When you run a local business, you know that online reviews are very important. From Google to Yelp, Foursquare to Better Business Bureau people are now sharing their experiences regarding everything. Times have changed and now your business can be shaped better by online customer reviews.

Research shows that many people now base their buying decisions on reviews of previous and current customers. Fortunately, some business owners only worry about combating a few negative reviews. But, the most effective way to fight negative words is to load up on positive reviews. So, in this post, we’ll share some useful tips to help you get more positive reviews for your business.

1.    Create Your Business Profiles on Review Sites

The most important step to get better online reviews is take control of your business accounts on review pages. Provide information about your business to let customers know about your business and the products or services your offer. The more updated your business profile is, the higher will be the chances of customers leaving you reviews.

2.    Ask for Reviews

It’s important to ask customers to leave you a review without being afraid. Some business owners fear to ask customers for testimonials and reviews because they feel selfish in doing so. After all, the person isn’t getting anything for leaving a review for your business.

However, asking for a review does not have to be selfish. The truth is it depends on how you ask. For example, if a customer tells you that he is happy with your services and you reply, “That’s Great! Could you please leave us a review? It would really be helpful for our business!”

This definitely sounds selfish. Instead, we recommend you say something like this: “Thank you. We’re glad you are happy with our service. We know that there a lot of other people who are struggling to find a good (fill in the blank with your service) that can actually help them. If you could leave a review about the experience you’ve had working with us, we’re sure it will help others.”

If you ask for reviews like this, you won’t sound selfish and people will be more interested in leaving you a positive review.

3.    Offer to Discuss the Matter in Private

As a local business owner, how would you handle someone giving you a feedback in the store, would you just ignore them or would you reply to their complaints? Obviously, you will never ignore someone who is complaining loudly in your office; instead, you will take them in a quiet room and listen to their complaint in private. The same can be done for negative online reviews.

When a customer leaves a negative review, you can suggest that they contact you by phone or ask them to stop by your office or store so that the issue can be discussed in person. If you do this, it will make the customer happier and he/she may decide to edit the review in your favour. Moreover, your response will also show to potential customers how much the satisfaction of your customers means to you.

If you follow these three simple steps, you can increase the number of positive online reviews for your business and improve your online reputation. If you don’t have the time to work on these steps to get more online reviews, contact us as we can get the job done for you!

Barbara-Anne is the owner of New Media Managers, a boutique digital agency in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She founded New Media Managers to help overwhelmed local business owners, like you, protect and manage your online line presence so you can get more customers, serve your existing customers, and keep the customers you already have.