When looking for a product or service, many customers choose to do a little research before buying. An estimated 92% of consumers will look for reviews before making a purchase. So what do you do to prepare for this kind of research?

The first thing you want to do is make sure your customers actually have a place to review your company. The easiest and often most popular review sites are Facebook and Google. It depends on what your product or service is where else you want to go. Depending on what your business offers, you might want to add Angie’s List, Yelp, The Better Business Bureau or HomeAdviser. The point is that you want your customers to be able to find the reviews they’re looking for.

Next, you have to get reviews. There are several ways to go about this, the number one rule is that you don’t bribe them. It doesn’t seem right that a business has 50 reviews, all of them 5 stars. Not only that, but it’s not hard for someone that had a bad experience to let everyone know that the reviews are fake. Many people trust businesses that are receiving both good and bad reviews because they’re able to see both points of view in the comments. The easiest way to get reviews is simply to ask for them. Put it on an invoice, or a receipt, ask for it on the bottom of an email confirming their purchase. Just ask.

Thanking your customers, or addressing their concerns by publicly commenting on their post will also instill trust in your company. If you’re going to comment on a negative review, make sure that your tone is right. You don’t want to argue with anyone, simply acknowledge the problem, thank them for bringing it to your attention, and if you corrected it then let them, and everyone who will read their review, know that you’ve taken care of it.

When you start building your reviews and you see your average teeter, don’t worry. Around 94% of people will still buy from a company that has a 4-star rating. Not only that, but around half of the consumers are still willing to go with a company that only has 3 stars.  Don’t be afraid of getting out there and letting customers review you, if you offer a good product or service, the good reviews should come.

-Kristin Orr, Marketing Coordinator at BizCentral USA  8/14/17

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