One of the most important things that a business has is its reputation. Good or bad, your reputation is how you will continue attracting potential customers. But how do they know what your reputation is? Reviews.
Reviews are the backbone of any business’s reputation. They can be the deciding factor of why potential customers choose you over your competition. Ninety-three percent of consumers say that online reviews impact their purchase decisions and 60 percent look at reviews weekly. That’s a huge majority of your customers that are looking at the reviews you have and making decisions based on those.
Yes! You have happy customers and those happy customers can leave positive reviews. In fact, 77 percent of consumers said they would leave an online review if prompted by a local business. That means that the majority of your customers would be happy and willing to leave your business a review if asked. So start asking!
Asking for reviews can be intimidating but it’s necessary to ask in order to get reviews. Here are a few ways you can ask for reviews:
If you frequently deal with customers in-person, it’s easy for you to be able to ask them to leave a review while speaking to them. Wait until you’ve finished whatever service you’re offering them and if everything has gone positively, ask them to leave a review about their experience. This is an easy way to get your happy customers to leave excellent reviews for your business and get feedback from them!
Add a link at the bottom of any email you send your customers. No matter if it’s a follow-up email, a newsletter, or something else, adding that link with a quick note for them to leave a review is a great way to ask them for feedback.
Not only is social media a great way to communicate with your customers, but it’s also an excellent way to ask them to leave you a review! You can include a link to the platform you are wanting the reviews to be on, with a quick caption that says something like, “Love [your business name]? Tell us!” This allows you to gain feedback from your customers and get their positive reviews on the platform of your choosing, whether that’s Google, your website, Yelp, social media, or somewhere else.
There’s always a good time to do things, especially when asking for a review from a customer. You want to generally ensure that the experience was positive and the customer is happy when asking them. The best time can vary depending on the type of product you offer. For instance, if you’re providing a service, like a haircut or an oil change, the best time to ask would be as soon as you have finished and the customer has paid. If you sell a specific product that the customer would need to take home to try, you might have better results if you give them a few days to try out your product and then follow up with an email later.
Never offer any incentives when asking for reviews. This is considered soliciting and it’s against Google and other search engine review guidelines. The reviews need to be authentic and freely given. Also, make sure to not delete any reviews just because they were bad. Google considers this review gating, which is also against their guidelines. Look over the guidelines of the platforms you plan to use when asking for reviews to ensure you are following them.
Reviews are important for every type of business. Be sure to ask your customers to leave you a review the next time they choose you!
Dani James is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications from Arkansas State University with focuses in Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media Management.
When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, and watching The Office.
This is some good advice, Danielle. Thanks for the article.