As a business owner, it’s natural for you to be curious about what people think about your business. Customer reviews can make or break a future purchasers decision to buy. So why wouldn’t you want to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong? This way you can change it.

But, with the development of the way we interact with and on the net there has been an online growth in the amount and effect of online reviews. It’s now apparent how important it is to cater to your customer’s influence.

To receive multiple, high-quality reviews your business has to focus on both face-to-face customer service as well as the online user experience. That means you not only have to provide an excellent service in-store, but you also have to provide a better user experience online.

Online reviews can be a daunting thing for business owners. The process of getting more online reviews, handling negative reviews and encouraging customers to provide positive reviews online can make anyone pull their hair out. Here are some tips for getting your online review process rolling and translating positive offline experiences into useful online reviews.

Link Building and Multiple Review Sites

Don’t be afraid to place links to a review platform on your website. Give your customers the chance to voice their experience. Provide links to Google Reviews or Yelp and help customers quickly navigate to a review platform for your business, while your business is still fresh in their mind.

You should also consider which review sites best fit the mould of your business. Yelp, Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, Facebook and more are relevant to some markets more than others. Get your business on multiple and make sure they can are seen, wherever people may be looking.

Use Great Customer Service To Capture Online Reviews

This is the obvious one, although it’s probably the hardest thing to get right. You’ll hear generic suggestions about making customers your priority, and that they’re the most important part of your business. It’s all true. But what some businesses are yet to grasp is how good customer service translates to better online reviews. This then comes full circle, delivering new customers to your business after seeing great reviews.

Reading positive and negative reviews affects people’s purchase decisions. This is unquestionable. Providing excellent customer service is the best way to make sure your business gets great reviews. Having an arsenal of reviews at the ready when people search for your business online is ideal. It shows that your business has had plenty of customers and that they were impressed enough to leave their praise.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your customers for their opinion, especially if you’re confident that they enjoyed their experience. This is one of the easier ways to increase the number of reviews you receive. If they’re pleased enough, then it shouldn’t be an imposition at all. This can happen through any form of contact, including email, phone, or in person.

Social Media Reviews

Social media is one of the easiest ways to reach your market and is a great tool for engagement. Letting your customers know that you’re on social media gives them another avenue of access to your business.

We can almost guarantee that other than your business’s website, your Facebook page is the next point of contact for users. Facebook now has it’s own ratings and review system. Making this social site another avenue which business owners need to consider and guide their customer base towards.

Link building is also helpful here, by providing easy access to your social outlets on all your online content. Letting your customers know that all your forms of communication are linked gives greater choice and appeals to various user habits.

Schema Review Markup

Good reviews are invaluable. The opportunity to show future customers previous customer experiences should be taken with both hands. markup is another way that businesses can echo the satisfaction of their clients. It’s a method that helps make sure your reviews and ratings are seen.

Schema makes it easier for search engines to analyse and interpret your website’s data. This then results in better search results being provided based on users search queries. This Schema is beneficial for businesses because they can change the way reviews and ratings are displayed in search results. They have the possibility to make reviews and ratings more visible, more clickable and more appealing to browsers.

By applying a simple code to you can make your star ratings and reviews more likely to appear in Google search results. The code tells the search engine that your page contains reviews which you’d like featured in search results. Having reviews in your text isn’t enough, but also in code so Google can recognise it. One positive review in the search results might be the point of difference for a user picking a website.

Although, be wary. The schema markup should only be applied to credible reviews and ratings from real customers. Don’t try and fool your customers as they’re the one’s you’re trying to impress. If you improve the visibility of fake reviews, you risk being found out and shunned by browsers.

Ask For Reviews With Email Marketing

Integrating your email marketing with the customer review process is another effective way of engaging your customer base. Having a review process accessible via your email marketing is another opportunity for your business. Links to Google review and other sites are an easy way to do this. Although, as a business you have to think about the time and reason for engagement with your customers.

Customers are more likely to leave a review immediately following an interaction. In-store for example, after serving a family they’d be more inclined to provide a review immediately after their meal, rather than two months after. The same principle applies to emails. Except for emails, how do you get a reader to engage if they haven’t purchased anything? Well, there is always the opportunity to have giveaways specials and more that incentivise readers. Following this they would be more likely to give a review, hopefully positive.

Following this up by politely asking, or alluding to a review. The whole process is all about engaging your customers by giving them a personal treatment and making them want to leave a Google review.

It’s not always the right time to approach your customers for a review. If they’re not engaged with your content, then they likely won’t provide a review. Unless of course, it’s a dissatisfied review, which is always a possibility if a business pesters their audience rather than appealing to them.

Thank Your Reviewers

If possible, you should thank the people who review your business, products and services. A simple message shows that you’re grateful for their input. If you’re willing to take it a step further, it’s also possible to offer specific reviewers benefits in the form of freebies or discount codes. This is an opportunity to satisfy your customer and extend their loyalty to the business.

It also presents an opportunity to steer reviewers towards particular products or services they may be interested in.