From Google to Yelp to Trustpilot and Facebook, people are sharing their experiences, and what they say has a massive impact on your business.

With 90% of consumers saying that online reviews influence their buying decisions, it’s paramount that you do everything to get as many positive reviews as possible.

Whether you are a small business owner, a freelancer looking for that big break, or a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, the ability to generate online reviews can make or break your business.

How do you generate reviews? Here is a guide on how to do it:

Create a place for customers to leave reviews

Before people can get to your site to learn about your products and services, make it possible for them to learn about your business from other sites. Luckily, there are plenty of third-party sites that collect reviews, and potential customers can consult them. The most popular ones are:

Yelp: It’s the most popular review site and trusted by millions. Create an account here and keep it updated. Remember to claim your business so that your business shows up in the search results when people search for it. Regularly monitor the communications coming from your profile and respond in good time.

Facebook: It’s not only a giant social media site, but it’s also a highly trusted review platform. After creating an account, also claim your business Facebook page so that people can find you without having to leave their social network.

Google: Claim your spot on the world’s largest search engine using Google My Business. Here potential customers will find you when searching for information or when searching for directions.

Other third-party sites you should try are Amazon (if you are an Amazon seller) and Better Business Bureau (BBB). Strive to utilize as many online listings as possible so that you have a larger online footprint. This is to make it easier for customers to find your business on multiple websites and also build up your online reputation.

After creating an account to where you want people to leave reviews, collect a link to that location. When requesting reviews, send the link so that the customers have an easy time finding your business and posting their feedback.

Ask for reviews

You can’t sit back and wait for reviews to come—you have to ask for them. Asking for reviews manually is time-consuming and challenging. To make the process easier, set up an automated online review process.

Use our review request tools and ask the customer to give their feedback.  When asking for feedback, include a link to the place where you would want them to leave the review. Here is an example.Review Software

Give incentives

Humans are selfish. You will create a platform for them to leave a review, make the process easy and straightforward and still a considerable chunk of them won’t take the initiative to give their feedback unless they feel they are getting something in return.

What should you do instead? Give an incentive such as:

While giving an incentive is such an effective method of getting reviews, you should be cautious about how you go about it as you can be fined or even lose the reviews that you have been building for several months or even years.

Most 3rd party sites are strict on how businesses should ask for reviews and giving an incentive such as coupon code, discount, gift card, or even cold hard cash is highly discouraged.

You can still give incentives and get many reviews, but you have to go about it in a different way. When giving a discount or incentive, don’t do it as a way of asking people to give a review, do it as a way of promoting sales.

When you have many people buying from you, you have higher chances of people leaving a review, so you eventually get more reviews.

To avoid being on the wrong side of the review sites, ask your customers to disclose that they received a discount when they were buying the product.

While this method might seem long, it’s the most sustainable one as you don’t have to worry about getting in wrong books with the 3rd party sites and damaging your online reputation.

Ask reviews at the right time

When you ask for reviews at the wrong time, you not only increase the chances of the customers failing to give them, you also increase the chance of them giving you a negative review. For optimal results, ask for reviews at the right moment in the customers’ journey.

Some of the best times are:

  • After they have bought from you
  • After you have provided a service for a customer
  • When the customers re-order a product or service
  • When they refer a customer to you

At any of these times, the customers are happy with your product or service hence they are more likely to give you a positive review.

Different products have different time frames. If you have a taxi business, ask for a review as soon as the ride ends. If selling body creams, give the customer time to interact with the product for a few weeks, then ask for a review.

It’s up to you to research and find the right time to ask for feedback for your product.

Respond to reviews

get more reviews

Responding to reviews not only shows that you care what the customers think, but it also encourages new customers to visit your business.

With 45% of customers reporting that they would visit a business if the business responds to reviews. You should strive to respond to every review you receive.

When you respond to a review, you encourage other customers to leave a review as they want to hear from you.

For you to professionally respond to the reviews, have a review response plan in place. The plan should provide guidance on how to address specific issues and the tone of your responses.

Conclusion

We cannot underestimate the power of getting positive online reviews. Before people decide to buy from you, they first visit review sites, forums, and social media platforms and see what other customers have to say about your products or services.

Getting people to provide an online review for your business isn’t easy, but by following the above tips, you will safely collect as many reviews as possible that will convince potential customers to choose your business.