Give Your Online Ratings and Reviews a Powerful Boost

Ratings and reviews can make or break your business. It's crucial to do everything you can to get more of those 5-star ratings and glowing reviews for your business.
customer 5-star ratings for business

Online ratings and reviews matter. Those stars and review comments on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trustpilot, BBB, and hundreds of other business review sites are more important today than ever before. A recent study by BrightLocal found that consumers are paying attention to online reviews at the highest rate ever. Data for 2021 showed that 77% of respondents “always” or “regularly” read online reviews while browsing for local businesses. That’s up from 60% in 2020 which is a 28% increase in just the last year. With more than three-quarters of consumers regularly giving weight to the stars and comments they see online, there is no question that a positive online reputation is vital for your business.

Plus your online reviews affect your local SEO rankings. Search engine algorithms factor in the quality and quantity of your reviews to calculate your position in search results. In 2021, reviews were the second most important factor in local organic search results with a 31% weighting. That is nearly as important as on-page SEO at a 34% weighting factor.

Since reviews can make or break your business, it’s crucial to do everything you can to get more of those glowing 5-star reviews for your business. There is no shortage of blog posts and articles touting a variety of ways to get more of those coveted positive reviews. They offer advice on how to ask for reviews, how to respond to both positive and negative reviews, how to track and analyze your reviews, and more. All that is important. However, there is one simple secret to building a great online reputation. Everything else you do to boost your ratings and reviews pales in comparison to this one thing.

Great ratings come from providing great experiences

The single most important way to get more 5-star ratings and positive review comments is to provide a great customer experience. If you’re not providing an amazing customer experience, you’re not going to get great reviews—plain and simple. For brick and mortar businesses, online reputation is based on offline experiences. If you provide a great experience at every touchpoint in your customer’s journey, a positive online reputation will follow. If you neglect to focus on the impression you make, your online impression will suffer. Providing an amazing customer experience should be your number one priority. Do that consistently and you’ll earn top star ratings and stellar endorsements in written reviews.

The point here may seem obvious. But in practice, far too few businesses put enough effort into managing the experience of the customer. It is easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day routine of your business and wind up mishandling important touchpoints and missing out on opportunities to dazzle customers. Too many businesses spend more time asking for reviews than earning them. Pay more attention to creating raving fans and they will rave about you online and off.

If every time you interact with a customer, you imagine that what you say and do in that moment gets written up in a review and posted on the internet for all to see, would it influence you? The answer should be yes. Because, chances are good, an account of that interaction may very well be shared with your potential customers as they consider doing business with you. Every customer interaction has the potential to boost or damage your online reputation. The result is up to you.

Exceptional experiences are created by assuming the customer’s point of view and analyzing every point of interaction both large and small. You must constantly ask yourself, “What does it feel like to be a customer of my business?” and “What can I do to make it feel awesome?” Every touchpoint in the customer journey is an opportunity to stand out and show your excellence.

Here are some areas to keep in mind when evaluating the customer experience you are delivering.

Good is not good enough

Is your customer experience good? Well, bofo for you. That’s better than having a lousy customer experience. But don’t start strutting around with a puffed out chest just yet. In today’s world, good doesn’t cut it. Good is nothing more than a base-line expectation for your customer. Good is no longer good enough. To stand out and have customers show you some love, you have to be great.

You have to strive for awesome, incredible, unbelievable, amazing, magnificent, best ever. Because in today’s world, that’s what it takes to make an impression on busy, well-informed, skeptical, convenience oriented, instant gratification seeking consumers. Today’s consumer expects a personalized and optimized experience. Consumers have high expectations and you are competing with their most recent best experience.

If you don’t consider how high the bar is set in today’s world, you won’t realize just how high you need to jump. When you realize you are competing with Apple’s design aesthetic, Amazon’s delivery speed, Disney’s magic, Walmart’s pricing, Home Depot’s selection, L.L. Bean’s one year satisfaction guarantee, Starbucks’ rewards program, and Toyota’s reliability, you’ll realize that your work is cut out for you.

Fulfill or exceed expectations

If you don’t deliver what you promise, your customers will go elsewhere. It’s as simple as that. Always strive to fulfill and even exceed expectations and you’ll make an impression.

So, how can you make sure you’re always fulfilling expectations? First and foremost, get in the habit of over-delivering whenever possible. Go above and beyond to give your customers what they want and more. Second, keep your promises. if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses or try to weasel your way out of it. Lastly, always be honest with your customers. They’ll forgive some occasional tough news if it is honestly delivered. They won’t forgive dishonesty that leaves them surprised.

Personalize the customer experience

Everybody wants to feel special. Customers today seek and expect commercial relationships that are insightful, engaging, meaningful, and uniquely responsive to their needs and desires.

Delivering one-to-one personalized customer experiences wins consumer hearts and minds. Making your customer feel special is key to providing a personalized experience. When you make your customer feel that they have been treated to an experience exclusive to them you build strong loyalty. Be on the lookout to recognize, anticipate, and respond to the unique concerns of your customer. Find ways to show the customer that you understand and appreciate them. Make them feel special.

Definitely use their name. Dale Carnegie famously said, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” When you place an order at Chic-Fil-A, they ask, “Can I have your name for the order?” You aren’t an order number there, you are you. And when you make a request or thank them, they respond with the words’ “My pleasure.” They pay attention to making the customer feel special. Does your business make people feel special?

Identify and eliminate pain points

Pain points are problems that customers experience with a product or service. They are things that cause customers frustration, lost time, and even lost money. These bumps in the experience erode trust, may cause you to lose customers, and definitely impact ratings and reviews.

Examples of pain points are things like long wait times, defective products, trouble with set up, poor communication, just to name a few. Sometimes the pain point may be obvious to you, like a long line of customers waiting to be served. Other times they are not as easily uncovered. For example, things the customer may experience after a purchase like difficult to follow usage instructions.

Identifying and fixing pain points, and better yet, preventing them, is essential. Constantly gathering information through observation and surveys is critical. The pain points uncovered are not necessarily problems, they can be considered opportunities. By eliminating them, an improved customer experience will lead to more positive reviews and ratings.


The most effective way to get your next five-star rating and awesome written review is simple. Earn it.

There are many techniques to increase your online ratings and reviews. But before you try anything else to help you boost your online reputation, the first step is to take a hard look at what you are actually doing day-by-day to earn it. Improving your online ratings and reviews that make up your online reputation starts with providing a great customer experience.

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