How To Ask For Reviews
Why you need reviews
Online reviews from your customers are extremely important to your business growth. Some business owners will say reviews are not important, declaring that their work speaks for itself. Others worry about one negative review when everyone else gave them good reviews.
Love them or hate them, you need to get reviews, and more of them. The number of online reviews you have has a direct impact on key performance measures, including:
- Your ranking on review sites
- Your ranking in search engines
- Your overall online reputation score
- Your overall sales and conversion rates
In addition to improved rankings and reputation, as a professional business owner, you should want to know a customer’s opinion of your company and their experience. Reviews allow you to evaluate customer satisfaction and loyalty. There is no better way to improve your business and its bottom line. There is no reason why asking for reviews should be a difficult or awkward process.
If they have a positive review, then that gives a boost to your company’s moral and sheds light on what you are doing right. But if it is a negative review, you can fix the issue that brought it about and do some retraining. If you feel the negative review was unfair, then you have a chance to refute the allegations.
Ways to ask
One of the best ways to get reviews is through email. Just make a simple request in an email message right after a purchase or the completion of service with your customer. Include a link to a page on your site or better yet, to a review site such as Google My Business where the recipient can write a review.
Provide options for review sites. Customers should leave a review wherever it feels most comfortable or wherever they already have an account set up. Avoid limiting your request to just one website, which could restrict the overall number of reviews you receive online. Diversify your review sites to populate the internet with positive links that search engines can draw from when someone is searching online for your business.
*Note that Yelp says you may be hurting your Yelp rating by proactively asking your customers for reviews. Check any review site for their policy before recommending it.
You can also create an email campaign sent to all of your customers both current and past. Besides links to review sites, you can include a customer feedback survey.
To achieve high response rates, personalize your emails. Write in such a way it individually acknowledges each recipient and keeps it short. For example:
Subject line: Got a minute to share your experience with [company name]
Hi (customer’s first name),
Thank you for choosing [company name] as your service provider. I hope that our services met all your needs and even exceed your expectations. We’d really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to share your experience by posting an online review. Your valuable feedback will help us improve and help others learn about us. You can click this link to leave a review. (URL to review page or site) Thank you so much in advance for doing us this favor.
When sending a review request, think about who you are sending it to. Is there any sign that they may have had some issues? You might not want to ask for a review if it will be negative. Although that can be educational for your team. If you do receive negative feedback from the review request email you sent, respond immediately! Address the issue and reduce the risk of having an unhappy customer.
Since almost every one of your customers probably has a mobile phone, why not send them a text message requesting a review or customer survey by SMS?
There’s a good chance they’ll click on the link. Text messages are opened at a much higher rate than emails, and often within minutes. Your customers can engage with your businesses and write reviews right from their phone or tablet. So, this is a good strategy to add to your review campaign.
Writing a review request for SMS requires being aware of how many characters the channel allows in a message. Just keep the message short and to the point.
If your business uses phones as part of your communication channels, then this is another way to ask for reviews. Calling customers is a very personalized way to get feedback from your customers. The phone call method is proactive and produces the best responses.
The advantage of phone calls is you get feedback, firsthand, straight from the customer. By hearing your customer’s voice and tone you get a better sense of their satisfaction. It is important that the call should give the impression that you sincerely want to help the customer, not as someone who is conducting a sales call. When done right, it reinforces your relationship with the customer and makes them feel valued.
Research shows, and you probably don’t need proof of this, there are good, bad, and better times to make a phone call asking for anything. To get the best results personally calling your client or customer, contact them at appropriate times. Some studies show customers are more likely to respond from 8 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 5 pm. Lunchtime is NOT a good time. After people get back from lunch, from 1 pm to 3 pm has been shown to be a good time. As they are just getting back and not always ready to dive into work yet, you have a better chance of a response.
Landing pages to generate new reviews
A great way to inspire customers to talk about their experiences with your company is to create dedicated landing pages for reviews. A skillfully designed landing page can collect valuable customer feedback and generate new reviews. Use review generation software, survey forms and some of the many review widgets available to populate your site with the reviews you collect on the landing page.
Many researchers estimate that over 90% of increasingly mobile and internet-savvy consumers are looking at online reviews before making a purchase. Moreover, customer reviews impact your business ranking in local search results.
Reviews are great for your business as long as they are good ones. If you are getting negative reviews you need to invest in online reputation management.
Need help with reputation management?
We understand that negative reviews can hurt your reputation as a business, and you can’t get ahead by ignoring what’s being said about you online. If you require assistance in managing negative reviews, PrimeView can help you navigate the delicate path of online commentary. Call us at 480-970-4688 to request a free proposal.