Have you ever been in the mood for a certain type of food and hopped on Yelp to look for a new restaurant to try?
If so, then you know that online ratings and reviews from customers are key to driving new customers to your business and growing your sales. The more reviews you have, the more trustworthy your business will appear to be.
But too many small business owners aren’t doing all they can to encourage online reviews and get customers to post them. As a result, they have few or no reviews and get passed over in favor of businesses with more feedback.
How can you encourage customers to leave reviews?
Encourage is the key word here, because actively soliciting or requesting reviews is frowned on by review sites and providing incentives such as discounts or freebies in exchange for reviews can get you in trouble. Try these steps below instead
How to Encourage Online Reviews
Give Them a Sign
Posting signage in your store, restaurant or office is a simple and subtle way to remind customers that your business is on review sites and that you’d love a review.
For example, Yelp has downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banners  you can print out as signage for your store window or point-of-sale counter.
Provide Postsale Reminders
Your store receipts or restaurant checks could say, “Like us? Review us on [list the review sites where you have a presence].”
An eCommerce company can send follow-up emails after the sale to make sure the customer was satisfied and include a reminder that your business is on review sites to further encourage online reviews.
Spread the Word
Put icons for the review sites where you have a presence in your print marketing materials, on your website (you can use the downloadable Yelp banners there), in your email signature and anywhere else you can think of.
Make it Easy
Everyone’s more inclined to write a review if it’s not a big hassle. So if your site says, “Like us? Review us on Yelp,” make sure there’s a clickable link so they can do so in a minute.
Whatever you do to encourage online reviews, there’s one big “don’t.” Don’t fake them or have friends and family write them because you’re worried you don’t have enough. Use the tips above to grow your online review status organically.
This article, provided by Nextiva, is republished through a content distribution agreement. The original can be found here .
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