If you're wanting to generate more reviews for your business online, one of the best things you can do is simply ask your customers for a review. How you go about doing this though is the trick. I'm sure its safe to say by now that online review sites tend to attract more negative intended reviewers than positive reviewers. Very rarely will someone who had a positive experience go out of their way to leave an online review (unless asked). It's always the customer that had the negative experience that wants to scream to the heavens and let the world know how awful your business is. Based on a recent survey, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. It's time we put the odds back in your favor and start asking the customers who had the positive experience to leave a review.
Here's a list of 5 of the most common methods we recommend to collect reviews.
- Verbally ask your customers to review you.
Asking every single customer of yours to leave a review might be both time consuming and awkward. You must read a customers body language, and if you feel the customers having a positive vibe with your experience, ask away! Try and ask a handful of customers a day to leave a review, odds are if they're happy they will. Try and read the body language of your customers before asking. If the customer is yelling and angry, don't ask. If the customer is smiling and seems genuinely happy, try and spark up a conversation and ask them to leave a review. Tell them you're trying to build a more positive vibe and that them rating their experience would help. If you want, offer something (but never put it in writing).
- Send an invitation email to your customers after they leave.
If you're a customer of ours, you'd be assigned a dedicated account manager. This method would only work with certain business models. For example, if you run a coffee shop getting a list of email addresses from your customers might be virtually impossible. If you're in the business of installing fences, or if you're a moving company, you might have access to lead-data, so sending off a single email after their experience could work wonders. If you're a customer of our company, please contact your account manager, and we can work with you on sample emails and get this in motion for you.
- Send an invitation text message to your customers after they leave.
If sending off an email is not an option, our company does offer a SMS feature within our dashboard that would allow you to send a text message to your customers. You can send the text message out when the customer leaves, or you can insert the phone numbers for all your customers of the day and send one bulk message out. Due to text messages being limited when it comes to length, we don't recommend going over 160 characters when sending out text messages. If you're a customer of our company, please contact your account manager, and we can work with you on setting this up.
- Include a link in your email signature.
Depending on the nature of your business, it might be a good idea to include the link to your online review profiles in your outgoing email signature. Aside from having just your name, company name, phone number, and address – try including the review profiles for your business. There's nothing wrong with testing this theory out and try it for 30 days, see what comes of it? If it doesn't work, take the links out of your signature. There are methods of tracking whether or not those links are clicked, given you want to see how many times those specific email signature links were clicked within a single month.
- Put a link on your website.
As we stated above in option four, there is a method to track when links are clicked. If you want to generate more positive online reviews, it might be a good idea to put a link on your website asking your visitors to take a minute and rate their recent experience with everyone. We've seen quite a few different companies do this and it has worked well. We're firm believers in tracking everything, so be sure to track the links on your website, given you decide to try this method.
Do not under any circumstances offer to pay for online reviews. Sites like Yelp and many others will slap a banner on your review profile page, letting everyone know that you were paying for online reviews. Another method we recommend staying away from is offering incentives. Although this technically isn't considered paying for online reviews, it is quite close. Offering someone a free product or service is dancing on a fine line, and we've seen many different companies get in trouble for doing something very similar to this. The best thing you can do is genuinely provide a good product or service and capitalize on asking for reviews. If you see someone smile and happy, ask for a review. Place links in certain places and use our email and SMS service within our dashboard to reach out to your customers.
It works, start implementing these strategies into your daily business model today.