Customer reviews are a powerful tool for any small business when utilized the correct way and when undertaken with deliberate and calculated strategy. Think about the last time you were on the fence in dealing with a purchase. Perhaps you knew exactly what product or service you wanted, however you were going back and forth on who you wanted to grant your business with.
In the modern-day market place, this is a common occurrence. Technological advances have allowed many businesses to enter the marketplace in recent day which means you can get what you want, when you want it. The caveat comes when you decide whom to give your business to because today we have a choice. A main way we are influenced by that choice is through customer reviews.
If a review generation strategy isn’t part of your current marketing strategy, it can come across as a bit overwhelming. Perhaps you might feel you are asking for too much; you got the business, why keep asking for more?
It turns out many customers (especially the delighted ones) are more than happy to share their experience. Research notes that a whopping 71% of customers will leave a review when asked. If you’re not getting the reviews you feel you deserve, your customers may be unaware of how important it a recount of the experience is to you.
What sites should you get reviews on?
It’s recommended that you don’t put all of your chips into one basket. There are the “Big Three” review sites that should all be taken into consideration when building your review base. Those three are:
- Google Reviews
- Facebook Reviews
The majority of the eyes in the marketplace are looking at these sites. It’s recommended that you focus on one and once you start to get a decent base with that specific site you can start to move onto another and build up reviews there.
Okay, so let’s get into the strategies of building your reviews…
Ways to ask for a review
1. Ask for reviews in person
Perhaps with the introduction of many cutting-edge technological advancements, this technique tends to be overlooked–but it can have some of the biggest impacts with your customer. An in-person interaction involves many senses.
Once the happy customer signs his/her name on the dotted line and gets the job-completing handshake, a deliberate ask of a review can go a long way. This doesn’t have to be anything over the top, just letting your happy customer know how much it would mean to you if they were to go to a review site and tell their story.
A great added strategy here would be to include a business card or using handouts with the review site in question so it takes any confusion away from the equation.
2. Ask for reviews via email follow up
Email is still one of the top tools to be used with your small business. This is especially true when it comes to asking for a review. In most cases, a follow up is needed when finishing a job. This is a perfect time to use an email follow up to ask for a review.
With email requests for review accumulation, you have an opportunity to make things very easy for yourself. Using a template with your follow up email allows for you to craft requests from customers with ease. Take the hassle away from the customer and send them directly to your Google, Facebook and/or Yelp site without putting the burden on them to find it on their own.
Thankfully, all of these requests and templates can be automated with the use of Housecall Pro’s Review Booster. Review Booster automatically allows you to target and ask the right customers who will leave a glowing review and is already filled with templates that guide your customer to the review page you wish to target.
3. Ask for reviews with an incentive offer
Industry data shows that when an incentive is offered in exchange for a review (coupon, save, discount etc.) there is an 18.5% increase in the likelihood of a request converting to an actual review.
Think about your service for a moment and think about what future incentives you could offer in exchange for a review. For instance, if you’re a plumbing service, maybe you can offer a 10% discount on a future service request. It’s a win-win; the probability of that experience converting into a review goes up as well as it being a primer for future business.
Housecall Pro is the home to some of the largest home service communities on the web. Take the time to chat with other Pros on what kinds of incentives they are offering their customers, what is working for their business and try it out yourself!
Building up a review base can seem like a daunting task–especially if you are starting from square one.
But it doesn’t have to be. As long as you have a simple strategy in place and are actively asking, the reviews will follow. Better yet, once your reviews increase, so will your bottom line.
- Ask in person
When the experience and the feelings associated with the experience are fresh in the customer’s head.
- Follow up via email with your customers
In order to alleviate the process of email follow up, make sure you have automated tools that prompt a customer for a review on your behalf.
- Incentivize your customers to write their reviews
Offer them a special deal in exchange for their time and kind words.
Reviews are a positive tool for both you and your customers. Use the strategies outlined above to increase your business and overall experience for your customers.