One of the first things consumers look for when considering a purchase is a review of the product or service. They look to their peers for input and advice and trust those voices far more than your brand's, especially if they've had little to no interaction with you.

Once they've dealt with you and trust you, reviews do become much less critical. But how do you get those first few reviews to help curb the concerns of new purchasers?

I'll answer the following three questions in this article:

  1. Why should you encourage online reviews?
  2. How do you encourage online reviews?
  3. How do you respond to negative reviews?

Why Online Reviews?

People trust their peers. If consumers don't know you, they don't trust you. But if others have taken the time to share their experiences, consumers listen.

Besides getting new buyers across the purchasing threshold, feedback increases the likelihood that your company will make improvements to its products or services. If customers can see a noticeable improvement, or if they notice that your company is at least making an effort at listening and improving its products or services, then they will be more likely to continue doing business with you.

Remember, customers love to feel as if they are being heard, and online reviews are an easy way to listen to them. Moreover, if you allow the reviews to be public, you will not only gain social credibility from customers' peers who approve of your product but also engender a reputation for accountability (for having done something about problems listed by users).

Building Online Reviews

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image of Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor writes for, an online printing company offering flyers, brochures, business cards, posters, postcards, and more print media.

Twitter: @TaraHornor