When was the last time you bought something online before seeing it in-store first? Chances are, it was just last week. Were you worried about the quality of the product, or if it was really as blue as it looked in the photo?

If you’ve ordered from the company before, you may be confident in your purchase. But if you’ve never purchased from them before, reading product reviews can make your decision for you—once you see how responsive their customer service is, or how the shirt fits true to size, how can you not buy it! I’ve even found myself willing to pay more for an item that had good reviews, over a cheaper item that didn’t have any.

What’s the point of a review?

Your customer’s time and money are valuable, and they don’t want to double that time and money by returning a bad item—or lose it altogether if they toss it.

Recall the other day when you were making your online purchase, but pretend instead it’s a venue for the most important day of your life, or the caterer that will feed all your family and friends. Stakes are high, aren’t they? Sure, the bride could visit every venue that catches her eye, but she’d much rather thin the herd from the comfort of her couch.

Positive reviews will help you survive elimination. Just like the five-piece suitcase set that has two stars more, your bride is going to visit a venue with positive customer experiences. She’s not willing to take any chances with her wedding day.

What’s in a good review?

Keep in mind that, while no reviews isn’t a bad thing, positive reviews are definitely a good thing. A good review is within your target audience—if you’re a florist who specializes in centerpieces or bouquets, a review for a funeral might not be your best bet. But if you’re a caterer looking to expand into the wedding industry, a review from a recent bridal shower is perfect.

It’s also helpful if your reviewer gives some detail. You don’t want them writing a novella, but compare the following simple statement “The venue was great and well lit” to this detailed explanation:

“The venue had great natural lighting for our afternoon wedding, and the staff was so helpful before and during the ceremony.”

Good reviews highlight the specifics of your services and those performing them.

Asking for reviews

No, we don’t encourage chasing a bride around on the dance floor, asking if she has five minutes to fill out a comment card or rate you on the website. If you have any final paperwork or receipts to send to the couple, add a note asking them to consider a review. Or put together a simple “thank you for choosing our venue” follow-up with the option for a review.

However you ask for a review, stay genuine in your intentions—your concern is the customer, and, ultimately, their satisfaction. Don’t lose sight of that!

Conclusion

As the one being reviewed, remember—there’s safety in numbers. Don’t get stuck on or defensive about a few bad reviews. Respond promptly, politely, and directly, and then move on. One bad review out of one hundred is still five stars!

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