Many of us set goals for our personal life when the New Year rolls around. But in 2020, if you want to be successful as a businessperson, it is imperative that you begin to set some serious goals for your company.

One of those goals should be getting more online reviews for your business. Today, more than ever, reviews of your company can absolutely make or break your business.

First, let’s look at some numbers.

Right now, almost 90% of the public is using the Internet to shop online. Of those, 97% of them use the Internet to further comparison shop between products and businesses to find the one that fits them the best.

And a staggering 93% of these customers say that online reviews will affect their decisions on what company to use or what product to buy.

This is actually nothing new. Word-of-mouth has been around for years. If a customer had a negative experience with a store, they would tell all of their friends and neighbors not to do business with them. Now, however, the friends and neighbors they can reach include anyone with an Internet connection.

It doesn’t just end with Yelp reviews either.

Social media can also be a huge influencer on people’s buying habits. If someone is raving on Facebook about a new restaurant they tried, chances are their friends will try it as well. This is great if you happen to be the owner of that restaurant. However, if the same person got poor service and expresses their displeasure on Facebook, the negative review could result in a loss in business.

So how do you go about getting more reviews for your business?

There are actually a few things that you can do:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the various review sites, such as Yelp and Google. Each of these has its own guidelines to prevent fraud or dishonest reviews. Never offer an incentive such as a discount for a good review. (Many sites ban such dishonesty.) But you can challenge reviews that you may feel are malicious or being spread falsely. Know the process for each of these sites.
  • Don’t let negative reviews just sit there. Reach out to the customer and offer to rectify the situation. If you let the other people reading the reviews see that you are trying to fix things, they will be more open to using your business. Everyone makes mistakes or has an off day. But it’s important to acknowledge these and move forward.
  • Simply asking your customers is a great way to get reviews. If you have regular customers who love your business, ask them politely to write a review for you. Don’t offer them anything in exchange. Just tell them that it would mean a lot to you and your company if they would do this. By establishing a rapport with your customers, you are more likely to get assistance with this.

Reviews today are vital to the success of a business. With everyone being so connected via the Internet, the global “word-of-mouth” has spread until it has a greater impact on your bottom line.