A big concern for many practices and small businesses is how to get customers to write positive reviews. Due to the large popularity of sites such as Yelp, Google My Business and Angie’s List, word-of-mouth advertising for a doctor and the small-business owner can represent a long-lasting legacy, good or bad. When your customers can share their experiences, via online reviews, the potential for exposure and increased revenue grows like wildfire.

According to the Harvard Business Review, online peer-to-peer reviews are powerful because they give customers a good sense of what it’s like to use your goods or services. Small-business owners can tout their services with advertising, but customers are more likely to believe other customers.

Customer Reviews Is Awesome SEO

Another factor about reviews is the influence they exert on where your business is listed in search engine results.

There are multiple sources for this finding, but let’s start with the most authoritative research. A report published by Moz last year found that at the time of the study, review signals ranked fifth among the most important search-engine (SEO) ranking factors.

Positive Customer Reviews = More Business

According to a new survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. Here are some additional findings as to the power of online reviews:

  • 73% of customers say positive reviews make them trust a business more.
  • 70% consult reviews or ratings before purchasing.
  • Only 12% of customers said they take no notice of online reviews.
  • Word of mouth remains the primary route for recommending a local business (72%)
  • Facebook and Twitter are growing strongly as recommendation channels.

How To Get Customers to Write Positive Reviews

Rule No. 1: Become Proactive 

The best way to obtain positive reviews is to ask for them, particularly when your customers express their satisfaction. While their excitement and satisfaction is peeking, is the exact time to ask for for some feedback on Yelp or Google My Business. I have one client that says, “Would you be willing to say that on Yelp?” anytime someone expresses their gratitude.

Rule No. 2: Keep It Simple

A certain percentage of satisfied customers will take the time and make the effort to review your company on sites like Angie’s List, Google My Business and Yelp, but an even larger percentage are more likely to do so if you pave the way and make the process as easy and convenient as possible. One method is to create some sample testimonials that they can use as a model, and then hand them a form to fill out.

If you meet with customers in person, give out business cards that list your URL on various review sites so that it’s easy for them to locate places to leave a review. Moreover, include your email so they can send the review directly to you if they prefer. Email them and include a brief questionnaire or survey.

You may want to add a feedback form on your website and posting a status update on your company Facebook page that asks how you’ve been doing.

Rule No. 3: Showcase Your Customers

Your customers would love to be the center of attention. When you do receive referrals, highlight those customers who took the time to provide them. Ask if you can share their testimonials on your website and social media. As well, ask them to share their reviews on their social media channels that will reach their contacts and followers.

I believe that they best way to capture positive reviews from your customers is to create a short video of you interviewing the satisfied customer. After a service call is complete, you (as the owner) can make a video personally thanking the customer for giving you the opportunity to work for him or her. The video would be 30 seconds or less and can even be captured on your iPhone or mobile device. Make sure to mention the customer’s name at least twice in the video. Then post the video to YouTube and send the customer a personal email with the link to the video. This is sure to get your customers talking about you in a very positive way.

Rule No. 4: Put in Place a Business Process 

Not everyone will get around to giving you reviews, even when you ask. But if you incorporate the generation of reviews as a regular business practice, you and all your employees will begin to accumulate an impressive amount of reviews.

It is important to develop a business process that you and all of your people will follow on each and every job. This will ensure that you are becoming proactive in generating positive testimonials and even more referrals. The best part is that if you do this, you will have designed a real business system that will always produce results.

My Best Method on How To get Customers to Write Positive Reviews

What I feel is the best reputation management option for any business, is to work with professional marketing companies that have automated this process. A great company that is highly effective with small businesses is LimeLightSpark.com. Most small business owners and start-ups are so involved in their business, that marketing becomes a process that is put on the back burner. This is an effective option that I highly recommend that you take advantage of right now.

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