Reviews from a reputable publication can make or make a business – whether you are a hospitality venue or selling products online. While many professional reviewers aren’t the stiff-upper lip, sharp-tongued snobs we all fear, it often pays to act as if they are.
The truth is that there’s no way to guarantee good reviews; they’re always going to be subjective, and you can only control someone’s experience to a certain extent. But whatever type of business you’re running, whether the press have approached you or vice versa, there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favour.
To get you started, here’s 5 ways to make sure you put your best foot forward:
- Pay attention to the reviews you already haveand fix any issues – it may sound obvious but check your other reviews to see what your current customers are saying. If they flag any issues, do whatever it takes to resolve them before you’ve reviewed.
- Know everything about your reviewer – if you’re lucky enough to know in advance who’s being sent to review you, research them as aggressively as you can. And do the full FBI investigation: learn their blatant likes and dislikes, and what might sweeten their experience. Do they appreciate a hired helicopter to take them home? If so, get a quote for one as soon as you can (I’m joking, kind of).
- Customer service is everything – if you’re a brick and mortar business and you know who’s coming, make sure the staff have seen a photo of them and steer them appropriately. And if you’ve got no idea who is coming or when they’re coming, make sure your staff are paying consistently good attention to every customer (hopefully they are anyway!) If you’re online, make sure they feel special and have an open line to you to ask questions or voice any concerns (better said to you then written up in the review).
- Don’t smother them – reviewers know all too well when a business is trying too hard to flatter them. Don’t overdo it with endless interruptions and offers; give them moments to themselves while being attentive and pre-emptive of their needs.
- Don’t chase or demand – naturally enquiry as to when your piece will be published but don’t chase – you’re not buying an advert and a review can easily be pulled. Equally, giving away a service or product doesn’t guarantee anything – so don’t act as though it does. Lastly, don’t forget to thank you reviewer once your review is published – a little courtesy goes a long way!