Everybody knows how important customer reviews are!
As a consumer, how often do you check with friends and family before buying something or hiring someone to perform a service for you. Those referrals are important! So are online reviews. Many of us turn to Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, Google, and many other review websites before deciding to plunk down money for products or services. Most people will also look for reviews on a company’s website too! We expect to see reviews (aka testimonials) to help us make up our mind about a particular company.
As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to ask your customers for reviews. And it’s crucial to make it very easy for them to do them. The easier the process is, the more likely they will follow through and leave that glowing review that you’re hoping for.
Here are some ways to ask for (and get) more reviews for your business.
Informal Requests for Reviews
When a client lets you know they’re happy with your work or products, ask them to put give you a review. If they told you verbally how happy they are with you or your company, ask if they’ll send a quick email saying the same thing. If they sent an email telling you how happy they were, ask if you can have their permission to use that on your website or other marketing materials.
Formal Requests for Reviews
After you do business with someone, send out a link to a survey they can do online. Remember, you want to make it easy for someone to fill it out, so the shorter you can make it the better the chances are they’ll complete it. There are several ways you can set reviews up, some of which include:
Look for Reviews on Social Media
Most people are happy to share on social media when they find a great company. Whether it’s a service provider or a great product, we like telling our friends about it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and just about any other social media platform you can think of. People may already be talking about your company! So keep an eye out, and if you see a positive review, take a screenshot of it, or get the embed code. You can even take screenshots of comments people leave in your live broadcasts! Use these on your website, in blog posts, on your marketing materials, etc.
Use Google Alerts to find out when someone mentions your company. Just tell it what you want to know about and they’ll send an email when someone mentions your search terms.
Video is big! And getting bigger! Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for video reviews. There are several ways you can have people give you an on camera review.
Review on their own account
If your client is already doing video themselves, it’ll be no big deal for them to do a short video letting people know about you and your company. Whether it’s YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live, or another video app, you can either link to their video, embed it, or ask for a copy.
Interview Style Reviews
Broadcast from your account, showing your client on camera. Let them talk about their experience with your company.
Let them take over your account briefly
Assuming there’s a great deal of trust, you might have your client take over your account long enough to do a review of your services. Veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby did this on my Facebook page (Therese Kopiwoda) not too long ago. Since she’s in South Carolina and I’m in Indiana, I gave her Editor rights on my Facebook page just long enough to do the broadcast. And, see how easy it is to embed something like this in your blog post?
Add Links to Your Review Accounts
Finally, another way to make it easy for people to find your existing reviews, and add their own, is to let people know where your accounts are. Add the appropriate buttons to your website, as a link in your email signature, and on some of your other social accounts.
Other Things to Consider When Asking for Reviews
Give people a brief idea of what you’d like them to talk about.
One of the best ways to make giving a review easy for someone is to help them write it. You don’t want to write the review for them, but you can certainly give them some ideas to help get them started. Here are a few ideas:
- Recall a positive comment they made about working with you and ask them to elaborate.
- Ask questions such as:
- Would you hire me again (or buy the product again)?
- Will you tell your friends about this product?
- What did you enjoy most about working with me?
- How are you using the product?
- What did you find especially easy about working with me?
- Suggest specific services that you’d like them to cover. For example, say you have a client who hired you for pet sitting and dog walking. You are especially interested in getting more dog walking clients, so have them talk mainly about your dog walking services.
Be Careful with Incentives
Many companies offer incentives such as discount coupons or free items in exchange for a positive review. You need to be very careful if you’re on either end of this type of exchange. When doing the review you must dicslose the arrangement, and if your website includes reviews received this way that must also be disclosed. FTC guidelines require full disclosure when reviews are exchanged for incentives.
If you’re offering them something of value in return for these reviews, tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you. You should also inform potential reviewers that the discount will be conditioned upon their making the disclosure. That way, other consumers can decide how much stock to put in those reviews.
Yelp and Google state in their Terms of Service that giving coupons or incentives for reviews is a violation of their terms.
Are You Getting Reviews for Your Business?
What are you doing to get more reviews for your business? Let us know in the comments.