How to get more online reviews for your business.

Whether it’s on Google, Facebook, your Yellow Pages listing or your own website, positive customer reviews can work wonders for your business.

Rather than sitting back and hoping your customers will leave a glowing five stars, there are a few ways you can proactively reach out and increase your review numbers. We share our top tips on requesting feedback from your customers, as well as advice on how to respond to the reviews you already have.

RELATED: Street talk: Searching for a business online.

The importance of customer reviews.

Reviews are an essential part of promoting your business online. Insights from the ACCC found that almost three-quarters of all Australians read online reviews before making a purchase. When these reviews are positive, they can go a long way to convincing a customer to shop with you. However, data from BrightLocal reveals that one negative review can drive away 40% of total customers.

As well as convincing customers to shop with your business, reviews help you rank well on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS).

Companies with more reviews increase their likelihood of showing up in the top three positions on Google Search, while those without any reviews will appear lower in search results. With the numbers showing that over 25% of people click the first search result, ranking high can have a huge impact on both the online and foot traffic you get for your business.

How to ask customers to leave online reviews.

Create a short URL for customers to write reviews on your website or online business listing.

This makes it easier for customers to find you on the platform. With a Google My Business listing, simply sign in to Google My Business, click ‘Home’, then select the ‘Get more reviews’ card. You’ll receive a short shareable URL that you can then send directly to customers, which makes it easier for them to leave a review.

Ask your existing customers to leave a review.

Your existing customer base is your biggest asset when it comes to getting more positive reviews on online platforms. Share a post via your social media channels asking them to leave a review, along with the link to your listing.

If you’re not sure what to say, this template is a good starting point:

Thank you for being a loyal customer of <company name>. If you have a moment, please consider leaving us a review on <Google/Facebook/Yellow Pages/TripAdvisor>. It will only take a second, and your feedback helps us improve our <products/services> in the future.

Another way to do this is via email marketing. Send an email to your existing customers asking them to leave a review, along with a link to your different listings across Facebook, Google, Yellow Pages and more.

Weave reviews into your customer journey.

The best time to ask for a review is right after your customers have shopped with you or used your service. At this point in time their experience is fresh and they’re more likely to share their feedback online, as opposed to a few weeks or months after the fact.

There are a number of ways you can ask for a review after your customers have shopped with you, including:

  • Create a social post. Build your online reputation by encouraging customers to leave a review. To get started, try this template:  Post title: How did we go? Copy: By leaving us a review, we get to know what’s working and where we can evolve. We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback!
  • Adding a sign at your checkout register. Print out a plaque or simply put up a sign that says ‘Leave us a review’ with the logos of the platforms you’re on. If you’re an eCommerce business, pop a thank-you card inside the package with a link to review your products or services online.
  • Include a call-to-action to leave a review at the bottom of your receipts. This could be at the bottom of an email receipt or at the bottom of a physical receipt that you print out for customers in-store.
  • Train your staff. If your staff are interacting with customers on a regular basis, it could be as simple as training them to ask at the point of sale. A simple sentence like “If you have a moment, we’d really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on [platform name]” can work wonders.

Replying to existing customer reviews.

If you receive a positive review, the process is fairly straightforward. Simply thank the customer for their feedback and express how much you look forward to welcoming them back in the future.

For negative reviews, the key is to acknowledge the customer’s feedback, express your regrets about the situation, and share how you have addressed the issue/s (if applicable). Try to take the conversation offline as soon as possible —  ask the reviewer to send you a private message or get in touch via email, so the matter doesn’t drag on in a public forum. Last but not least, try to fight the urge to get defensive. Keep in mind that your responses are there for everyone to see, and are a reflection of your business.

RELATED: Don’t panic: here’s what to do when you get a negative review.

Increase your visibility online with Yellow Pages.

Want to get more reviews for your business online, while also getting found by more customers? It’s time to list your business on Yellow Pages Online. Millions of Australians use Yellow Pages Online to search and review local businesses — making it the perfect platform for you to showcase your business online.

For great deals on digital marketing products, talk to the experts at Yellow Pages.

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