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How small businesses can get more customer reviews

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  • Directly request feedback from customers to ensure a steady flow of reviews, enhancing your online presence and credibility.
  • Show that you value feedback by responding to both positive and negative reviews, which helps build stronger customer relationships and demonstrates accountability.
  • Leverage various review platforms to maximize the reach and impact of customer reviews, ensuring potential customers can find feedback on their preferred sites.

In today's digital age, customer reviews are more influential than ever. They not only shape purchasing decisions but also significantly impact a business's reputation and sales. For small businesses, leveraging customer reviews can be a game-changer. Here are four effective strategies to get more customer reviews and how to use the feedback to your advantage.

1. Ask for Reviews

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to get more customer reviews is to ask for them. Ann Noder, president and CEO of Pitch Public Relations, emphasizes the importance of directly requesting reviews from clients. "Typically, our clients are more than willing to do so," she shared. Noder's firm posts these reviews on their website and promotes them on social media, enhancing their online presence and credibility.

For example, Platterful, a subscription service, sends an email to customers a week after their purchase, asking them to review their experience. This proactive approach ensures a steady flow of feedback, which is crucial for business growth.

2. Incentivize Customers

While it's important to follow guidelines and avoid offering direct incentives for reviews, creating a positive and memorable customer experience can naturally encourage reviews. According to a survey by PowerReviews, 85% of shoppers are more likely to buy products with between 50 and 500 reviews. By delighting customers with exceptional service, businesses can increase the likelihood of receiving positive feedback.

For instance, Widewail suggests using post-sale text messages to encourage reviews. Text messages have a high open rate, making them an effective tool for soliciting feedback.

3. Respond to All Reviews

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows customers that you value their feedback and are committed to improving their experience. Caroline Elston, cofounder of Platterful, highlighted the importance of addressing customer-service issues such as shipping delays and product problems through reviews. "Customer reviews are your live focus group where you get really valuable feedback that you can use to enhance the customer experience, enhance your product, and enhance your business overall," she said.

By responding to reviews, businesses can turn negative experiences into positive ones and build stronger relationships with their customers. This practice also demonstrates transparency and accountability, which can enhance a business's reputation.

4. Utilize Multiple Review Platforms

To maximize the impact of customer reviews, it's essential to leverage multiple review platforms. Platterful, for example, posts reviews on its website and other e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, and Uncommon Goods. This broadens their reach and ensures that potential customers can find reviews on their preferred platforms.

Additionally, monitoring your business's online presence across various platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, is crucial. Regularly checking these sites allows you to stay informed about customer feedback and respond promptly.

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