We all know that small businesses rely on customer support and feedback in order to generate new leads, and promote their business. Part of that customer support includes online reviews- which can really make or break your business.
Earning a customer review might not seem like a huge deal all the time, but they carry plenty of weight among the consumer community. After all, for some, a product review or online reputation can make or break their decision to work with your business. It’s like hiring an actor to work on your movie - without some credentials and awards under their belt, you’re skeptical to hire them. But with a few nominations or wins, suddenly you’ll have so many movies - or in this case, leads - that you won’t know what to do with yourself.
Taking the time to ask customers to review your products and services is an important part of growing your business, but the real question is, which platform is best for you and your business? We’re here to debunk which online platforms are best, and how you can respond to reviewers who leave positive feedback.
The Best Online Review Platforms
While we might not think about rating online platforms, some review sites are definitely better than others. Rather than wonder which ones are best for your small, local business, we’re going to take a closer look at which platforms reign supreme - and which ones might surprise you.
In many ways, these accredited sources are like various awards in the film industry - totally shocking, and others are expected. Every review site can drum up success for your business, and help influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best review platforms.
- This one goes without saying, but Google remains the king of all search engines - so naturally, Google Reviews hold a lot of weight for your business. Once you claim your domain on Google My Business, your customers will be able to leave their reviews in seconds, which then show up on your GMB account. Since Google continues to dominate the rankings, Google reviews will definitely lead more traffic to your website and are the first thing that will pop up on local search results. Being Google guaranteed is like getting an MTV movie award nomination for your business - not surprising, but still totally necessary for an up and coming business.
- While it’s made a name for itself as a way to connect with people from your past or present, this social media platform has also made itself a fundamental part of small business success. From events to Facebook ads, this platform has truly made its way into all of our lives - and its online presence has been important when it comes to small business success. On your Facebook business page, one of the first things potential customers can view is your existing reviews - so be sure to encourage customers to rate their service on your Facebook page. Like the Grammy’s, Facebook gets a lot of publicity, but always meets the expectations that follow.
- Even though Yelp is often used for businesses in the restaurant or retail industry, Yelp still has plenty of active users that will search for various service industries, so if you want to cover all your bases, it’s never a bad idea to keep your Yelp business listing active. No one wants to walk the red carpet unprepared - so do yourself a favor and keep this one active.
- This is one of the best and most informative online platforms for homeowners, and as a small business, having an active platform on Houzz is just going to benefit you in more ways than one. Because leads will be able to view previous projects, and customer reviews, they’re going to get a better idea of real-time work you’ve done, which will help them give you a call a whole lot sooner. Houzz is a lot like the BAFTA’s - all about showcasing visual talent for homeowners, so everyone leaves dazzled and impressed. Reviews have to be approved by Houzz, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to get those up and live.
- Angie’s List
- Anyone in the home service industry knows that this is a staple. Angie’s Home Services is well known for its ability to rate, review, and view the best businesses in the home service industry. While it might not be the first site that pops up, it certainly gets the most recognition. Getting nothing but a positive review on Angie’s List is like winning the Golden Globes of reviews...it’s not quite Oscar status but it’s still pretty great.
- BBB (Better Business Bureau)
- Not everyone knows to go above and beyond in order to score the top ratings with the BBB - but this is about as legitimate as it can get. The BBB focuses on earning consumer trust by offering legitimate reviews, overviews, and even complaints from customers. Getting amazing ratings on the BBB is winning the Academy Award for your business - once you make it, you’ll always have that Oscar sitting on your shelves forever.
How to Respond to Reviewers (and ask For Reviews)
Overwhelming positive reviews always make us feel good, so take the time to answer that positive praise. Your mini acceptance speech will make customers feel like their positive review was well earned - and just takes your business to a whole new level of customer service.
It doesn’t have to be long, but a quick thank you and we hope to service you again in the future, really makes your customers feel great about their decision to work with your business.
However, if you notice you’re lacking a little bit in the review department, just take the time to create an email template asking for reviews. Include links to all of your verified pages, and send out those review invitations. The worst thing that could happen is it goes unanswered. Chances are, if they were truly satisfied with your work, they’ll be submitting those reviews pretty quickly, so you can keep earning those satisfied customer reviews.
The world of online review platforms can feel overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it’s all about creating meaningful connections with your customers in order to gain those five star reviews. If you want to step up your customer service relationships for more positive feedback, explore our free resource How to Connect with Homeowners to Grow Your Business.