One way brands are evaluated for their quality of service and trustworthiness is through their customer reviews. Whether it’s to find the next place to eat out or they need a plumbing repair, trustworthy brands are shared between friends, families, co-workers, strangers, and anyone else who wants a high-quality product or service.
Your online reviews provide a lot of information for those looking to buy. Even if you have one bad review that happened when you were just getting started, it might be enough to drive business away. Potential customers will listen to what past customers have to say about your business; in other words, reviews are important. The good, the bad, and the ugly reviews can help you shape the image of your business and demonstrate that your brand is trustworthy. You have to start somewhere, so here are five tips to help keep your online reviews positive.
Always Start with Good Customer Service
Good customer service should be exemplified in every customer interaction, including the times when your team is out on a job or when a potential customer is just calling to ask a question. To go a step further, you should always respond to your reviews whether they’re negative or positive, and every review should be answered in a polite and efficient manner.
For service businesses, offering promotions and giveaways are a few popular ways to encourage feedback from customers. When you want to incentivize customers to buy from you or to leave a review, your company can provide discounts on your services. You have to be careful, however, not to incentivize strictly positive reviews. When asking for reviews or feedback, keep questions open ended and don’t bribe customers to only leave a positive review. This might seem dishonest and could hurt your reputation.
Employ Multiple Sites for Reviews
Yelp, Facebook, Google, your website, and more can all be used to review your business. You should have a good online presence on any site that your customers are finding your company, which includes your profile and response time on these sites. Other forms of communication are also good options to reach customers through. If you have a newsletter that customers are signed up for, you can include a review section in the newsletter or send an email directly to these customers asking for a review. After a job is finished, have your service tech ask the customer to complete a quick review.
Highlight Positive Reviews on Your Site
Make it easy to find your reviews and highlight the best things about your company by putting your company’s positive reviews on your website. Displaying your reviews proudly shows that you acknowledge your customers’ input and that you care about the relationship you have with each customer. There are various plugins and widgets you can use to accomplish this, but always confirm that the re-posting of reviews from various platforms is allowed. Google prohibits re-use of reviews from Google My Business, for example. Tools that allow reviews to populate directly on your website may then be going against platform terms, so it's important that you choose wisely.
Make Forms Efficient and Easy to Fill Out
Provide links to your third-party sources to make them easily accessible and make sure your own review forms are easy to navigate. For example, if there is a “contact us” form on your website, make sure that your site is optimized for mobile use. An important strategy to get your customers to actually fill out the form is to keep the form simple. There should only be a few open-ended questions for the customer to answer on the form, and it shouldn’t take them long to complete.
These tips are designed to make it easy for customers to talk about your exceptional services. You can count on the fact that they will discuss your business with their friends and families, so sharing that information with you should be easy as long as you make it easy for them.