Reviews are one of the best ways to grow your business and promote it in a positive light online. Negative reviews or comments are sadly inevitable with any business, according to _, but that does not mean you have to accept only those! Too much negative feedback can kill a business before it even gets off the ground. That’s why today we’re going to focus on how you can attract only the positive ones. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

First, Avoid Doing ANY of These Things

While we are going to focus on what to do in the rest of this article, it helps to also know what not to do if you feel at all desperate for new reviews. That way, you can really figure out if you have or are continuing to do something wrong and then improve from there. With this in mind, here’s what you ought to not do:

  • Never, ever leave fake reviews. Google and people are both smart enough to the point where they can better understand a fake review vs. a genuine one—especially if the reviews lead back to your IP address, or they were posted all at once (we’re talking in the exact same day, two or three in a row). These are the bigger telltale signs a review is fake.
  • Never pay a third party to post good reviews for you. That money could be going to update your website instead! Plus, many third party companies who are willing to do this don’t know how to spell check or leave a review that reads like a real person wrote it…and, wouldn’t you know it, their reviews are the same as spam.
  • Don’t incentivize reviews,e. don’t give people a reward for posting them. Believe it or not, Google actually has guidelines advising strongly against this practice, as do many other social media platforms and review websites such as Yelp!. It can skew the kinds of reviews you can get and in fact create further distrust between you and customers, as well as cause the online platform where you incentivised the review to actually delete the reviews afterwards.
  • Don’t ever slam your competitors. Ever! As jealous as we may end up being that they’re doing so well, the last thing you should ever do is totally slam them online…such as with a negative, anonymous review, because they can and will be tracked back to you. That will not only make your competitors look all the better as the victim, but also it will make you look terrible, sneaky, and deceitful—and online trust is a very, very hard thing to come by these days. If you really hate your competition that much, leave your emotions at the door and vent to your therapist or a close friend or family member. Just not online or in public where the world can see you’re petty.

 Now that we know better about what not to do, here are some tips on what you can do.

Add your business to review sites

How else are people going to leave reviews at all if you’re not present online? That’s why the first thing you need to do in order to get new and good reviews—or any reviews at all—is by listing your business on review sites. The three biggies are Google, Facebook, and Yelp!, followed by LinkedIn, Angie’s List, and _. Depending on the type of business you run there is also Better Business Bureau, Trip Advisor, Homestars, and Amazon.

Make sure your business listing is correct and the information consistent across any and all reviews sites you establish your profile on. Consistency, believe it or not, is actually a good step forward to being seen as trustworthy, and it’s a great way to build up your local SEO (something you can read more about here). For more info on why consistent listings matter, feel free to check out our other blog post on the subject.

Deliver great customer service. Period.

This is the number one way to get anyone to give good reviews of your business, let alone reviews period. You, your staff, and your newest employees all need to be well-versed in the art of treating customers right, because if not, expect to see some really lousy reviews appear immediately.

Great customer service comes in different forms, not just plastering a smile on your face when someone arrives at the front desk. Delivering great customer service means you need to:

  • Keep your promises. Never claim that you can do something when you can’t.
  • Be an authority. If you know a ton about your industry, then trust from people will come naturally.
  • Be reachable. We’re not just talking about one on one conversations, but also online.
  • Be responsive. Again, not just in person, but online, which is a really crucial thing to be these days.
  • A sense of humour helps. Just make sure it’s a friendly kind!

Promote on social media

We’re not only talking about responding to everyone’s comments (more on that later), but also we’re talking about really promoting your business without getting too up in everyone’s faces about it. You can promote your encouragement of new reviews by simply saying so in a post or a tweet (depending on where you’re posting), or even design an image to go with your post—something cute or funny to show you want them, but aren’t getting too greedy about it.

Just ask them!

The one problem with a happy customer is they may not think to leave a good review even after the fact. Sometimes you have to give them a little push in the right direction to see results by doing the obvious: asking for reviews!

For example, every time a transaction or service at your business has been completed, your front office staff could include a call to action at the bottom asking how the service was and if they can leave a review on Google, your Facebook page, or on Yelp!. Most often than not some people will say “Sure!”. Many are often likely to forget when they get back to their car or return home, but sometimes it helps to remind people every once in a while.

Have a great website!

Yes, we’re serious! Having a great website may not change everyone’s mind, but if you want to be viewed as a trustworthy and reliable business online, you’re going to have to step up and present customers with a great website. You should especially do so if your competitors have a faster website than yours—a simple check at their website should be able to tell you that much.

Don’t worry—while the one bad review may slip through and threaten your customers’ sense of trust, if you always act professional, courteous, kind, understanding, and sincere towards your customers’ poor feedback, it’ll be easy for customers to tell that you’re worth their loyalty.

If a great website is something you need, then give us a call at V3 Media. If you need some further assistance about how to build your online presence, or what your new website needs in terms of trustworthiness, then feel free to consult with us one on one. You make the call, we’ll meet you the rest of the way by traveling to you if need be!