As a business owner, you know how important online customer reviews are to your brand’s image, and how they affect your overall marketing strategy. Facebook, Yelp!, Angie’s List, Google Places, Better Business Bureau (BBB)… the list of places for customers to leave reviews is extensive. The experience your customer has with each employee they encounter will determine what type of review the customer leaves for your business.

Happy employees are good employees, and they are driving your business’s online review presence. Do they understand how appreciated they are? Are they providing your customers with a positive experience?

According to Search Engine Land’s Local Consumer Review Survey (2014), 88% of consumers said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know. Additionally, 85% of respondents read up to 10 reviews before they felt the business was trustworthy.

The more fresh, positive customer reviews your business can cultivate, the better!

Extensive behavioral research over the years has been done on the topic of motivation and employees. People respond to positive reinforcement, and it manifests itself in the experience your customers have when interacting with your employees. If you want your employees to provide a great experience for your customers, those that create positive rapport with your business, making them feel valued and appreciated is a great way to start.

How do you make your employees feel valued?

Having a plan in place to acknowledge and reward those employees who are actively improving your business’s image is the best place to start. Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind when creating a marketing plan to recognize good employee performance.

1) Be specific and timely.

If any employee was mentioned by name in an online review, call attention to that specific review and situation. What about the experience was so positive that it led the customer to leave a review? Don’t wait a month or two to give acknowledgement, appreciation has the maximum benefit when it is delivered in a timely way.

2) Don’t give an acknowledgement sandwich.

A lot of management advice centers around sandwiching constructive criticism within a set of positive feedback. When your goal is to reward positive performance that has resulted in a good online review, it has enough merit to stand on its own. Acknowledgements of positive reviews should stand alone. Save the criticism for an employee evaluation review or a later date.

3) Reward employees only for something above the standard.

If everyone gets a gold star, then the gold star is meaningless. Be genuine and sincere in your acknowledgements. Positive reviews for your business can drive future reviews and if a customer had such a good experience that they left a positive review, it warrants acknowledgement that stands out.

 4) Little things matter.

If your sales or customer service teams have weekly meetings, acknowledge outstanding work at the meeting. Recognition in front of colleagues means a lot to a hard working service or sales team member. Additionally, small tokens of appreciation like gift cards, plaques, awards or recognition in the company newsletter let employees who understand the value of positive online reviews know that they are an important part of the team.

Rewarding Employees for Positive Reviews is an Important Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Whichever way you reward your employees for service that results in a positive review, acknowledging their effort will lead to happier employees. Knowing that you understand and appreciate the value of positive reviews, they’ll continue working hard to please your customers.

As a full-service marketing agency in Austin, Quicklight Media understands how reviews drive business and affect your bottom line. Whether you’re looking for strategies to improve your online review presence or need assistance improving your overall marketing effectiveness, we’re here to help.