How to Make the Most of Your Online ReviewsRecently I came across glowing online reviews when I wasn’t online. I was at Bristol Farms and I would have walked right by a little station featuring the Hawaiian dish poke except that I noticed Yelp reviews had been printed out and attached to the station. Each review recommended the poke at Bristol Farms and stated how surprising it was to find such good ahi poke in a grocery store.

I too was surprised to hear a grocery store had good poke. I would have never considered buying it there before, and while I didn’t buy it at that moment either — my refrigerator was stuffed to the gills with Thanksgiving leftovers — it’s now on my radar. I’ll likely buy it sometime soon.

It’s such a simple way to present positive, decision-assisting information when customers are already in buying mode. In fact, you’ve seen variations of this before — the framed restaurant review, for example. My mechanic has a framed letter from a customer praising him for his honesty. Before I came to know him, that letter helped me feel I was making a good decision by bringing my car to him.

If you would like to display online reviews at your business, here are some tips:

  1. Use good quality paper and print in color.
  2. Look for re-occurring themes in reviews — this will indicate to customers that the compliment is legitimate and not a fluke. Bristol Farms noticed that the ahi poke was popular, so they printed three reviews discussing that.
  3. You don’t need to print the whole review — only print the part that’s relevant. Avoid printing excerpts that are longer than two or three sentences. If you have long excerpts, it decreases the chance they’ll be read.
  4. Do not print reviews with egregious errors. Conversational language is fine; a small typo probably won’t bother anyone; but if the statement barely makes sense, that’s a problem.
  5. Place the reviews by the product the reviewers are raving about. This will draw passers-by to the item and give them an incentive to buy it.
  6. If you provide a service, consider taking three excerpts of reviews (again, excerpts with common themes are a smart choice) and have them framed. Place them in a single frame but create a look (with the matte) that makes each review distinct.