I got a SPAM email that said, "We will get you 5-star reviews." YIKES! Don't fall for this.
People look on the internet in their search for local businesses. Part of their "research" is your reviews. Guess who gets more business? Those that have reviews. People may specifically search for you but guess who else shows up, your competition and your potential customers simply swipe their thumb 1/4" and are now checking out your competition because they have more reviews than you.
There are many ways to get reviews. I never encourage anyone to get fake reviews or ask your friends and family to give you a review though they have never done business with you. However, I do believe it is valid for others to leave you a review based on knowing you, your credibility, your honestly and integrity. If anyone pitches you that they will get you 5-star reviews from strangers, walk away.
Google reviews are king however the drawback is that Google does not have a system in place to monitor for fake reviews so a business may have many reviews that they paid for and are not real. Most people see through this rather easily. Yelp reviews in my opinion are equally important. Yelp is the largest business directory on the planet and the voice searches that many are increasingly doing, "Hey Siri, best restaurant in Tacoma" will show you results mostly from Yelp. Many think of Yelp as just a review site but when people do a Google search first, what shows up? A Yelp business profile.
Yelp's reviews are unique. They do not want you asking for your customers to leave a review. They are looking for more genuine reviews. They use a series of algorithms and monitor where the reviews are generated from. If your restaurant is in Bellevue and you get a flurry of reviews from Arizona, they determine that those reviews are probably paid and fake. Hence they put them into the "Do not recommend" category. Ask for reviews, but don't say, "leave me a Yelp review" anywhere.
Always respond to reviews. Respond to them all. Respond to the positive and negative reviews. It shows your customers that you care. People are actually more inclined to leave a review if they see that the owner cares.
Do you want 5-Star reviews on Google? Ask for them. There are great ways to automate this and be able to be notified easily when you get reviews and deal with them on one dashboard (see below). If you don't have Google My Business yet, come on man... it's going to be 2022. You gotta get with the digital world. It's FREE. It helps you to get business. Just do it. START HERE
Want to learn more about managing your reviews, gaining more reviews from your existing clients and ensuring your digital presence is enabling new business to walk through your virtual door? LEARN MORE HERE
Want some help learning how Yelp can help you? Get their report that shows how many people were looking for your business within the last 30 days and within 20 miles of you. It's eye opening! LEARN MORE HERE