Online reviews have several benefits. Not only can “Google My Business” reviews impact your search engine optimisation efforts but there’s nothing quite like a glowing review on an impartial platform to tip your prospect over the edge and turn that “thinking about it” into a yes!

One of the best ways to build up a reputation for your business is to look towards reviews. People will always trust testimonials and reviews because they’re official, they’re written by real people (most of the time) and they’ll know what to expect from you after reading those reviews.

Most business owners are already doing the hard part by building their reputation, delivering quality products and services along with great customer service but it’s important that your digital presence reflects all the hard work you and your team put in.

With this in mind here are a few tips to help boost your online reputation.

Give them somewhere to review you

If you want reviews, then you’re going to need to be on a platform that allows it. This sounds like an obvious one but it’s amazing how often business don’t have anywhere to leave a review. In most cases, a business will have pages on Google and Facebook that outline the business, where it is, how to find it, what they sell and so on. These platforms both allow your customers to leave a rating out of 5 and write a review.

Ask for reviews

Perhaps another obvious one but again it’s often overlooked. Once you have the facility in place to leave a review it’s time to start asking your previous and existing clients for reviews. Mentioning over the phone or face to face is a great way to bring the subject up, email is another good way to ask for reviews as you can send them a link to your review page however we find SMS messaging our most fruitful method.

Follow up

Don’t be scared to ask more than once. Certainly we wouldn’t encourage you to harass a client for a testimonial if you feel they don’t want to leave one but more often than not they have just forgotten or not had time so in this case, a gentle reminder is appropriate.

Make it easy

Asking clients to search for you on Facebook or Google to leave a review makes it harder for them and therefore less likely for them to do as you ask. Take the time to copy the link and send it to them. The easier you make it for your client to leave a review the more likely they are to leave one. A “leave a review” button on your website or email footer could also help increase your reviews.

Interact with your reviewers

Don’t just leave your reviewers in the dust. Make sure you respond to them, thanking them for their review and responding to any questions or concerns they may have. You’ll generally want to respond to every review, especially the negative ones, but make sure you don’t speak in a rude tone even if the customer left a poor review. You always want to remain professional no matter the circumstances. Responding shows that you care about your audience and everyone that looks at your reviews will see that you have responded. This is a great way to build up a solid reputation.

Timing

Ideally, you want to ask your client for a review when their interest is at it’s peak. This is usually straight after they have completed the transaction or are several months into a relationship if they are a recurring client. That said, don’t be scared to ask clients that have used your services in the past. If they are happy with the product or service, they will often be happy to help you by leaving a review.

Offer an incentive

Incentives aren’t always necessary to encourage your clients to leave a review but they can sometimes help. All reviewers can entered into a prize-draw to win an Amazon voucher (or similar) works well. Offering every reviewer a discount on future purchase can be a great way to encourage repeat business as well as a review.

If you have a top tip for encouraging client reviews please leave it in the comments below. We’d love to hear it!