Online reviews are now very important for many businesses. They demonstrate to potential customers the real views of previous customers, making them a source of trusted information for people who are trying to decide whether to buy a product or service, and they can be an excellent source of publicity if they are positive.

However, negative reviews can have the opposite effect, especially if they outnumber the positives. Many businesses worry about online reviews, assuming that the reviews are completely out of their hands. However, there are a few legitimate ways for companies to help themselves get better reviews.

1. Ask for Reviews

One way to help yourself get better reviews is to make it clear on your website or in an email that you appreciate receiving them. Many customers may be happy with your products or service, but they may not realise that you appreciate receiving reviews.

Inform your customers that honest reviews help you to improve your business, then suggest a few places where customers can leave reviews if they want to and make sure that they know you are listening and that you always read reviews to help you to make improvements.

Try to make it easy for customers to leave reviews, perhaps by providing a button where they can provide feedback and the option of visiting a review site. People sometimes just need a bit of prompting, and in this way you can help to generate more reviews from happy customers over time.

2. Find & Use Your Brand Ambassadors

If you use social media networks like Twitter, use these to seek out the people who talk positively about your brand, and then reach out to them. These people can become your brand ambassadors, and if they have an influential voice on the social platform, they could help to spread the word about your company.

Even if they are very positive about your brand, they may not be leaving reviews. However, they may be happy to do so if you suggest that it would be appreciated. Help them out by providing them with a link to a good review site, and you may find you can get more positive online reviews this way.

3. Use Negative Reviews to Make Changes

If many customers highlight the same problem in a negative review, make sure you don’t ignore this and instead take action. You may find that there is a simple problem affecting your customers that you can change, and this can help to prevent more negative reviews in the future.

4. Turn Negative Reviews into Positive

A customer may leave a negative review but may be able to edit it later. In this case, reach out to them after they have left their negative review if possible, and try to resolve the problem. If you sort out the problem and they change their review, this could be even more effective than a positive review. Other people will see that you listen to your customers and are willing to go out of your way to help them, and this can give them more confidence to do business with you.

Start Getting More Reviews for Your Business

Try to get as many reviews as possible, and if the majority are positive, even if you get a few negatives this will be more valuable than only getting a handful of positive reviews. Make getting more reviews part of your marketing programme, and try to focus on the above techniques to get more positive reviews over time.

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