By Jeremy Raglin

Over the last five years, I’ve seen many companies ignore booth good reviews and bad reviews for their businesses and it ultimately cost them big time.

Why? The answer is simple. One review, either good or bad can make or break a business because it paints a picture in the mind of a prospective customer and causes them to think what they will about the business.

Case in point:


In this review, it’s obvious that the customer hated the food of the establishment that they dined at and wasn’t afraid to let other people know.

What would the correct course of action be to deal with a disgruntled customer like this?

The answer is obvious, try to win them back. Respond to the comment either publicly or privately and offer them a free entrée or dessert to get them to return to the restaurant.

The hope is that once the customer comes back they will be so impressed with the product and or level of improved service that they will want to go back to Yelp, Facebook, Google+ or the website they left a review on and ultimately update their negative review with a positive one.

Not All Reviews Are Based On Actual Customer Experiences

Sadly, not all customer reviews are actual reviews from people who have visited the business. They could be reviews from competitors or from people who are just out to get the business based on negative feedback or other negative reviews that they read online.

Thankfully, websites like Yelp give businesses the ability to flag or notify moderators when a review was left by someone who didn’t have an actual customer experience.

There is hope out there for businesses who have been getting slammed recently due to competition or negative press because many of those negative reviews can be removed.

How to Leverage the Power of Influencers to Build a Business

Although websites like Yelp can be an annoyance to some business owners, the reality is that if leveraged correctly, a business owner can and should build relationships with influencers on these websites so they can utilize them to grow their businesses.

In 2017-2018 many influencers on Yelp, Instagram, Facebook and other social media websites know the power of having tens of thousands of friends and are not afraid to charge a premium for promoting a local business to their lists but there are still some influencers out there who won’t ask for money if they are approached correctly.

If you’re a business owner who doesn’t have a huge marketing budget, one of the best things you can do is pick at least three social media websites (example: Facebook/Google+/Yelp).

Start reaching out to the top influencers in your area who use those websites and ask them if they would be interested in sharing promotional content from your business with their friends or followers.

Not everyone will be interested in promoting a business for free so when you encounter social media influencers who want you to “pay to play” you shouldn’t hesitate to offer them something for free in exchange for a review like a free meal, entrée, drinks, or something else of value.

When it comes to traditional “brick and mortar” businesses, you should offer the social media influencer a free product from your store or free service (within reason), if they would be willing to promote your business online.

The key to success when it comes to actively encouraging customers to leave a review in exchange for something for free is to not do it all at once because, some websites like Yelp won’t display every review especially if they get suspicious after seeing a wave of reviews come in all at one time.

Consider offering your customers something for free in exchange for a review on Monday / Wednesday / Friday that way if you get 3 or more positive reviews on those days it will look more natural to the website the customer decides to leave their review on.

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