By Susan Solovic

How many of you remember one of the original TV talent shows, “Star Search”?

Almost daily I find myself going on a different kind of star search. I’m always looking for the average number of stars a product or app has received from users. One of the best attributes of the Internet is its ability to provide opinions on products and services before you buy. And that means it’s crucial for you to offer reviews.

Here’s a list of techniques and strategies that work. Find the ones that are the best fit for your business:

  1. Pick your poison. Decide where it’s best to build your library of reviews. Options include building them into your own site, Yelp, Google+, Amazon associates, eBay, Angie’s List, niche sites, and many more.
  2. Bloggers. If you’re doing something that is subject matter for bloggers, contact some and see if they will review your work, product or service.
  3. Contact your regulars. You have nearly personal relationships with your best customers; ask them for reviews.
  4. Post reviews on your site’s home page. Reviews inspire reviews. Your customers will want to add their “own two cents” when they see what others are saying.
  5. Ask for reviews immediately. If you’re a brick-and-mortar operation, ask your customers for reviews when they are finishing their transactions. Make it easy for them. Have the URL of the review page on receipts and signage. Also see number seven below.
  6. Give incentives. Restaurants are offering various freebies if customers complete a survey. Give a coupon when customers offer their opinions.
  7. Have a tablet or PC handy. Set up a review kiosk in your business. By the way, the kiosk doesn’t need to be exclusively for reviews; it could also offer “how to” videos or other services that would be useful to customers.
  8. Always link to your review pages. Put a link to your reviews on all your correspondence and publications – newsletter, emails, coupons, white papers, videos, and more.
  9. Go video. Post video reviews on YouTube. Keep a small video camera handy and ask customers if they would say a sentence or two about your business.
  10. Air your dirty laundry. Own up to bad reviews. Keep them posted. Respond to them. People want authentic reviews. If every review is positive, some prospective customers will doubt that they are legitimate.
  11. Leverage social media. Facebook offers a review tab for local businesses. Google+ has review functionality built in. Ask your fans to write reviews through your social media posts and provide the link for them to go to the correct page.
  12. Dig deep for endorsements. If you get complimentary emails from your customers, excerpt them and post the comments as endorsements on your website.

Take some of these tips, and when your prospects go on a “star search” your business will really shine.

Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.