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Five Ways to Generate Online Reviews

With so many people finding local businesses in 2013 through smartphones and tablets, having a great collections of online reviews for your business is an absolute necessity. Many searchers won’t even bother with a business that doesn’t have several strong reviews on its site.

The question is, what’s the best ways to garner those reviews? Glad you asked. We have a few suggestions for you to consider:

Solicit reviews on your website:
Provide customers an easy way to review your business right there. You can create a page specifically intended for reviews, and that can have a simple form they can fill out. The easier you make it for the customer, the more likely you are to get a review — particularly a positive one.

Add a review request to invoices and receipts:
While putting the request on a printed form isn’t as user-friendly as other methods, because the customer will have to then go online to do the review, it’s a good complementary option. Also, if you use digital invoices or receipts, those can include a link where your customer can easily go straight to filling out a review.

Put it in an email:
If you’re not already using an email list to keep in contact with customers and advise them of deals and promotions, you should be. Again, including a simple link to your own review form or that on a popular platform (such as your Google+Local page, Yelp, Bing, etc.) makes it easy for the customer. Just be sure you’re being careful not to spam your customers with emails, which could prompt negative reviews.

Increase review participation with deals:
You can run a contest that a customer can win by simply leaving a review. This is a good way to increase participation. A coupon offer also works: Get a discount by leaving a review.
This provides an incentive for a positive review without outright asking for one, which can backfire on you. You don’t want to require that a review is positive in order to win, because this can be seen as pressuring customers or trying to buy positive feedback. Let your great service and customer service do that for you.

Simply ask directly:
When you have a customer tell you he or she loved your product or service, certainly reply that you greatly appreciate it, but what would really be great is if that person could leave a review on your site. Provide a simple, memorable URL the person can use to get it done.

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