Have you looked at your Google Star rating or business reviews lately?
If you see a big fat ZERO or see a low number of stars, this post is written just for you!
Read on for our best processes for obtaining business reviews.
Raise your hand if you’ve used reviews to decide which yoga pants to buy on Amazon or which local restaurant to visit on Google.
[I can’t see you raising your hand, but I’m over here frantically waving both since I’ve done all of the above.]
Google recently updated their review policy and they’re ranking business based on performance.
We wrote a post about the semantics of how this review system works, so read that post if you want to catch up on how Google decides if you’re worth one star or five.
What Reviews Look Like In Google Search
Here’s a search example of my favorite local Mexican restaurant.
On the sidebar of my Google search, this visual aid popped up for restaurant information, and you can see that Google gave the business reviews three different areas of this section!
- Area 1: Directly under the business name and at the top, Google shows me that Los Chilitos has a 4.5-star rating on Google and has 40 google reviews. I can click that hyperlink (“40 Google Reviews”) and read each one of the reviews if I so choose.
- Area 2: Google even pulls in other reviews from around the web to give weight to how “good” this business is. You can see here that Los Chilitos has a 4.5 (out of 5) rating on Facebook with 49 reviews, and a 3.5 (out of 5) from Zomato with 28 reviews. I can click on the hyperlinked sites and be led directly to each one of those reviews.
- Area 3: This area is a call-to-action from Google to write a review, add a photo, or see snippets of previous reviews. You can see in the above image that I can see three helpful reviews from past patrons.
Google provides this social proof for Los Chilitos through these online recommendations because bigger-star reviews are a powerful way to persuade your potential customers that your business is the best.
Here’s HOW to capture more reviews for your business with our five best tips.
Tip 1: The Key To Obtaining Business Reviews Is To ASK!
It probably goes without saying, but are you asking your customers for reviews? Surprisingly, many companies are not asking for business reviews.
If you were Los Chilitos, you could
- Have a sign by the register that says, “Review us on Facebook or Google!”
- Use the bottom of receipts to ask for reviews
- Have your server give patrons a business card that had their name in particular and asks for a review of them/the business
- Utilize visual images of Facebook and Google on the menu and use a call-to-action like, “We want your reviews!”
If you’re not asking, chances are, your customers aren’t giving. Unless they’re really unhappy … people LOVE to shout from the mountaintops when something goes wrong!
Tip 2: Give Customers Options
And K.I.S.S. — keep it simple, stupid (or stupid simple, as I like to say!). I listed four options above for brick-and-mortar businesses to use.
No matter how you ask, ensure it’s a simple ask.
If you’re asking for reviews on an online forum, like Facebook, make it a one-click option to head to your Google Reviews page.
Or, leave a visual aid on Facebook to show how to leave a Facebook review. Better yet, make a quick video!
Make sure your instructions to your customers are clear, concise, and to the point.
Tip 3: Use Email Marketing To Gain Business Reviews
One of the best ways to get business reviews from your customers is to strike while the iron is hot — meaning, soon after they’ve made a purchase.
You can do this by sending a simple email to ask your customer how their experience with your product/service has been.
You can use free or paid tools to get this done easily, like
What I like about YesInsights is that they allow the customer to click an answer directly in the email rather than leave the email to do a survey on another site.
It literally takes seconds and therefore is more likely to get you the review you’re looking for!
Tip 4: Think Conversation (Even With Bad Reviews)
There’s no way around it: bad reviews happen.
Reframe your thinking when it comes to bad business reviews (and think conversation when responding!):
- Sometimes, a bad review simply means a customer discovered that your product/service is not the right fit for them. Try to see if they’re open to a redo.
- A study by Lee Resource Int’l says for every customer who complains, 26 others remain silent. A bad review is a generous gift that can help you make great changes, and ultimately make a lot more customers happy — but you have to dig in and take the conversation offline to learn more.
- Leverage this opportunity; use your bad business reviews to fix mistakes and build a stronger relationship with the customer. Be honest about mistakes and ask how you can repair things.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; much of the time, their behavior has nothing to do with you. But if it is on you, fess up when you mess up. It takes a truly humble and caring company to own their mistakes publically.
- Some people—very, very few—are, quite frankly, jerks. No matter how hard you try to rectify the situation, they won’t be open to it. Try anyway.
Tip 5: Reward Reviewers
Lastly, one way to encourage reviews is by putting an incentive on doing so.
While we don’t recommend “baiting” for reviews long term, it’s a nice way to go from zero to a few good reviews quickly.
Notify your customers by way of a sign or by email that for the next 30 days, anyone who leaves a review will be entered to win a $ 100 Amazon gift card.
A few tips for your campaign
- Make the gift something anyone will enjoy
- Specify a short timeframe to quickly build reviews
- Follow #3 and KISS — give the link that will take the customer directly to the review site of your choice
- Be sure to underscore that you’re asking for an honest review, not necessarily a good review
Business Reviews Will Get You Everywhere This Year
Every day, consumers are capturing content at your locations and sharing it across their social networks.
Don’t forget to include online reviews with your online reputation. Good business reviews ensure that no matter what kind of campaign you’re running, customers are always driven to the right place — your doorstep.
How are you getting business reviews from your customers these days? We’d love to see your tips and tricks below!Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community