Five Tips to Building Positive Reviews

Solutions ahead and business answers concept with a green
Five Tips on How to Get Great Reviews.

Here’s what I do to help clients get positive reviews about their business. By rallying customers quickly when you do get a particularly damaging review, you can mitigate the damage fast.

1. Embrace Yelp. If you are a local serving business, grab your Yelp Business page. Then put the link to review you in your email signature, point customers to your Yelp page for a review in your blog and e-newsletter.

2. Ask for Reviews. When you finish a project or provide a service, get in the habit of asking for feedback. You can use an online form hosted back at your website what asks questions and provides a way to customers to rank you anonymously and let you know about the experience of working with you. Then email the client a link to the form and ask for a review and comments you can use on your website. I like to use a five star rating system for my own forms. I ask five questions and provide several radio button choices for the client to assign a rating.

3. Use Rich Snippets. Get your webmaster to code the reviews you receive in step 2 with Google’s Rich Snippet code for reviews. Google will show rated reviews that are posted on your own website with your own star rating in the index if it is coded properly.

4.  Ask and Get Buy-In. Don’t be afraid of reviews, embrace them. Be open to changing what you do when you get negative feedback and make your negative reviews turn into positive ones with concern about improving your user experience. I had one client give feedback that he did not like how I required him to fax his signature to the agreement as he did not have a fax machine. Based on his feedback I moved to a digital signing app and even asked his advice on the use. He was happy to try it out and give additional feedback. I learned that customers want options that match their own technology skill sets.

5. Give Options. Choose more than one path to give you a review. Some clients do not want to set up an account at Yelp to leave a review, or do not know what a Google Account is and why they have to set one up to review you at Google+. But everyone can complete an online form that resides on your website if you email a link. Give options to allow those who do want to say something nice about you and your services and make it easy for them to do so.

If you need help getting reviews or need help figuring out how to resolve bad reviews or build great reviews, make sure to check out our Brand Booster program.

5 Tips on How to Write a Response to a Bad Review

Does a negative review have you feeling like sharks are circling?
Got a bad review? Feel like sharks are circling?

I’ve had two customers in the last two weeks have near heart attacks over negative reviews that they have found online about their business. In both cases the business owners wrote angry responses and then asked me for help.

Here are five tips on how to write a good response to a bad review:

1. Never write your response when you are angry or shocked. You will never be able to be diplomatic. Instead, take time to cool down. Bad reviews happen to nearly every business at some point in time. There are “trolls” out there who take delight in tearing apart what you do. Not all reviews will demand a response. But each situation should be looked at carefully.

2. Check with people you trust to see if they feel that the review has any merit and if it will need a response. I have found that sometimes hidden in a bad review is a real truth that you can embrace and use to actually improve your business, services, and level of customer service. Be open to seeing if the review may have some validity and take action to correct what you see is wrong. If you feel you do need to write a response, think carefully, take your time writing, and before you post it, run it by people you trust to make sure the tone is not aggressive.

3. Take a deep breath. One bad review will not break your business, but it may be a wakeup call that you need to get proactive in working hard to get positive reviews for your business. Make getting reviews simply a part of good customer service and follow-up.

4. If you do write a review I recommend starting it off by thanking the person who brought the problem or issue to your attention. Never get personal or in-you-face with the reviewer. Do not accuse them or devalue their point of view about your business or service. Never call them a liar or difficult.

5. In you response, ask the person who had poorly reviewed you if you can fix the problem. Is a credit merited, free service to be offered, an apology to be made? Be diplomatic and do not agree that you have done wrong (unless you have) but accept the review as constructive criticism and spin your response as valuing their comments.

At McCord Web Services, as professional writers, we can help to craft your negative review response. You may also want to see if our Brand Booster program may be a good fit to help remediate an online reputation problem.

Online reviews are important and I do not want this blog post to be construed as saying do nothing when you get a bad review. But think carefully about the issue, write a heartfelt thoughtful response, and learn from the situation while moving forward.