Online reviews are very important to your business. Here are a couple of statistics that you should know:

  • If you have more than 100 positive reviews it speaks trust
  • 82% of consumers read reviews before purchasing or selecting a service such as dentistry, optometry, HVAC, etc.
  • More than 90% of people say they are more likely to work with a company with positive reviews
  • A 5-star review will get you 25% more clicks than a 3-star

You need 5-star reviews. That is the bottom line. Many businesses overlook the difference between a good review and a 5-star review. You may spend time replying to people who leave you a poor or average review, and that’s always a good idea. But what about those 4-star reviews? How do you get your customers to step up a notch and give you that extra star? Can you? Is it being greedy? No, not at all. It can be done, and you’ll be surprised how many customers add the extra star when you approach them. In fact some customers may even apologize for giving a 4 star, while some yes, it’s true don’t give 5 stars ever.

Communication is the Key

It is important that you reply to the customer personally. Don’t ask for an ‘upgrade’ in your reply to the review (and it’s important that you do respond, even to 5-star reviews). Send them an email or perhaps an SMS message. It could read:

“Hi Martin, we’re reaching out to know if there is any more we could have done to improve our service. Our reviews are important to us, and we would like to know what more we could have done to earn 5 stars. Thanks for choosing our business.”

A friendly tone, an indication you want to do more, and a polite request stating why a 5-star review would be important. At this point, some businesses will offer an incentive – a discount on the next order, perhaps – but we don’t necessarily recommend this course of action. It would require you to place a declaration that you offer incentives for reviews, and that doesn’t look good.

What you should always do is ensure you respond in a personal manner, although you could create a few template responses based around the above or similar to save time. If the customer sees you engaging and offering concern – taking that extra step that makes them feel important – you’ll be surprised how many 4-star reviews are upgraded.

Keeping in Touch

We should say that while many of your emails will get the response you are looking for, there will be some customers who either don’t respond or don’t want to add the extra star. That’s fair enough, as they have left an honest review and feel their rating is fair.

When this happens, you should reply to them with a ‘thanks very much for your business and we look forward to giving you five star service next time’ response, ensuring them that you will take any extra steps possible.

The key here is to remember to respond to all reviews, and to devise that polite response asking what you can do to get your desired upgrade, and offering to take the extra steps. Try it, and see how many 5-star reviews you begin to get.

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