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Tips for Soliciting Online Feedback

The internet enables all users to write a review for just about anything, including services, products, employers and more. Consumers are increasingly dependent on these reviews as a first step in searching for a new service, a good restaurant or a new product. One of the most useful things you can do as a marketer is to create a pool of good feedback on review websites, which have powerful search relevance along with the good faith of potential customers. These tips for soliciting online feedback are an indispensable marketing tool.

Put yourself out there

It may be hard initially to expose yourself - and your company - to criticism from anyone who wants to write a review; if somebody can give you good feedback, someone else can give you bad feedback. It is important to remember that while you might not aggressively pursue outside review websites, there is no guarantee that you will show up on these sites; you have less power over who is reviewing you. Anyone can make a profile and review your service, regardless of how you feel about it. By being hands-on in this regard, you have a greater opportunity to create good feedback and to deal with bad feedback if and when it occurs.

Make a path for positive reviews

Do not put any obstacles in the path of good reviews. As soon as you have established a profile on the main reviewing websites, make it as simple as you can for loyal clients to write good reviews on your behalf. Do not aggressively ask for these reviews; this could backfire and actually anger customers. Merely try to include easy-to-find links from your websites to influential review websites, and consider inserting a statement like "Review me on Yelp" on business cards or other forms of media.

It pays to be thick-skinned

Do not take offense. Consider how much effort people exert for good and bad reviews; the effort most people are willing to put into a good review is fairly small. Typically, if writing a review takes much time, you are not likely to receive a good review. Most people do not think about posting a positive review unless you give them a gentle reminder. Bad reviewers, however, take plenty of time to say disparaging things about you and your business. They receive instant gratification - a way to vent anger and frustration. Because this disparity is basically unavoidable, the responsibility is on you to displace bad reviews by generating good reviews. 

Turn a negative into a positive

Even if you do get bad reviews, stay calm. The majority of review sites offer tools to get in touch with bad reviewers privately, allowing you to approach them rationally without appearing too defensive. Make an effort to reach a mutually beneficial solution, and turn a negative into a positive.