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As the owner of a small business, you’re committed to making your business succeed, whatever it takes. On any given day, you find yourself with a lot of plates in the air—from handling inventory, working the sales floor, running payroll, or any number of other mission-critical tasks.

It’s hard to find time for marketing, no matter how committed you are to growing your business. But there’s one piece of publicity that’s bound to happen whether you have time to pay attention to it or not: customer reviews.

Customers want to be confident about how they spend their hard-earned money. To help them make a buy or not buy decision, they often seek out information about what kinds of experiences other customers have had with your business. When they look up your company, reviews will likely be among the first things they see.

What do your reviews say about you?

Depending on your type of business, reviews can be a major factor when prospective new customers are deciding whether to do business with you. Unlike most types of marketing, though, reviews are almost completely out of your control.

While you can’t directly control what customers say about you, it’s a good idea to be aware of it. Reviews can be valuable sources of feedback to let you know what’s important to your customers, what’s working with the way you do business, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Take control of the message

If you measure customer satisfaction proactively by making it part of your regular customer care process, this takes the feedback loop out of the public eye. It also gives you a chance to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one before they write a negative review about their experience. Sometimes, your biggest fans are the ones who have had a bad experience turned around by excellent customer service.

Knowing how your customers feel after interacting with your business also enables you to be selective about who you ask for testimonials. It also can shed light on opportunities to improve your customers’ experience with you.

Encouraging happy customers to post glowing reviews is the best way to both get more reviews and make sure they show your business in a positive light. Here are a couple tips for getting a good response:

Lead with gratitude. You’re asking them to do you a favor, so let them know how much you value their support.

Make it easy. Provide the link to your business profile on the review site of your choice. Better yet, give them an idea of what to write. For instance: What went well? What will you remember about the experience? How did your purchase work out for you?

Who has time to manage reviews while running a business?

Thinking of customer reviews and feedback as an extension of your customer service efforts, rather than as a marketing initiative, may help you justify devoting energy to them among all your other responsibilities as a business owner. The truth is that reviews will eventually affect your bottom line whether you pay attention to them or not, so it may be an area you can’t afford to ignore.

Luckily, tools like KnowMe Reviews make it easy to keep an eye on reviews, gather feedback, and drive positive reviews with very little effort on your part. Learn more about how it works.

Strong, lasting relationships with your customers start now

Start using KnowMe to see how streamlined communication, listening, and tracking can make a major impact on your bottom line.