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How to get more online reviews (and get on top!)

Customer reviews have become a vital component of retail marketing and are becoming more important every day. They increase trust and confidence in your business and, more importantly, attract new customers.

Many businesses don’t realise that Google search and customer reviews go hand-in-hand by giving your local SEO a boost; they improve your search ranking and deliver a lot of bang for your buck.

And who doesn’t need more customers these days, right?

Unfortunately, despite the amazing and proven benefit of gaining new customers, most retailers don’t maximise customer reviews to enhance their online reputation.

Not only do they offer actionable insights into ways of improving your operations, online reviews can encourage new customers to visit you website and store. However, even if you recognise their value it might seem difficult to get the ball rolling.

So, how can you convince or help your customers to offer solid review, so that you can get on top of your competitors?

GOOD NEWS - The answer to improving your online reputation is much easier than you think – especially if you follow the five quick steps to help you get more reviews outlined below.

  Step #1: Incentivise Your Employees

It’s human nature for your employees to resist change. This is especially true when that change forces them out of their comfort zone.

Asking customers to leave a review might even make some of your employees uncomfortable, so what can you do to grease the wheels and motivate them to send review invitations?

It’s no secret that money is a huge motivator. If you have the budget available, you should set some aside for spiffs or bonuses for employees who buy into the program. At Podium, we suggest that you base your incentive on some or all of the following activities.

  • Review invitations sent
  • Recommendations received
  • Number of reviews mentioning the employee
  Step #2: Send the Invitation at the Right Time

The timing of the online review invitation is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not your customer leaves an online review. There isn’t a right time that is going to work for every business, but we recommend looking for an opportunity to send the invitation before they leave your premises.

For example, if you’re a car dealership, a good time might be when the sale is finished and the customer is waiting for finance. If you’re a dental or medical practice, the optimal time might be right after the doctor visits the patient.

Simply put, your customer is more likely to respond to your invitation if the experience is still top of mind.

  Step #3: Lay the Proper Foundation With Customers

Businesses that have the most successful online review programs have built the "ask" into multiple steps of the sales process. If necessary, provide your employees with scripts of ways they can ask your customers to leave a review. When asking the customer, your employees should let them know:

  • When they will receive the invite
  • How they will receive it (text, email, etc.)
  • Why it’s important for them to respond

For example, when the time is right your employee could say, “Thank you so much for your business. Customer feedback is very important to us. Would it be alright if I sent you a text message right now with a link that makes it easy to leave a review? We would really appreciate it.”

Operationalising the ask will make it part of your employees’ daily routine, and over time asking customers for reviews will become second nature.

  Step #4: Target the Right Review Sites

Not all review sites are created equal. Sites that are appropriate for retail jewellery stores might not work for restaurants. That’s why it’s important to conduct research and find the right review sites for your business.

Google and Facebook are a safe bet for most businesses because they are the most popular and a vast majority of your customers will already have accounts there.

You should also seek out industry-specific sites that your customers will find valuable. Having a balanced portfolio across a number of review sites will give your business more credibility with searchers as well as with search engines.

For a comprehensive listing of sites, check out this list of the top 25 listing sites.

  Step #5: Use an Online Review Management Tool

If you’re keeping track of your online reputation using a spreadsheet, you’re doing it wrong.

Review management software will streamline the management of your online reputation and help you improve the quality of your online presence.

In the past, your customers may have been hesitant to leave a review because the process was long and arduous. A good online review management platform will create a frictionless process that makes easy for both your employees to send invitations and for customers to leave reviews.

Collect 100’s of Reviews with Podium »

Podium not only helps you know when new reviews go live, it helps you generate more reviews to get found, get chosen, and get insight.

With Podium, we believe customers are your best form of marketing and reviews are the best medium.

See why over 35,000 businesses trust Podium to:

  • Build a reputation on the review sites that matter most to you
  • Improve local SEO to more easily get found
  • Gain insights to improve business operations
  • Manage, report on, and track all of your reviews




Part I: How to make the most of your Facebook Business Page
Part II: Why jewellers need Business Text Messaging
Part III: How to get more reviews (and get on top!)


Learn more »


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