For some reason, lots of ads for devices that encourage customers to use a device to rate their shopping experience have been popping up in my social media feed lately. They utilize NFC (near-field communication) technology to allow customers to more easily use their smart phone to connect to Google and write a review.  Ironically, the ones I looked at didn’t get uniformly five star ratings anywhere except on their own site.

If your customers are at all tech savvy, they should be able to use a posted QR code to easily leave you a review.  Simply go to your Google Business Profile account – if you don’t have one, it’s time to set one up – and look for Ask for Reviews, or Get More Reviews. This will create a review link that you can put in an email or on Facebook. It’s simple to make it into a QR code for signage using any QR code generator app, including the one that is part of Canva.

The form that this link brings up asks for a star rating, details of the customer’s experience, and photos or videos.  It’s been touching to see a number of memes lately suggesting that leaving a five star review is a great way to support small businesses – it costs nothing, and can really help the locally owned shop. A sizable percentage of consumers now read reviews before making a buying decision.

Negative reviews continue to have an unduly large influence, so your goal is to get as many positive ones as you can. This best way of doing this is of course to provide a stellar shopping experience that customers can’t wait to tell their friends about. If you’ve gone out of your way to provide special service, consider asking for a review if you think that’s appropriate.

When someone does take the time to say something nice, respond right away with a personal and heart-felt thank you. Criticism also needs to a respectful, and probably apologetic, answer. Google offers some tips about how to respond on this help page. Hopefully the vast majority of your Google reviews will have lots of stars. They can go a long way towards making you feel that all your hard work is recognized and appreciated.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder