We talk a lot about leveraging things like “social proof” in order to grow your brand’s reputation and consumer trust. And up to now, we haven’t talked much about specific methods you can use to gather those coveted five star reviews. So, let’s change that.
Before you can begin collecting customer reviews, you must first have your business registered with Google My Business. Luckily, it only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and you’re ready to go. In another article, we go over the specific benefits and tactics you can use to best take advantage of the Google My Business tool.
The best time to ask for a customer review is right after you finish a job, help a customer solve a problem, and any time you have a positive interaction. Granted, you should only ask someone for a review one or two times, otherwise you risk bothering them and ending up with a low review.
How To Implement: There are two tiers this can be broken into. The first is a simpler, less complicated version, while the other has one additional step, but will help you improve your business in the end.
If you or one of your technicians feel like the service quality was good and the customer is happy about everything, simply send an email with a link they can use to leave a review. This is a simple method, and ensures that the reviews you receive reflect the positive service you know your company offers.
If you want an additional layer of information and feedback, you can include every customer in a post-touch-point rating system that allows them to rate their experience, and leave a comment explaining their vote. It is important that this vote remains private, preferably within a survey system like Survey Monkey, because you will get a range of responses. After you see someone give you a high score, you can follow up, asking them to talk more about their experience in a Google review.
Here’s an article on 20 Great Ways to ask for customer reviews
Research shows that responses to review requests actually go up by as much as 10 percent toward the middle of the week. Think of your own productivity habits, for example. When are you more likely to respond to someone’s requests?
Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers is essential to getting the highest return on your efforts. Therefore, if you have customers that live in a different time zone, take into consideration ways you can accommodate their schedules.
Just because it’s a good time for you, doesn’t mean your customers are willing and able to give you what you want.
No matter how you ask for reviews, either over the phone, or through an email, you should always make the process as simple for the potential reviewer as possible. Imagine each step they have to take like hiking up a mountain, each one making the final destination more impossible to reach. You can streamline the process for your audience in a few ways:
Use direct, and simplified links: You can find the direct link to your review form by first Googling your business name.The next thing you will want to do is find your link which sends users directly to your review form. After Googling your company’s name, click on the button that says “Write A Review.” After opening the form, copy the URL above, which when tested by pasting in a new tab, will take you directly to the form. This is the URL you will share with your customers.
If you want to go a step further, you can create hyperlinks in buttons, and even shorten the URL using Bitly.
Who doesn’t love a free Amazon gift card, or a discount on future services? If you find that gathering customer reviews takes more time than you want it to, incentivizing your customers to participate can bring in great results. Here are some tips you can use when incentivizing:
You have to be careful with this method, however. Over-incentivising is unethical, and you won’t be getting critical feedback you can use to make important changes to your business model.
If, for example, you have a technician or two who are very poor at customer service, you might never get that feedback if you over-incentivize your customers to give you five star reviews.
In addition, incentivized reviews tend to have a robotic and scripted tone of voice, leaving out personalized details about the experience, and offering little insight to the people who read them. This technique should really be a last resort when none of your other tactics have worked out.
Use the incentivization technique only when you need to spur participation, and disclose when your reviews are incentivized. Not doing so could result in fines, so be sure to review the FTC’s guide on endorsement rules.