Outside of the food and hospitality industry, it can be a real struggle for businesses to glean reviews from customers.

Consumers don’t typically feel the need to shout from the rooftops about the businesses they interact with, unless something goes drastically wrong along the way.

Hold things back from the customer, or make them feel unwelcome and things could turn volatile, and you’ll hear about it.

However, this presents a genuine problem, as there are many organisations carrying out outstanding work with great word of mouth reputations, but have more negative reviews than positive online.

For business owners, this disparity between offline and online is disheartening and frustrating.

So, what does a business owner have to do to get consumers to bite the bullet and provide illusive commentary?

Your best bet is to tip the balance back in your favour by reaching out to customers in order to turn them into online advocates.

There’s no better way to ask for, and get, reviews than to do it in person. A personable approach is incredibly effective, particularly if the requester has spent a lot of time with the customer.

You may be wondering: “Is it okay to ask for reviews? We’ve had conflicting advice on this in the past.”

For Google, the answer is a resounding “YES!

Yelp, however, has issued conflicting statements in the past on whether or not you’re allowed to ask customers for reviews.

For other review sites, you’ll need to check their individual terms of service and guidelines.

If you’re thinking about asking customers for reviews, try to figure out the touch points and who builds the deepest relationship with the customer. That is likely the person who should be asking for reviews.

The simple act of taking the plunge and asking for reviews will start to place the power back into your hands. Many business owners just throw in the towel and assume there is nothing they can do. But this isn’t the case, it’s actually quite the opposite.

Asking for reviews doesn’t require special tools or technology, just a commitment to see it through. Using this strategy, you can encourage your consumers to speak openly about their experiences.

We are Connect – the original web development agency. We have been providing best-in-class web, data and development services to public and private sector clients since 1994.

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