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Five Ways To Grow Reviews By Passively Encouraging Customer Feedback

grow reviews

If there’s one question we’re routinely asked by business owners, it’s how can their business grow reviews.

And one way that a business can do this: They can celebrate their reviews, which shows customers that they care about feedback and helps spread the word about their great business even further.

“Success begets success,” said Joe Raetzer, owner of Steepologie, a tea shop in Seattle, WA and Honolulu, HI, which has found success growing reviews by engaging with both positive feedback and criticism. “And when people read our reviews they tend to become more active and vocal.”

This is especially key given the fact that reviews are more important than ever when it comes to getting customers through the door. Nearly 75 percent of consumers searching online for a local business turn to consumer online review sites and 92 percent of those consumers say they usually make a purchase after visiting Yelp (most of the time within the same week),

We’ve also found that reviews are more useful when they come from an organic place, from someone being motivated on their own to write a review instead of a business owner directly asking for a review (which is against Yelp’s policy). And to that end, Yelp’s recommendation software is designed to highlight the most useful and reliable reviews from trustworthy users.

Think of it as dropping breadcrumbs to your Yelp review page, and we have some tips for how you can grow reviews by celebrating your great reviews.

Five ways to grow reviews by celebrating them

1. Create signage that allows you to post great reviews as they happen.

Hot Chicken Takeover in Columbus, OH, features their great reviews on a giant blackboard in the restaurant.

grow reviews

2. Commemorate good reviews in a more permanent way.

You can do this by showcasing great reviews on staff t-shirts, coasters, napkins, plaques, business cards, window clings, etc. These can help serve as a lasting reminder of what customers have had to say about your business.

3. Share review quotes and Yelp photos on your business’ social media.

“The Cafe will share positive reviews online, which also helps us get more reviews because people enjoy being recognized for their kind words,” said Lauren Hendricks, of A+H Marketing, which represents The Cafe in Louisville, KY. “And we enjoy sharing them!”

grow reviews

4. Include your reviews on your website, blog and in customer newsletters.

“It reminds customers not only how important reviews are to all businesses (especially small businesses) while reinforcing that we’re active on platforms like Yelp,” Raetzer, of Steepologie, said. “Also, customers who love us tend to write with a passion that is hard to imitate without sounding canned.”

Business owners can also embed Yelp reviews into their website. Check out how Steepologie in Honolulu, HI highlighted its first review.

grow reviews

5. Bake feedback into your customer onboarding. 

Think of reviews throughout your interaction with a customer, such as by asking customers how they heard about your business. If it was through reviews, tell them how important feedback is to you and your business (without expressly asking for a review, of course).

Other ways to organically grow reviews

1. Prioritize making your Yelp presence standout. This starts with making sure your page is claimed and updated. And beyond this, make updates to your Yelp page a regular part of your weekly workflow by regularly uploading photos, and responding to messages and reviews — all of which business owners can do for free.

2. Set up a check-in offer, which pops up when someone checks in to your business on Yelp. This offer can be a percentage off a purchase, a free item or a set price for a good or service. And the next time that person logs on to Yelp, it will ask if they want to write a review of the business they checked in to — so Yelp asks for the review for you. Check-in offers are also free to create for business owners!

3. Focus on service. Customer service is the biggest factor mentioned in both 5-star and 1-star reviews and is a large motivator when it comes to why people write reviews. If a Yelper mentions good customer service in a review, they are more than 5 times as likely to give a 5-star review rather than only 1 star. Similarly, nearly 70 percent of “bad” customer service experiences are given 1 star.

Business owners, get started by claiming your business’ page on Yelp for free.