Take a minute and think back. When was the last time you looked up customer reviews for a store or restaurant you were thinking about visiting? Whether you checked Google, Facebook, or Yelp, what the user-submitted reviews had to say probably influenced your decision on whether to go there or not. In fact, about 72% of consumers rely on positive user-submitted reviews before making any purchasing decisions.
From a business perspective, though, getting reviews can be difficult. Only 23% of consumers have actually ever written an online review. Prospective customers love seeing reviews that include specific details and photos, but how can you get those?
The most obvious solution is to just ask. Whether you put up a sign next to your checkout area or add a message to the bottom of your receipts, reminding customers that they have the opportunity to leave a review is sometimes the only push they need. If your business has a Facebook or Twitter account, sharing a quick call for reviews there can also be an easy way to remind your fans and followers.
If you want to target your repeat customers, send out personalized emails from the location owner or manager requesting a review. If you think it might take a little extra motivation, you can offer special discounts to those who leave a review. Offering incentives for reviews should be used sparingly, though, or else it will seem like you're trying to buy good reviews instead of promote the addition of honest ones.
If your business gets a few reviews here and there, but you want to attract even more, make sure you're responding to reviews within a day or two of their original posting. People are more likely to leave a review if they know that the business is actually paying attention to what's being said online.
No matter how you decide to execute it, having a simple plan in place to collect more reviews is one of the best ways to improve your business' online reputation. Adding steps into your already-established processes makes it all easy and hassle-free.