Reviews reviews reviews. If you do any research on getting reviews for your business, you will quickly find out how important they can be to build the reputation of your business and get new customers. The question then becomes, how do I effectively and efficiently get online reviews for my business?

Where to Begin

Let’s start with the obvious. Make your customers happy! You can’t generate authentic, positive reviews if you’re not making your customers happy. So first and foremost you need to be giving your customers a positive experience with your business. You also need to decide through which channel you want your customers to review your business. For most businesses, I would recommend Google and Facebook (or even a combination of both). For the products or services you offer, where are potential customers most likely to find reviews about you?

Getting Reviews

Okay, so how do you start getting online reviews? You probably already know the answer. You need to ask for them. Some people will review your business with no prompting, but you shouldn’t count on that. Proactively asking for reviews is the best way to start building up, or repairing, your online reputation. This is especially true for new or small to medium-sized businesses. You can have a lot more control over reviews for your business if you simply take it. It doesn’t need to be difficult or overly complicated. There are reputation management solutions out there that help with generating reviews, but you can start by simply making it a routine part of your interaction with customers. Ask for the review after you have delivered a positive experience. Ask them to write a review after you completed your service, or follow up after they’ve had a chance to use your product. The sooner the better. Most everyone has a Google and Facebook account and can access them from their phone. Asking for a review in-person is always best but if you don’t have that option or opportunity, you can follow up with a phone call and an email with direct links to review your business on Google and Facebook.

Get Started

You can proactively build your online reputation with reviews and even boost your credibility with Google. Build the habit of asking for reviews and train your staff to do the same.   Start easy. Maybe you or your staff have friends and family that have used your product or service, and they can write a review for you. Maybe you have a customer that continually refers their friends to you; that’s another great source to get a good review. You just need to ask.   There’s a lot that goes into making a business successful, but building up your reputation and credibility online can go a long way in helping your business succeed.