistently positive customer reviews can be the difference between a customer selecting your business over your competitor, just as having negative reviews can quickly tarnish your reputation if there is a perceived pattern of bad experience.
For this reason, collecting and encouraging positive customer reviews online is a task that should be a priority in your advertising efforts. Here are a few ways to help you build a strong foundation of positive customer reviews:
'Google my business' account
If you don't already have a 'Google My Business' account, you should set one up ASAP. Have you ever Googled a service in your area, for example “Plumber” in Surfers Paradise, to have a list of businesses in your area appear at the top of the results page under a map of their locations? This means that these businesses have created a free 'Google My Business' listing, which is not only a great way to generate some more online exposure for a business, display opening hours and other business info, but it is also the perfect place to begin collecting customer reviews! Customers with a Google account can easily leave a review for your products or services, which will then be visible to all future customers who see your page pop up when Googling businesses in their area. You can also respond to customer reviews here, which is the perfect way to increase your customer loyalty and show your appreciation for the positive feedback!
In addition to seeking out information on your business via the search engines such as Google, many customers will also navigate to your social media accounts to do their research. There are a number of ways to encourage customer reviews on these platforms. Firstly, ensure that all of your business information such as business name, location, and contact details are correct and you have included your logo, so customers can be sure they've found the correct page for your business. Keeping your page up to date with photos and other business updates is also important, to show that you are still active and dedicated to investing time to your brand. You can prompt customers to visit your Facebook page to leave a review when providing your product or service, and include your social media pages on advertising material. A well-managed social media presence will spark interest when customers are doing their research and encourage them to accept your offering!
Respond to reviews
Customers leave reviews when they see value in doing so. Reviews provide value for future customers when researching a business, and responses from businesses are an effective means of making a customer feel like their voice is being heard. This is the case for not only positive reviews, but also negative ones. Thanking customers for positive reviews emphasises that you appreciate them taking their time to do so and choosing your product or service. Responding to negative reviews publicly is the best way to show that your business cares and is willing to provide a solution and leave your customers satisfied with the experience. Rectifying an issue and leaving the customer delighted often creates an even better impression of your business than if they were content with the experience in the first place!
Share past customer reviews
There's no better way to keep the ball rolling than to promote the positive customer reviews you've already received! You can do this on your social media, for example by posting a Facebook status thanking a customer for their positive review with a screenshot of the review. On Instagram, you could even share a photo of the customer with the product or your team, with their written review as the caption. This is a fantastic way to acknowledge your appreciation for your customers and the effort they've gone to to share their positive experience with your business, encouraging these actions from future customers.
Great customer service
The final (and most obvious!) tip for encouraging positive customer reviews and creating raving fans is just to provide an unbeatable customer experience in the first place! Communicating the differentiation points of your business, whether it be outstanding quality, competitive prices, or extensive customer support is ideal for emphasising the value of your business. This will let customers know what to expect from you, so when you provide your product or service with a smile and you're knowledgeable about your offering, you'll have hopefully gained a customer for life!
We all know that customers and clients are the core of any business, so take care of your customers and they will take care of you!
About the Author
Georgia Budden is the Web Content and Marketing Coordinator at Service.com.au, a trades and services platform that connects homeowners to local service professionals, as well as providing useful work, lifestyle and home improvement tips. In her spare time, she is hitting her personal bests with her passion for bodybuilding, and looking for the next creative activity to pursue!