A common piece of advice is to not care about what other people think. When it comes to growing a small business, this is only partially true. What clients put out on the internet can have a massive influence on growth and success. Positive reviews can confirm an outsider’s decision to chose a business while a negative review can steer them away. As a small business owner, it can be frustrating to have such a large part of your internet presence out of your control. However, there are many steps you can take to ensure that reviews become an asset to your business.
1. Build Yourself Up Online
Start with a solid online presence. Claim your domain for a website, the Facebook page, and set yourself up on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. If the top searches for your business look empty, potential clients will already have doubts and make assumptions that your business is just getting started. A robust online presence signals that you are established and professional.
2. Remind Happy Clients to Review
Sometimes clients need a little nudge to write a review. There is nothing wrong with incentivizing them to share their experiences! Just be sure that you are not specifically demanding a positive review, which could lead to inauthentic content. Two easy incentives to have are a giveaway or providing small swag items to anyone who posts.
3. Be Authentic
Do not buy fake reviews! People can tell when a line seems inauthentic, and it will break trust with them. Also, do not try to bury bad reviews. Instead, respond to each one with a thoughtful comment, acknowledging that you have received their feedback and offering a way to remedy the situation. No business has endless five-star reviews- it makes you human! Plus, a proper response will show others more about your customer service than what is allegedly wrong about your business.
4. Engage With Reviews
Just as you respond to negative reviews, always respond to positive ones! Commenting on these reviews can help you retain clients, who will feel appreciated that you noticed they took the time to help you out. Great responses include referencing a detail about their experience, shouting out another employee who worked with them, and confirming that you would love to work with or meet the reviewer again.
No matter the tone of a review, simply having them will help boost your presence on Google and other search engines. Resist the urge to delete reviews and instead see any ones that you deem “off” or negative as opportunities to show growth and win a client back. Potential clients would rather see that you have a ton of reviews with some negative ones instead of no reviews at all, which can hurt your business’s growth.
Positive reviews are so valuable for small businesses. At AdvantEdge Workspaces, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of happy clients sharing their experiences online. When you leave a review, you help a small business grow, and positive feedback can mean more than you could ever know to a small team, especially in these times. This week, we challenge you to leave a review for another small business for every new one that you receive. When we help each other out, we can all grow together!