How to Get Online Reviews

Just how important are past customer reviews to future prospective customers? According to a recent Zendesk survey, 88 percent of respondents ranked online reviews as one of the top four reasons they choose to buy….or not buy. 

So yes, you definitely want to encourage your customers (or at least the happy ones) to write online reviews for your business. In this post, learn effective tips to generate more online reviews.


But First, A Word of Caution
Unless the reviews are posted on your own private company website, you will NOT be able to control the content in any way, shape or form. What you CAN control is your internal business practices – customer service, complaint resolution and high quality products/services.


Tips to Generate More Online Reviews
You can begin to use these tips right away, providing you feel confident the majority of your reviews will be positive (see previous section for more).


Tip #1: Register your business on more than one reputable site.
The sites you choose will vary by your industry, of course. For instance, if you sell commercial hospitality furniture, you may want to list your business with the local hotels association, builders resource websites and of course the Yellow Pages.

Here, be sure reviews are featured prominently in the sites you choose to list with or your efforts to generate them may be easily missed.


Tip #2: Ask for reviews!
Sometimes the most direct route is also the most productive. If you help a clearly satisfied customer with a purchase, hand them a little postcard with instructions on how to write a review before they leave.

But whatever you do, don’t offer perks for reviews, because this can easily backfire on you if a single customer mentions they were given a perk to write their review. The one exception is if you offer to enter everyone who writes a review into a random drawing or giveaway (which is why you see this type of incentive so frequently in invitations to complete surveys and write reviews).

P.S. Be sure to thank customers who write reviews – just posting a little note to say “thank you!” as a comment to the review is all that is required here.


Tip #3: Include a link to write a review in your marketing content.
If you send a regular email newsletter, be sure to include an invitation to write an online review with links to sites where your business is listed. If you have social media platforms (and what company doesn’t these days) you can re-post reviews written elsewhere on your social feeds.

Another good tactic is to notice followers who post kind words and direct message them to ask if they would be willing to write a review on such-and-so site. Be sure to copy-and-paste their social share so they remember what they wrote originally!


Tip #4: Be sure your employees do all of the same!
Finally, your employees are the day-to-day front lines of your company. Conduct employee trainings so your staff knows how to spot happy customers and encourage online reviews. Here, random drawings are also the best perk to offer so employees don’t get too pushy asking for reviews.

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