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The top 3 things you should do with your customer reviews

Everyone’s heard the phrase “show, don’t tell.” Aligned Modern Health, a non-invasive, natural health care provider, has made this concept a central tenet of its marketing strategy. Visit one of Aligned’s clinics in Chicago, and you’ll spot a “review of the month” behind the front desk, subtly signaling a customer’s exceptional experience. 

This is just one way that Elizabeth Sexton, marketing director of Aligned Modern Health, shows the positive impact of her team’s care, which is especially important in the healthcare industry. But every business needs to be able to demonstrate its value to potential customers, and reviews are a great way to start. 

Rather than telling people to review your business, which is not allowed on Yelp, showing them you care—fine-tuning the customer experience, treating people fairly, and taking feedback seriously—will resonate with your customer base and organically lead to more reviews.

“The most important rule when it comes to our strategy on Yelp is that we never directly solicit reviews,” Elizabeth said. “Even if it makes my job a little harder, I like it because it gets to the heart of what Yelp is all about, which is a community-driven, authentic platform.”

As Elizabeth has found, organic strategies can help you capitalize on existing customer reviews and encourage new ones. “There are several actionable marketing tips that you can employ to nurture engagement and help shed light on positive reviews,” she said. “Paying attention to your review strategy can also show that you value your customer’s opinion, and this can further increase their trust in you.”

Below, Elizabeth shares elements of her marketing strategy that boost review engagement—starting with three key places to display your reviews. 

1. Display reviews inside your business

We have found that using visual cues is a great way to follow Yelp’s rules and encourage a more natural source of engagement. So we display reviews in all of our locations. We have a couple of strategic spots where we sprinkle them. We know that this strategy works because we’ve gotten direct feedback from patients that seeing these reviews actually made them more excited to share their stories.

This is a way we show, not tell—without having to make that direct ask or a solicitation for a Yelp review. We also find that it kind of keeps the conversation top-of-mind for everybody in our space, including our team members. It keeps them a little more driven toward a 5-star experience and to be able to have those organic conversations if a patient asks about the signage. If naturally a compliment comes up like, “Oh my gosh, you have changed my life.” Well, you could stand by the sign and say: “Thank you so much. We love reviews and positive feedback.” And they’ll know where to find us.

2. Share reviews on social media

A lot of people appreciate a shout out from a brand that they like. That’s a no-brainer that helps you expand your online community engagement and also increase the reach of [your brand.] Of course, we have to get consent waivers because we want to be really careful when it comes to privacy and patient privacy. A good rule of thumb is to know the best practices [for sharing information in your industry].

It never hurts to take that extra step and reach out: “Oh my gosh, thank you so much for your review. This means so much to us. Referrals and reviews are so important. Do you mind if we share this with our community?” Getting approval is always a great way to further nurture that relationship as well. 

3. Celebrate reviews with your team

We have a practice of sharing positive reviews internally. It’s kind of like ringing the bell digitally. And it’s a great way to keep that internal education focused on the importance of reviews. For us, it builds a culture of team appreciation. Getting props, knowing you’re doing a good job, is motivation to continue to do a good job—maybe an even better job. 

Surprise and delight is that secret sauce that we have. In the marketing world, we want those moments when you have such a great experience, you just cannot wait to share it online. You can’t orchestrate surprise and delight, but you can make suggestions; you can share examples. [Celebrating reviews internally] is an organic way for us to share examples of surprise and delight to inspire other team members to do that. 

Interviews by Emily Washcovick; editorial contributions from Kristi Lindahl

These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen below to hear from Elizabeth, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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