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Online Reviews Important for Building Your Business

If your company focuses on making sales online, lacking reviews on sites such as Yelp.com can make it hard for you to compete. This is because even though a majority of Americans in a recent poll denied the influence of social media marketing in their purchases, many shoppers say they depend on online reviews when making purchase decisions.

People generally put the most trust in recommendations from family members and friends–also known as word-of-mouth advertising–but online reviews are also important in today‚Äôs technological era, according to Eric Schiffer of Reputation Management Consultants. After someone purchases a product or service from your small business, ask them to leave a review about your company. You can even put this request on the receipts and other paperwork you give to customers; it may even help to provide an incentive to write a review, such as a discount or special offer, said Eric Schiffer of Reputation Management.

Even you still struggle to get reviews, you can gently remind your customers about them, but try not to be annoying. Also, be sure that the customer has had a chance to use your product for a while before requesting a review, but try not to wait too long after the purchase. Determine the point in time at which he or she will be most excited about the product and thus more likely to share his or her enthusiasm about it.

In addition, avoid asking customers for positive reviews; rather, ask them for honest ones. Even a negative experience of a customer can teach you a lot about how to run your business and about the types of products and services you offer. Also, customers may be cautious about using a business that has only glowing reviews, thinking that the lack of negative reviews is too good to be true. The best move is to simply provide quality offerings that naturally make people want to go online to share their experiences.

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