A lot of consumers today look to online reviews to check whether or not a particular business is worth a try. Naturally, people would click on businesses with rave reviews or high ratings, hence the importance of getting positive feedback from previous customers. Even more important is the fact that getting negative reviews can drive away a lot of potential leads.

So how do you make sure you get nothing but praises and compliments from your customers? Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Make your customers happy

Obviously, if your product is great then getting good reviews won’t be a problem. It all starts with customer satisfaction.

But the thing is not all happy customers are keen to give a review for your business, so you might have to ask them about their experience. A short satisfaction survey or a short email asking them for feedback would do the trick. But make sure to ask them the reason why they were happy or dissatisfied with your business. This way, you can pinpoint problem areas and opportunities for improvement.

Encourage customers to leave a review

As mentioned earlier, not all customers are inclined to give feedback about your business, even if they received top-notch service. As such, you may have to make the first move to get them to submit a review online. If you don’t like a straightforward approach like asking them for a review, here are some alternatives you can try:

  • Put links to review sites in your email. Most customers have something to say about a business, but sometimes it just way too much hassle for them to find your profile on a separate website. Send an email following a recent purchase or transaction, asking them if they are happy with their item or your service, and then add the links to the review sites where they can describe their experience.
  • Add the links to your website as well. In your Contact Us page or all of your pages, you could add links to two or more review sites and put in a catchy headline such as “Find out what our customers say about us” or “Check us out on these review sites”.
  • Include information of your preferred review site in promotional materials. For instance, if you are a travel agency, you can put the URL to your TripAdvisor profile in your business card or brochure.

Handle complaints professionally

No business is perfect. No matter how great your product or service, there will always be people you can’t please. The bad news is those people are often the ones who post bad reviews that can be bad for business.

Don’t let this dampen your spirits. It is not only unnatural for a company to have all good reviews, but it is suspicious as well.

But don’t leave negative comments unattended or unanswered. Look at them as an opportunity to show how much you care about your customer’s satisfaction. Offer to replace a bad product or a discount to compensate for a late delivery. Or, ask them how you can help solve their problems – and don’t forget to say your apologies. Chances are big that the customer will give you credit for good customer service, even if they were initially unhappy with your product.

Finally, be sure to get reviews in a natural progression over time. You would want people to be talking about you perpetually so you’d stay on top of their minds. Just be sure to provide a good reason for them to post a review. Make it a part of your customer management process.