How to use customer reviews to grow your local business.

by | May 5, 2023 | Bussiness Growth, Social Media

Local SEO is a crucial tool when it comes to growing your business. A significant part of local SEO is your business’s customer review program. This is because happy clients are your best sales representative and are inclined to tell others about their positive experiences.

This blog post will explain why customer reviews are essential to growing your local business and how you can implement a customer review program that works.

Why Reviews Are Important

Most customers will look for reviews before deciding to use your services. In this case, it is imperative to include reviews within your content, website, and directories, such as Google my Business, so that your target audiences know what your customers say about your business. A study by SEMRush found that a robust Google Business Profile, maintaining a high volume of reviews, and an average rating of 4.1 or higher can help to improve visibility in Google Maps results. This is called public validation, in which researchers found that when reviews were displayed for a lower-priced product, the conversion rate increased 190% and 380% for higher-priced products.

Implementing a Customer Review Process

Now that you understand the importance of having a working customer review process let’s figure out where you are at in this process. Which of these sounds like you?

  • Your business already has a healthy amount of reviews and receives new positive reviews consistently. You are responding to every single review, and you are reaching out to new customers to review their experience.
  • Your business already has some reviews and is receiving new reviews inconsistently. You’re not sure when the last time these were responded to or the sentiment behind them.
  • You have many negative reviews, and you’re afraid to respond to them. You also do not want to reach out to your most recent customers for fear of negative feedback.
  • You have no reviews and no idea how to get new reviews.

If you identified as number 1, great job,, and pat yourself on the back. You already have a healthy customer review process and receive new reviews consistently. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you identified yourself as a 2-4, keep reading. We have some tips for you!

How to Ask For Reviews

Depending on where you are at in your process, the first thing you need to do is to start getting reviews coming in. When you are just starting out implementing this kind of a process the key is reaching out to people who you feel have had a positive experience with your business. When you have a healthy amount of positive reviews coming in consistently, you can begin opening up your program to anyone who has interacted with your business. That will allow you to find holes in your customer service and fix them. However, when you’re starting out, we recommend reaching out to those you have sure had a great experience with.

For local SEO purposes, focus on Google my business. If you do not have a profile, you can follow these instructions to set one up.

Once you have a profile you have the option to begin collection reviews. Here is a template you can send to customers:

          Hello [INSERT NAME],

          Could you take a minute to review your experience from your visit? Your opinion matters to us. Follow this link to leave us some feedback.

          Thank you,


Responding to Reviews

Once you have a system working for you to receive consistent reviews, it’s just as important to have a strategy for responding to reviews. Responding to all reviews you receive digitally, whether positive, negative or just a rating with no comment, is essential. In addition, you should identify an individual within the company whose role is to respond to these reviews. We have defined a few scenarios below with example templates you can use within your business, but the general rule of thumb is that all reviews promptly require some type of response. If you are just now getting around to those reviews from 5 years ago, better late than never, but it should be a rule in the future that the majority of customer feedback is responded to within 24-48 hours.

How to respond to a negative review

Negative reviews require a response as soon as possible. You may or may not receive any interaction from the unhappy customer, but you must show proactivity and good faith to other potential customers reading these reviews. The effort to resolve potential problems may be the deciding factor for a customer on the fence.

          Hello [INSERT NAME],

          I apologize for your poor experience with [INSERT EXPERIENCE] and would like to know how we can improve your experience for the future. You can reach out to our customer service team at [INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION], so we can assist you and help to resolve this issue.

          Thank you,



How to respond to a positive review

It is a common misconception that positive reviews do not require a response from the company. A simple reply will do, but even a positive review should be acknowledged because the customer went out of their way to leave feedback that positively impacts your business. Here is an example of how you can respond:

          Hello [INSERT NAME],

          Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with [INSERT EXPERIENCE.]
          We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your time at [INSERT BUSINESS NAME] and will be proud to serve/help you again in the future.

          Thank you,



Ready to start implementing local search engine optimization into your digital marketing strategy but don’t want to do it yourself? Get in touch today for a free consultation with Kevin Brown Design!