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Why And How To Generate Online Reviews To Succeed

August 12, 2020

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Why And How To Generate Online Reviews To Succeed

There is no denying it: Online reviews run the culture in which we live in. 

In an openly opinionated landscape, review sites are popping up almost every other week to help consumers make the best decisions about businesses. 

It goes without saying that online reviews can make or break a business. 

In fact, according to a survey conducted by MarketingLand.Com, 90% of customers said that their buying decisions were influenced by online reviews.

In other words, the success of your business is partially-based on its ability to generate online reviews.

Let's look at why and how you should generate online reviews to succeed.

Facebook customer review

Why You Should Generate Online Reviews

The following are some reasons why you should be taking online reviews seriously. 

1. Online Reviews Can Improve Your Services.  

Reviews can help keep your feet above the ground. 

They can tell you what you are doing wrong or what exactly you should improve on. 

This information helps you understand what you should be doing to better serve your customers.

2. Social Proof Drives Purchases.

keyboard buy button

As the biggest source of social proof, the impact of online reviews on sales is clear. 

If the feedback left about your business is positive, it can help encourage other visitors to buy from your store.

After all, people are more likely to buy if those around them – even complete strangers – agree that they should.

3. Customer Reviews Can Make Your Business More Visible. 

Most shoppers usually begin by searching for products on platforms like Google and Bing. 

While the way these search engines rank content might be different, one thing is clear: They all value content that is both fresh and original. 

Consequently, with online reviews, you are able to get higher rankings, which also leads to more exposure as people start to see your business as an authority. 

4. Your Business Is Able To Build Trust And Credibility. 

two people shaking hands

The steady stream of positive reviews can help you build significant trust and credibility. 

Shoppers mostly consider businesses that have ratings with four stars and above. Negative reviews indicate that users might have bad user experience.

A study done by Harvard Business School found that even a one-star improvement on Yelp.com can lead to a boost in sales by up to 9%.

5. They Give You An Open Line To Your Customers. 

Online reviews can provide you a forum in which you are able to communicate directly to consumers. 

You are not only able to respond to comments, but you can also rectify any poor reviews.

But more importantly, you're giving your brand a face that consumers can relate to. 

How To Generate Good Online Reviews

person using smartphone

Now that you understand the importance of online reviews, the next step is to know how to generate them. 

Here are the steps to follow.

1. Get Social.

Today, everything is online. The days of sifting through mail flyers or searching newspaper ads are long gone.

To stay on the radar of online consumers, you need to have a social media presence. 

Some of the social media powerhouses you want to use include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. 

These platforms make your business incredibly visible on the internet.

Your goal here should be to have customers leave 5-stars reviews of your business. 

2. Be Responsive. 

This is arguably one of the most crucial aspects of generating positive reviews for your business. 

If you provide great service, a customer is more likely to leave a glowing review. Poor customer service is the perfect way to get BAD reviews.

As the business owner, your responses to both good and bad reviews help build trust and rapport.

business response to customer online review

Yes, even bad reviews. If you get one, use the review to demonstrate that you’re willing to resolve the problem. 

3. Do Great Work.

This is a no-brainer!

A great experience is the fundamental building block of a glowing review. 

Bottom line: If you want your business to get good reviews, then you need to ensure that you provide quality products and services.

Admittedly, there are times that your products and/or services will not be 100% perfect. 

But, making an attempt to resolve any issues gives you a chance to salvage a good review. 

4. Simplify The Review Process.

To get people to leave reviews about your business, you need to plan strategically. 

Make it easy.

One way to do this is to have your social media accounts linked in your messaging, ads, etc.

Another way to encourage customers to rate and review their experience is by offering incentives.

It can be gift cards, discounts, coupons, drawings, and even money.

5. Train Your Employees.

Besides having a skilled and qualified team of employees, you also need to train your staff to ask for reviews once a purchase has been successful. 

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When a customer transaction is completed, your team should specifically ask for a review and give very clear instructions on where and how to do it.

Here are three email templates ThriveHive offers that you can use to generate online reviews.

thrivehive email templates for online reviews

How To Deal With Negative Reviews

How you deal with negative reviews can make all the difference. 

To manage not-so-good reviews, take an authentic and thoughtful approach, such as this one:

business responds to negative reviews

Even when dealing with fraudulent cases, always make sure you avoid online arguments. Instead, let the user know what actions you will take. 

how a business should respond to negative online reviews

Even the example of an online review below shows how quickly an issue can be resolved when handled correctly.

response to negative review

Here’s a final example to inspire you and your team to respond to negative online reviews the right way – and possibly turn those negative situations around.

veterinary clinic response to negative review

Use the REST model as a guide for successfully handling a negative review:

  • Respond quickly.
  • Eliminate the emotion.
  • Say you are sorry.
  • Take it offline.

And remember: You CAN ask the user to remove the review – but only after you’ve gone the extra mile to fix the problem.

Final Thoughts

Generating online reviews is key to your business’s success, whether you're an ecommerce business hoping to rank higher in search engines, a longstanding B2B company, or anything in between.

Alexander Hassoulas is a digital marketing consultant and co-founder of Upkeep Media Inc. Upkeep Media specializes in working with the real estate industry to improve their online presence through SEO, Paid Ads, Content Marketing, Website Development and Reputation Management. 

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