The Art of Getting Honest Reviews for Your Business
Creating a business is hard work, and reviews are important indicators of how you’re doing. Positive feedback helps you grow your business, while negative reviews can point out areas for improvement. There’s no way to completely prevent negative reviews, but you can take steps to limit them and encourage people to leave positive ones. Good reviews help drive more traffic to your website, increase your visibility in search results, and give potential customers the confidence they need to trust your services before making a purchase. To get good reviews for your business, you need a solid strategy that combines honesty with tact. Getting honest reviews involves understanding why people might not be inclined to give you positive feedback as well as what might motivate them to do so anyway.
How to get more positive reviews
The best way to get more reviews is to do great work — but that’s easier said than done. There are also a few specific strategies you can use to get more positive reviews. First, schedule time to respond to reviews. Getting reviews is a good thing, but you have to respond to them, too. If you don’t, they’ll make your business look unprofessional and like you don’t care about your customers. Responding to reviews can be time-consuming, but it’s essential if you want to create a positive reputation online. Next, take steps to reduce the likelihood of negative reviews. This includes providing good customer service, following up with customers after they make purchases, and making communication easy. Take steps to prevent theft, too, such as working with a verified payment processing service and being transparent about your return policies.
Ask for permission before providing a review incentive
Incentivizing people to leave reviews for your business is a controversial topic. Some businesses offer their customers free goods or services in exchange for reviews, but it’s important to make sure that you’re not violating any terms of service. Amazon, for example, forbids sellers from offering incentives for reviews. Similarly, Facebook has banned people from offering to pay third-party websites to write glowing reviews on their behalf. Google, meanwhile, wants to make sure that positive reviews are coming from people who have experience with your business, rather than seeing a bunch of five-star ratings written by people who never actually bought your products. You can still offer incentives, but make sure you’re not violating any terms of service.
Be transparent about your practices and policies
Reviews are often a reflection of how you work with customers, as well as how you treat your employees. Make sure you’re transparent about how you handle payments, returns, policies, and other aspects of your business. If you make it clear that you have certain policies that are nonnegotiable, customers are less likely to leave negative reviews because they didn’t like the way you do business. You can also post reviews on your website that give people an inside look at your policies. For example, if you offer a money-back guarantee, post a review explaining the terms and conditions. You can also post testimonials from happy customers. These reviews are often more compelling than ones on third-party websites like Yelp, especially if they’re written honestly.
Don’t take reviewing too personally
Some businesses take reviews very personally, especially if they’re negative. If a customer leaves a two-star review, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that you’re a bad business owner — it means that they had a bad experience. It’s important to take negative feedback seriously, but not at the expense of your own mental health. If a negative review is based on your business practices, take steps to correct the issues, but don’t let them get you down. If a review is based on the customer’s personal feelings, however, there’s not much you can do. Don’t take those reviews personally.
Show people you care about their opinions through surveys and polls
Some businesses conduct surveys or start polls on their websites, asking their customers to provide feedback on their experiences. These surveys and polls aren’t reviews, but they provide valuable insight into how your customers feel about your business, and they can help you improve your services. Use these polls and surveys to collect feedback on your delivery methods, your website, and your products. You can also ask customers for suggestions on how you can improve. These polls and surveys can help you get more positive reviews. Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they know that their feedback is being taken seriously.
Reviews are an important part of running any business, whether you’re a freelancer working from home or a large corporation with multiple offices. Getting honest reviews isn’t always easy, especially if you’re trying to avoid incentivizing customers to leave five-star reviews for free. The best way to get more positive reviews is to provide excellent customer service and make sure that your business delivers what it promises.