Utilising and managing reviews for small business

Customer reviews play a vital part in any small business marketing activity. The word of genuine customers can help convince potential patrons whether or not to part with their hard-earned money, or whether to go elsewhere for a better deal. As such, being able to offer a great level of customer service, and then have others extol the virtues of such service, is a magnificent tool to have in your marketing armoury.

For small businesses, however, obtaining customer reviews may not always be simple and straightforward. After all, you’re likely to be limited on time and resources, so finding both to invest in conducting customer testimonials is far from simple. Plus, knowing how to request a testimonial may fill you with dread – what could be worse than worrying about being refused on the basis of poor performance?

To help you prepare for asking for a customer review, we’ve provided five tips on how to secure feedback:

  1. Follow-up email

Businesses operating online have it easy. Once a purchase has been completed, you can simply automate a follow-up email that asks the customer to complete a quick survey or questionnaire. There is little to no contact required, and all the hard work is completed once your automated email has been created.

  1. Social reviews

Like follow-up emails, requesting that customers post a positive review on social media sites requires minimal effort. What’s more, search engines are becoming more sophisticated in how they rank websites, utilising the reviews companies have received on such networks as Facebook and Google+ as part of their calculation.

  1. Industry specific websites

Networks specialising in your market sector represent the perfect domain on which to request a review. Modern tradesmen, for example, often obtain customers via such portals a Check A Trade and My Builder, so investigate which networks specialise in your industry and offer a review system.

  1. Add links to invoices/receipts

Once a transaction has taken place and a service/product provided, the purchaser will often be issued with a receipt or an invoice for the work undertaken. The simple addition of a link to a review section on your website can be added to the receipt, giving customers the option of leaving their feedback for others to view.

  1. Phone calls and SMS

It might seem old fashioned to pick up the phone and speak to a customer, but the personal touch of holding a conversation means a lot to certain people. Follow up a purchase with a phone call and simply ask whether they’d be willing to supply a review. Alternatively, why not send a text message (should you have the mobile phone details)? Both means are simply but effective and, as the old adage goes, you don’t know without asking.

Once you’ve taken the steps to securing a testimonial, you next have the decision of how to use them. When it comes to positive reviews, the options are plentiful:

  • Add to your website homepage
  • Add to product pages
  • Add to conversion pages to secure a sale
  • Share on your social media accounts
  • Use in email marketing campaigns

These are just a handful of ideas of how you can utilise what others say about your company in a positive manner. The real challenge, however, comes from dealing with negative reviews.

Negative reviews

Dealing with negative customer reviews requires careful management, but should never be overlooked. People value the transparency of a company, so being open and honest and publishing those reviews that are fair in their criticism should not have a detrimental affect on your business. In fact, were your reviews 100% positive, potential customers may be wary that you’re manipulating the review system. Instead, try to feature an array of reviews, positive and negative.

What’s more, you should look to act positively to any criticism; don’t take personal offence, but instead offer an honest and open response, and try to reach a resolution that pleases both parties. Potential customers will see such action as positive and highlights how you go the extra mile to offer exceptional customer service.

Contact Whitefish Marketing in Kent, for advice on business growth

For more details on how to best utilise customer reviews for your business, contact Whitefish Marketing today, an SEO agency in Folkestone, Kent. Our experienced marketing team will be able to offer tips and advice on how best to obtain and promote those testimonials you receive.


About Charli Carlton

Charli is head of content at Minerva Copywriting. When not producing great copy, she can usually be found daydreaming about exotic holiday destinations or in the pub with her mates.