Asking for reviews can feel a little painful at times, even for the most seasoned of business owners, but it’s one of the most important tools you have to build a strong online reputation. As with many things, the easiest way to go about it is to just take the plunge. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the payoff is immense.
There are many ways to go about gathering reviews but, no matter which route you take, the same best practices apply to each of them.
First, it’s always wise to ask for reviews soon after a service or sale takes place, while your customer’s experience is fresh in their mind. Second, you will want to make it easy as possible for someone to leave a review so that it doesn’t feel like a big ask. Last but not least, the easiest way to get organic reviews is to provide great service that inspires them. However, even when exceptional service is given, you will likely find that customers often need a bit of a nudge and some guidance.
Signage: Post signage in high-traffic areas where customers have downtime and are likely to look around your space, such as front office spaces, waiting areas and checkout desks. On the signage, remind them that great reviews help your business and point them in the direction of review sites like Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp.
SMS automation: If someone has opted in to receive marketing communications from you, you have a green light to shoot them a quick text to ask them how their service was and can even provide a link to the review site(s) to make things really easy. Be sure to monitor and reply to any incoming responses so that the great service continues beyond the review.
Email automation: Just like with SMS campaigns, email automation workflows can get you a prime spot at the top of customers’ inboxes shortly after they leave, and you can link to review sites so that a five-star review is just a short click away.
Package inserts: If you’re shipping a product to a customer, this gives you an opportunity to remind them to leave a review with an insert that tells them exactly where to do it. Sites like Google My Business make your life even easier by providing automated QR code files that can be printed out and scanned with devices.
Takeaways: If customers leave with any sort of materials in hand, add a short line that reminds them to leave a review on them. This can be an appointment reminder card, receipts, brochures and the list goes on. If you’re limited on text space, simply reminding them you’re on a site and letting them search for you is better than no reminder at all.
Social media: If someone is following you on social media, there is a good chance they are already a fan of yours. Don’t be bashful about occasionally reminding your followers that their reviews help bring in new customers.
Verbally: When you provide top-notch service, it’s not uncommon to be told how great you are. If the opportunity naturally arises, invite someone to direct their praise in the form of a review so that others can read your kudos while searching.
Email signatures: Sometimes asking for a review can be as simple as popping an icon below your email signature to let someone know you have a presence on the site. Most review sites offer free marketing kits, including logos, exactly for this purpose.
To put it simply, almost every interaction you have with a customer after they leave is an opportunity to get feedback about their experience with your team. Once you put a good workflow in place, sit back and let the good reviews roll in. But don’t sit back for too long! You have more great service to deliver.