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Updated Mar 01, 2024

10 Ways to Get Good Customer Reviews

Online review platforms are the new Yellow Pages. Learn how to use them to their full potential.

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Written By: Skye SchooleySenior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Table of Contents

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Gone are the days when customers used a phone book before contacting a restaurant, store or service. Now, almost everyone’s first instinct is to search for businesses online, whether from a home computer or their phone while on the go. So, in addition to getting a business’s phone number, consumers can easily see any reviews these establishments have. 

According to BrightLocal, 98 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before making a purchase. Additionally, nearly 50 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Since that’s the case, you should work to ensure you are getting the best reviews to drive more business.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right online reputation management company for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

How to get positive reviews

Getting customers to leave positive reviews may seem difficult, especially if you just started your business, but there are several steps you can take to get there.

1. Ask for reviews.

Asking customers to leave a review can be an effective place to start, especially for small business owners. This can be done during the sales process, in person or online.

Online reviews

When a customer makes an online purchase, you can encourage them to leave a quick rating or review with a website pop-up. Pop-ups should be brief and limited to one or two questions. You can also use email surveys and social media to ask for reviews. These surveys should also be quick and easy to complete.

Plenty of today’s tools allow you to send review invitations to customers by text or email., Trustpilot and ReviewTrackers are a few that offer this service. Besides requesting reviews for you, some services track all of your reviews across multiple platforms in one convenient place. If you are looking for a review management platform to help you acquire and manage your online reviews, check out our Podium review.

In-person reviews

If you have a customer who appreciates the service you provided and keeps giving you verbal compliments, ask them to leave you a review on Google, Yelp or your Facebook page. Although some might forget once they leave, there will be those who remember and complete the review. Asking is a strong place to start, but people may need a second or third nudge to take action.  

2. Be on review platforms.

It can be difficult for customers to leave you reviews if your business doesn’t have an online presence. For this reason, it’s essential to have active accounts on review platforms so customers can review you. Some of the most common review platforms are Yelp, Facebook, Google and the Better Business Bureau. [Read related article: 7 Ways to Build a Spectacular Online Presence

3. Respond to negative reviews.

Once you have active review platform accounts, it’s crucial you respond to all reviews — both positive and negative. It may be tempting to ignore negative reviews, but this can diminish trust with current and potential customers. Leaving a negative review unaddressed might signal to customers that you don’t value their opinions or experience. On the other hand, tactfully addressing negative reviews can demonstrate your commitment to your customers and defuse and de-escalate situations. Sometimes, you have the opportunity to win customers over again.

Did You Know?Did you know
Actively responding to customer reviews can engage your audience, increase the lifetime value of your customers, and improve your company's reputation.

4. Share positive reviews on your website and social media.

When you garner positive reviews, don’t be afraid to show them off. You can share positive reviews on your website and social media accounts to increase their visibility. This not only shows that you have a positive reputation, but it can also remind other happy customers to follow suit and write about their great experiences.

5. Review your customers positively.

Some successfully gain customer reviews by being proactive and reviewing their customers first. This is not an option for all businesses. However, if you use a platform that allows it, such as Airbnb or Uber, you can leave positive customer reviews in hopes the customer reciprocates.

6. Offer incentives.

Businesses can benefit from incentivizing reviews, but not in the way you might be thinking. You can create an employee review program that rewards employees for receiving positive customer reviews. This incentivizes your employees to ask customers for reviews and incentivizes customers to leave reviews to help their favorite employees earn rewards.

You shouldn’t incentivize customers to leave reviews (e.g., giving customer discounts in exchange for reviews). It is against Google’s (and most other platforms’) guidelines to offer customer rewards for leaving a review. This skews the reviews you get and leads to distrust, not to mention that your reviews could be deleted if the review platform gets wind of your tactics.

7. Train your customer service reps.

Make sure everyone has been trained on how to treat customers right, as the best way to bring in positive reviews is to offer great customer service. However, people are more likely to talk about things or experiences they dislike, so having top-tier training is also important to avoid negative reviews. Make sure all employees know the right way to talk to customers and the right way to handle escalated situations. This helps bring in the positive reviews while mitigating the negative ones.

8. Host events to meet customers.

Putting a face to your name can be a valuable way to connect with your audience, especially for small businesses that depend on their local community for success. Think of events or activities you can host to engage, entertain and show appreciation to customers.

Hosting events can help build your brand and make customers feel connected to you. When you build that personal connection, be sure to let them know how much a positive review could help your business.

TipBottom line
If you are unable to host events in person, consider online events such as Facebook Live Q&As.

9. Use social media.

Social media is an invaluable tool when it comes to building your business’s reputation, especially platforms like Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. To realize that value, you can’t simply have social media accounts; you need to be active. Your customers are already on social media, sharing their opinions and experiences with friends and family, and that is something you can capitalize on. When you engage with your customers on social platforms, you can also encourage them to review your product or service within these platforms.

10. Do your job right.

When you offer a great product or service, it can sometimes speak for itself. Focus on honing your craft to create the best product or service you can. When customers notice that you are providing a valuable, high-quality product or service, they are more likely to leave positive reviews.

The importance of customer reviews

Customer reviews have become a standard part of the consumer experience, from start to finish. Customers not only rely on reviews to learn more about your products and services, but they also use them as a way to interact with your business and inform other prospective buyers about their experience.

FYIDid you know
What your ratings and reviews say matter: More than one-third of consumers won't even consider using a business with fewer than four stars, according to BrightLocal.

Your customers aren’t the only ones who should be leaving comments in your business review section. Replying to customer reviews can be a good way to engage with your audience and address unsatisfied customers. In fact, nearly 90 percent of consumers are likely to use a business if they see the business owner respond to all of their reviews, according to the BrightLocal survey. When you understand the importance of customer reviews, you can use them to your advantage.

Examples of positive and negative customer reviews

To give you an idea of what positive and negative customer reviews look like, check out these examples:

Positive customer review

In this lighthearted review, the customer lists a few reasons why they rated this restaurant five stars. Although the review was short and simple, the restaurant owner still took the time to respond, thanking them for their support. This type of response shows that they value their customers.

Positive review example

Negative customer review

In this negative review, the customer shares a detailed explanation as to why they rated this restaurant one star. The customer also said that “this situation has never happened before …” which might mean they have had multiple positive experiences with this establishment. This is very common with reviews, and it is important for businesses to address negative reviews.

The restaurant owner promptly responded to the review to offer their apologies. They also included follow-up details to resolve the customer’s problem of being overcharged.

Which online review platforms should you use?

There are many online review platforms out there, but a few of them tend to hold a bit more weight than others. Here are some of the most popular review platforms to consider.


The top dog of the online review world is Google. Most people start their search on Google and browse through the businesses and reviews that they find. To make sure you show up on Google, you need to create a Google My Business listing (if you don’t already have one). Go to to get started. Be sure to optimize your listing to show up well. Getting reviews on your Google listing will increase your business’s visibility and help convert leads into customers.


Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses, is a great tool to leverage for marketing. It is also an excellent platform for connecting with local customers and encouraging them to leave reviews. You can create a business page for free and encourage customers to leave reviews there.


With its massive user base and reputation for trust, Yelp is a popular review platform for local businesses, especially in the United States. It is a good option for service-industry businesses that rely on foot traffic, such as restaurants, cafes and retail shops.


Another good platform for online reviews is Trustpilot. Trustpilot’s high search engine ranking further increases your visibility, driving more traffic and potential sales. You can also showcase top reviews in ads and on your website to attract new customers. 

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB is a nonprofit organization that provides ratings and reviews of businesses. It’s a good option for businesses that want to build trust with potential customers, especially if you receive a BBB accreditation. Customers often use the BBB as an outlet to voice negative concerns, so it’s important to keep up with review responses on this site.

Industry-specific platforms

It is also worth it to look into industry-specific platforms, like TripAdvisor for travel-related businesses, Zocdoc for healthcare providers or Houzz for home builders.

You’ll want most of your reviews to go to your Google listing, but make sure that you get a few reviews on each of these other platforms as well. 

How many reviews do you need?

Looking at your competitors’ listings is a good place to start to determine how many reviews you should aim for, but there isn’t a set number. The most important thing is to bring in a steady stream of reviews. Start by trying to get at least one or two a month, and then maybe one or two a week if you have a lot of customers coming and going each day.

Did You Know?Did you know
The Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal found that 52 percent of consumers want to read reviews that were posted within the last two to four weeks.

A word of caution, though: Don’t get too many reviews at once.

This may sound counterintuitive, but getting too many reviews at once (especially if all of them come from your IP address or location) can send up red flags. It looks unnatural, and it could result in losing your hard-earned reviews. A review management service can be a good way to deal with this issue; many allow you to automate the review invitation to send a certain number out each day. This spreads out the reviews to make it look more natural — because it is!

Research and identify which platforms are relevant to your business, then follow the above tips to keep a steady stream of fresh reviews for potential customers.

Kaili Killpack contributed to this article.

author image
Written By: Skye SchooleySenior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
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