Reviews are critical for any small business, and for service businesses in particular. It makes sense—customers trust other customers more than they trust business owners, especially customers who have experienced the service firsthand. In fact, research shows that 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses.
That’s not all. Not only do reviews give your business important exposure and build trust, they also give you insight into your customers’ preferences and needs so that you can better meet them in the future.
So, how do you get people to sit down at the computer and write those all-important reviews? Sometimes it can feel a bit awkward to ask directly, almost like you’re fishing for a compliment. But you can’t let that hold you back—reviews are too important to your business.
In fact, actively asking for reviews helps you control what type of reviews of your business end up on popular review sites. Many satisfied customers don’t think about leaving a review—it just isn’t at the top of their mind. However, unhappy customers often actively look for ways to express their dissatisfaction.
The numbers are proof. Research shows that consumers give an average rating of 4.34 out of 5 stars when businesses actively request customer reviews and only 3.89 stars out of 5 when they don’t.
Not sure how to start? Try these 6 easy tips for customer reviews.
1. Know who to ask
You want the majority of your reviews to come from satisfied customers. While it isn’t a good idea to block negative reviews (having only 5-star reviews tends to make customers suspicious), you should actively encourage happy customers to leave reviews so there are enough positive reviews to balance any negative ones that come in.
If you’re a one-man show, you’ll know who is going to give you the reviews you want. But if you have a team, it’s important to take the time to ask your team members who you should approach rather than sending review prompts automatically.
2. Make follow-up calls
Follow-up calls are a good business practice in general. They show your customers that you care about them and that you take responsibility for the quality of your service, even after the initial work has been completed and you’ve received payment.
Follow-up calls are also a great opportunity to ask for reviews. During the call, you’ll be able to sense if the customer is satisfied with your service. If they are, you can feel comfortable about asking them for a review.
3. Utilize receipts
Customers may ignore emails, but they usually review receipts to make sure they were charged the right amount. So why not leverage their attention to ask for a review on the receipt itself?
There are many ways to use receipts to prompt reviews, for example, adding a request in the receipt email. You can even add a small prompt and a direct link to the review site on the receipt itself.
4. Text customers
Emails have notoriously low open rates, especially ones that end up in a promotions folder. Text messages have a much higher open rate, making them a great channel to ask for reviews. Don’t forget to include a direct link to your page on the review site in the text message to make it easier for your customers to find you and complete the review. And, you can even automate the review request text with Workiz automation.
5. Show your appreciation
You don’t want to make customers feel like you’re buying their feedback—that doesn’t send a good message. However, it is a good idea to show them that you appreciate the time and effort they invest in writing a review.
A small token such as a discount on a future service can be enough to get them to sit down and write. Just make sure that it’s clear that they aren’t obligated to write a positive review in return for the incentive.
6. Look beyond the big review sites
Big review sites like Google, Yelp, and Angi are essential and drive the most traffic, so they should be the first place you set up reviews for your business. But don’t stop there! Niche review sites like NiceJob and Houzz can also be important and drive traffic—and to make it easy, Workiz even offers integration with NiceJob!
And don’t forget open and closed social media groups. For example, neighborhood and mom’s groups can be excellent venues to get the word out about your services. Scout out the popular groups and see if any of your loyal customers are members. If they are, ask them if they’d be willing to write a post about your business.
See, it’s doable! And with Workiz automation and integrations, it’s easier than ever. We include integrations with leading review sites, as well as tools for automating messages and scheduling follow-up calls. Don’t put it off—set up a review program today so more new customers can find your business and feel confident about using your services.