7 Ways to Get More Customer Reviews for Your Business

online business

In most of the cases it has been seen that customers are not that willing to give reviews about the business they availed. It is very much necessary that you provide them reasons so that they write reviews about your business. The reviews whether good or bad, helps a lot in improving the business.

There are three types of customers:

(i). Customers those who do not want to review your business, may be because they hate it
(ii). Customers those who do not know how to review your business
(iii). Customers are very lazy to review your business.

If you are not a known brand with something really special, majority of the people won’t come to see what your latest products are. In the same way, if you provide services to people, like an online business listing company, you will find people writing reviews only when they find something bad about you.

None of the above are good for your business, specially if you wish people see good reviews about you while they are searching for your business online. If customers find no reviews then they may lose interest in your business and opt for the next option available. and if they find negative reviews then they will move away from your business.

So, it is necessary for you to get your customers convinced that they need to write reviews about you.

Here are some ways in which you can get your customers write reviews for your business:

#1. Ask your customer: When you go to a restaurant, the waiter serving food to you asks you whether the food is good or not. Then you give your reviews to him. In the same manner, it is necessary for the business owners to ask their customers about their services, hospitality and requirements. only then the customers will give you their reviews.

#2. Keep a follow-up through email: When a customer avails a service from you, ask for their email ids. In this manner you can connect to your customers through email and ask them to leave a feedback. This will make your customers stay connected to you and you will also be able to get reviews to improve your business.

#3. Make the reviews useful: While your customers review your products, suggest them some new products that they may like. In this way, your customers will be willing to buy more products from you and will give you some more good reviews.

#4. Create a focus group: Before you launch your product in the market, create an interest in the minds of the customers. Let your customers write reviews about your product. Give them free samples. When they will start writing reviews about your product online, other people will see those reviews and your demand will increase.

#5. Let people write reviews on your website: When you allow people to write reviews on your website, Then they get directly linked to you. Once they get directly linked to you, you come to know what your customers want from you. It helps you and your customers in a huge manner.

#6. Use QR codes to get customer reviews: QR codes are an effective means to get your customers review your product or service. Some online platforms like Yelp, Brownbook and Vintelli generate QR codes through which a customer can directly visit the website of a business listed there and review it. For customers, reviewing a business through QR codes is simple, fast and convenient.

#7. Creating an urge to review: Customers are too lazy to review your business, what you can do to increase their interest is that, st a contest where the best review will get awarded and the others will get consoling prizes. This will increase the amount of good reviews in your site.

These are a few great ways in which you can get your customers review your business. Customer reviews are very important for a business. It helps your business grow and creates a bond between the customers and the business owner.

Biased or Unbiased: Why Not Judge Online Reviews By Its Words?

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The internet has an immense contribution for enhancing the way people use it to perform daily activities like searching for information, shopping, engaging in social interaction, etc.

Quite interestingly, this has resulted in the expansion of horizons beyond the real world and the coming together in sync with the virtual experience. So, standing in the twenty first century; no one can quite confidently think of building just a plain brick and mortar business place. Everyone has started to live simultaneously on both sides of the world. Be it the information directory where you can look up for almost anything in this cosmic world or the center hub of dynamic activities that your business seeks…the internet has become an essential part of your daily life built for the people and by the people. People can not only find information but also give information and that means, everyone can now read or write informative blogs, reviews, comments and anything like products, services, trips, experiences, preferences to name a few. With the increase in the number of smartphone users, many have begun to rely upon the internet more than ever before, while deciding on their first move.

The current market scenario finds consumers to take online reviews as personal recommendations. A look at the following data of consumer behavior can explain better how internet usage has changed over the last few years for better –

4 Changes You Are Likely To Witness Over The Internet Today

 

#1- Looking Up The Internet Daily

*15% of consumers say they do not need to look up the internet to find a local business
*16% of consumers look up the internet every week to find a local business

#2 – Reading Online Reviews for Opinions

*24% of consumers never read online reviews
*27% of consumers take a business decision after reading an online review

#3 – Reliance Based On The Number of Online Reviews

*65% of consumers are satisfied after reading 2-10 reviews
*7% of consumers are determined after reading as many as 20 reviews

#4 – Factors That Determine a Local Business Decision

*52% of consumers trust a local business that has positive reviews to show
*28% of consumers make a business decision after studying factors such as price and location

Nevertheless, even after going through such elaborate list of convincing data; many of us would continue to question the integrity of online reviews.

How to Judge Online Reviews

For that sake, studying the market would tell you that 72% would read an online review before they decide to purchase. Other than this, about 58% of the consumers will likely to trust a business if they find other consumers have something positive to say about it. A close look into the data explains the importance of positive reviews for building up a business reputation both online and offline.

But the above data comes insufficient, given that good online reviews now come with a price tag attached to it. Cove, one of the high end English hotel came to the news headlines for soliciting guests with a 10% discount offer for reviews that are ‘honest but positive’. Fiverr, a help-for-hire site, had some entrepreneur seeking to offer the service of providing two great business reviews at the cost of $5.

Online reviews have become the essential pitch to market a business service now. However, while customers tend to value them more, businesses realize the potentiality that online reviews can bring to their revenue. As a result everyone tries hard to modify their brand image by generating authentic reviews. And it does not matter if they receive it from anyone with a genuine opinion, for they are willing to go to the extent of hiring someone who could do the job for them.

So, should reviews actually deserve the same place as personal recommendations?

Yes of course! They become a buyer’s best friend. Prospects can learn a lot about a product or a service from them than just going through a business website. Besides, online reviews can not only affect the consumer behavior but also the ranking position on the search engine results page. Moz survey chart shows the review signal as an important search engine ranking factor that does influence your business position on the results page.

What Makes The Review Signal an Essential Factor For Building Consumer Trust?

Review Signal an Essential Factor For Building Consumer Trust

Review Signals look into the different aspects that make a company’s online review profile. It includes

Review Quantity

How many number of reviews should a company have in minimum? BrightLocal survey suggests having a minimum of seven to ten reviews. According to TripAdvisor, consumers read at least a dozen of reviews before they decide upon something. They not just read them but even compare them before finally trusting your business. Hence, the more number of reviews you have; the better you stand a chance in the consumer’s eyes.

Review Velocity

Consider the velocity at which your reviews get posted. While too low a pace might make things slow, too fast can however knock you out.

Review Diversity

The best advice that marketeers are likely to give consumers is make a comparison of various reviews posted on multiple sites before forming an opinion about a particular business. Customers will check out your service in different places.

Quantity of Traditional Third Party Reviews

Do you have any business reviews on third party sites other than those owned by Google?

Reviews from Authorized Third Party Sites

Google authorizes certain third party sites to present quality reviews.

Velocity of Native and Third Party Reviews

You can calculate the velocity at which businesses accrue reviews on both Google and other third party authorized sites.

Volume of Review Testimonials

This refers to the volume of reviews used in the form of rich snippets.

Diversity of Reviews on Different Third Party Sites

As mentioned above, people check reviews posted on different places before making a decision. How many review posts does your business have on individual third party sites?

Relevant Keywords in Reviews

Inserting relevant keywords in reviews make them easily accessible to people who look up the internet in search of information related to a particular keyword. However, make sure you do not overdo it.

Quantity of Authorized Reviews

Reviews published from Authority Sites help to build search engine ranking. However, reviewers of sites like Yelp cannot post anything less than five.

So, there you have everything you need to know about review signals and the extent of their relevance in making a business to grow.

However, given the growing dependency on them by consumers and industries alike, one feels uncertain to talk about the extent to which one can completely rely on them. “Now we’re communicating in these virtual ways. It feels like it is much harder to pick up clues about deception…”, observed Jeffrey T. Hancock, Professor of Communication and Information Science from the University of Cornell.

Understanding the reason behind the creation of manipulated reviews

“Who the heck would bother to write a review except to complain?”, explained TripAdvisor chief Executive, Stephen Kaufer. Negative reviews will abound the web alongside positive reviews. Everyone wants to reach above average and outdo each other. Composing manipulated review can prevent a business from getting scarred for life.

But why not make good use of these negative reviews instead of trying to hide from them?

Despite the fact that online reviews can be manipulative, they are usually identified as the goldmine of valuable information about a particular company and its services. Organizations can capitalize these resources to improve the consumer experience and brand reputation. Just like positive reviews, negative reviews too have their valuable insights that can highlight the principle cause of customer dissatisfaction. Companies can make use of these data to get down to their core problems and troubleshoot in order to derive better solutions. Businesses can use negative reviews to draw a line of measure that will help initiate a change towards progress. Unfortunately, many companies fail to realize this. Instead, they try hiding without checking the value that lies within.

Besides, customer relationship management finds the key strategies for building good business reputation for both online and offline marketing. A business success comes not just by counting the number of positive reviews a business has but also understanding what makes customers unhappy.

This kind of approach might appeal to some of you or might not. However, negative reviews can also have the potentiality to harm a business ranking and its reputation. A bad review can bring a scathing 60% drop in the search engine rank of a business in certain cases. How do you tackle that?

The answer – get reviews posted on some of the best industry related consumer sites.

But posting on relevant sites will simply not do alone. Given the number of fake reviews that are now so much common online, the next question that you have got to answer – Which one can your consumers rely on the most? Reputed sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor receive over million reviews. Checking out so many business reviews can become tremendously overwhelming for people. Consumers can follow some of these quick tips when looking up multiple consumer review sites –

#1 – Studying reviewers a little bit more

A site might get plenty of reviewers who are likely to post either positive or negative reviews. But how much can you rely upon them? Check out the other review posts previously published by the same person. Be wary of first time reviewers. You can google them out or find them on social media platforms too. Certain sites require people to post a review comment from their social media profile.

#2 – Reading at least a dozen reviews help

Fake reviews seem as good as real ones. So how can you distinguish between the both? By reading out as many reviews as possible before buying a particular product or service. Most consumers tend to purchase immediately after reading as many as seven reviews. Well, the more you compare the better your purchasing decision gets. So reading a dozen reviews continues to remain one of the best guidelines for a consumer.

#3 – Watching out for similar wording reviews

A number of companies hire bloggers and writers to write reviews for them. These writers try to insert certain keyword specific word that a buyer happen to usually search for. If you come across a reviewer who tends to use the same type of words wherever he posts, then you know better what to do.

#4 – Ignoring reviews that tend to exaggerate

Some people would love a particular restaurant or a hotel and some may not. Whatever they may feel, satisfied or dissatisfied reviewers have plenty of reviews to shower. However, if a reviewer tends to exaggerate beyond, then mark his/her for he/she might be one of those paid writers hired to type down words to make consumers believe. Avoid falling for their words.

Sounds too much of work, all for the sake of digging out reviews that you can trust. Well, maybe that could be one of the reasons why many companies like Amazon, TripAdvisor, Hilton and others are trying to approach critical algorithms that would limit the spread of bogus consumer reviews and to bring better user experience to consumers. Big data is a big time advantage for businesses to gain maximum satisfaction benefit. Extraction of consumer behavior data from mediums like the online platforms and social media sites can help businesses influence consumer purchase decision. And this is what sites like Vintelli are putting to their best advantage. How?

With a unique algorithm called the Customer Satisfaction Index

Big digital marketing experts would advise you to read a dozen reviews before purchasing something. Consumers, however, tend to look for the simplest way out. They instead prefer checking out the number of star rates that each business gains online. While this is a quicker method, certain businesses tend to fall subject to abuse despite providing top class service to consumers. With the Customer Satisfaction Index algorithm, local businesses can filter out fake, biased and polarized crowd sourced reviews before presenting consumers with accurate listings and product ratings. Consumers need not waste time reading and analyzing reviews posted on various sites. They can make a systematic search and select out the best local business in town, all from one central point on the search engine.

How to Fight Fake Reviews and Build Better Brand Reputation Online

We understand the harmful side effects that negative reviews can leave on your online business reputation and that is why our previous article was all about how can fake reviews ruin your local business for real. Whether it is in favor or against a particular business service, posting fake reviews is without doubt, a bad practice.

Fight Back Fake Reviews

It can affect businesses of any size, big or small. While some businesses tend to fall victim to their own greed that leads them to hire professional writers to write good reviews in their favor, others (especially big businesses) become victims to malicious reviews for absolutely no fault of their own. It feels frustrating to listen to some of those bitterest criticisms thrown against you when you are aware that you have done nothing as such to even earn it. Some of these are written by competitors, ex-employees or even customers who tend to carry some kind of grudge against you and again there are some that are genuine. Nevertheless, the truth is, a bad review can cause a significant damage to your online business reputation in an instant.

Take a look at the MC Donald’s story

Little did the famous food chain realize that their friendly social media hashtag campaign (#mcdstories) would backfire so unexpectedly to become a horror story. Many Twitter users began using the hashtag to share their bad experiences. An example of bad publicity, the brand decided to pull out from the campaign in order to prevent it from becoming a disaster. Well, too late for that, for the damage (though to some extent) has already been done and everyone now knows how bad publicity online can harm a business reputation within the blink of an eye.

But would you have preferred had MC Donald’s done something different that day, instead of pulling out of the campaign altogether? That is where you realize that your online reputation management calls for prudent and swift action, which is very important to focus on when you have got to deal with fake reviews.

Dealing With Fake Reviews

The milk has been spilt and there is no more point in crying over it. Neither would you think about replying back to your reviewers with verbal attacks and accusations. This would create a false impression for other viewers who may come to the page to read your business reviews and become unexpected witnesses to your bad attitude. Relax! You can deal the fake reviews better than this. There are ways in which you can deal with them smartly, but before that, the number one rule is to have patience.

Patience is the ability to keep good attitude even when you are in your bad times

#1 – Identify the Fake Reviews

Don’t ignore them! For the more you do so, the more these spammers are likely to take advantage of it. Remember, if your competitor had the heart to set you on a damaging spree by posting fake reviews, then their efforts to harm you could become all the more relentless if ignored. Nip it in the bud as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on the reviews that your business is receiving on various sites and even set up Google Alerts for your company name. Start growing your brand reputation by acquiring and asking your customers for reviews that are positive and true.

#2 – Research a Review Before Declaring it Fake

Just like posting of fake reviews is a bad practice, making quick assumptions that a particular negative review is false is also not a good policy. It can happen, that someone genuine is not happy with your business service and wants you to know about it. Therefore, take some time to make a thorough research before you start declaring that a particular review is false. There are many ways by which you can identify a fake review and some of the common traits that are generally to be identified are – heavy usage of industry lingo, weak nature of the account profile from where a review is being posted and the viciousness of the tone of the review. If you are trying to identify a review over the social networking platforms such Facebook and Google+, then make a search in order to detect any trace of connection between the reviewer’s profile and that of your competitor. You can then have the review removed by contacting the respective website where it has been posted. Review sites don’t often agree to remove a negative review unless they find it going against their rules and conditions. However, if you have valid evidence to make a strong claim then you can challenge them. You can even use these real evidences to inform the Better Business Bureau or the Local Chamber of Commerce and bring the matter to their attention. In order to combat problems like this, a lot of review sites are now coming up with unique algorithms that can help businesses fix this problem by streaming out fake and biased reviews completely.

#3 – Respond to Fake Reviews

Responding to fake reviews is a smart approach. This way, you can get the chance to defend yourself and your reputation while at the same time look into the matter. You can do it yourself or register with an online directory site that has got one of those direct customer communication support from where you can manage your accounts across multiple social sites, manage your reviews, keep track of the latest updates and even respond to a particular customer with a better solution.

But responding to negative reviews out in the open calls for a constructive approach. According to some experts, the best way to deal with them is to respond to such reviews in a way that makes it clear to any third party who is reading the conversation. Treat an unhappy customer with compassion and contrition but at the same time keeping it all professional. Remember, you have got a professional image to restore. If you decide to flag a particular review and follow it up with a response, then make sure that it highlights your professionalism and customer commitment to other potential clients. Southwest Airlines is a good example you can take cue from. Their brand management in response to a particular crisis helped them to earn a number of good reviews and even helped them build up a reputation among their customers.

#4 – Build a Strong Digital Media Presence

With so many reviews that get posted every day, how do you keep a watch on all of them? Besides, it is not always easy to identify and differentiate a fake review from a genuine one. Even if you manage to respond to certain fake reviews, some of them might persist and hence damage your online reputation. Nevertheless, sometimes the best way you can tackle these fake reviews is by drowning them with the ones that are real and are positive. Try collecting as many as 10 positive reviews every week and stay consistent. Keep a track on your business profile operations across different social sites and online directories to follow important data. If you find it difficult to follow activities across multiple platforms all at the same time, then try registering with one of those online directories that provide users with an intelligent dashboard that can help you manage all your profile summaries, keep track of all your newsfeeds and even manage your activities from one place only. Building a strong digital media presence takes time, so why not start doing it as early as possible.

#5 – Stop Getting Angry and Frustrated

That is not the key to getting over fake and negative reviews. What you can do is think about ways to make your business brand more strong and engaging among your customers. You can encourage your customers to post good reviews on your behalf by indirectly indicating how much you would appreciate their feedback in case they are satisfied with your service. You can offer special discounts or vouchers as incentives to improve your customer engagement and loyalty. You can even share QR codes across the social media sites and invite people from your social media group to experience a smart business service.

Choose your options wisely

However, that does not mean you go crucifying everyone who comes up with even the slightest criticism. After all, a little bit of criticism can help to make you look at your business from a different angle, which in turn would help you out to come up with better service. But if fake reviews come to trouble you, now you know what necessary actions to take to troubleshoot them away.

Can Fake Customer Reviews Ruin Your Local Business For Real?

Online reviews are what customers refer to when they use the internet to shop around. Almost four out of five customers are likely to change their mind if they come across a negative review. To tell you the truth, they are more important for an e-commerce site to sell their products than product descriptions. Why? This is because it is where customers know they would surely find the genuine voice of other customers for real.

About 85% of people prefer looking up the internet for recommendations about a particular service before they purchase anything online. Hence, we see online reviews matter a lot for a business to grow and to build its reputation better. But then, if a positive review can help a business to motivate their clients’ purchasing decision, negative reviews too can blow a business out. That’s because 35% of the customers write a review to talk about their bad experience with a particular business service. Besides, a prominently displayed negative review is enough to make a person form a bad opinion regarding a particular business.

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How Can Fake Reviews Harm Your Business?

#1 – They can destroy brand-customer loyalty forever

When Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota killed Zimbabwe’s most beloved lion named Cecil, little did he know that the public would lash their wrath on him openly online. People online, flooded his dental practice social pages with negative comments and reviews that referred to Palmer’s killing of the lion. In fact, one of the comment summed up saying, “You kill a protected lion, we kill your shitty business :)”

The internet can make your business rank higher or can push you down the ladder. It sure did kill Palmer’s online reputation to some extent, since now everyone knows who had killed beloved Cecil even though the dentist claimed that he had been misled by his guide when out hunting.

#2 – They can put you into trouble with the law

In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission law had stated that using of a positive review without revealing that it had been compensated for, is not only deceptive but offensive enough to prosecute the user.

In 2013, Samsung was charged a hefty fine of $340,000 for astroturfing. Apparently, the company was reported to have hired a group of writers for the posting of positive reviews on their forums.

#3 – They can get you censored

We all know that Google prefers to present users with results that are authentic. Hence, this explains why authentic posts get rewarded with better ranking position on the search engine results page. Many online directories and review sites use algorithm that can filter out fake reviews easily. This could affect local businesses and many of them had infact suffered a massive review drop from 300 to 11.

Online customer review management therefore, is very important to ensure that business reputation does not get sabotaged on account of negative reviews. Of course, a negative customer can teach a business to understand why customers are not happy with their service and what they should do to solve the problem. Nevertheless, one bad or fake review can ruin your business progress and bring a lethal effect.