It’s crucial to get online reviews for your small business if you want it to be successful. Studies have shown that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and trust them just as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Simply put, positive online reviews can be the difference between a customer hiring you or your competitor.
When I first started freelance writing, I found it difficult to gather testimonials. But over time, I learned strategies for getting online reviews that made it easier to collect positive feedback from clients. Here are three ways you can secure more online reviews to give your business a boost.
Ask For Feedback From Happy Customers
This may seem obvious, but the easiest way to get reviews from customers is just to ask! At the beginning of my writing career, I was scared to ask clients for testimonials. I didn’t want to take up their time or impose on them by asking them to write me a review. I was also worried about getting unexpected negative feedback even if the client was always happy with my work.
But if you have a good relationship with your customer and you’ve satisfied them time and time again, they’ll usually have no problem writing a review for you. And despite any worries or fears you may have, the review will most likely be positive.
How to Ask Clients For Reviews
I usually ask clients for feedback by sending them a personalized email. But if you own a larger business and don’t have time to email all of your customers directly, running an email campaign that asks your customers for feedback may be a good idea.
You can also ask your customers to write reviews by making a social media post. Some businesses even encourage customers to leave online reviews in their email signatures, on their business cards, or at the bottom of their receipts.
However, using a less targeted, personalized approach may mean that you’re encouraging both happy and unhappy customers to leave reviews. If you’re looking to get positive online feedback to boost your business, it may be best to ask customers you know are satisfied for reviews in a personal email or face-to-face conversation.
Familiarize Yourself With Review Platform Rules
It’s also important to keep in mind that some online review platforms don’t want businesses to ask customers for reviews, including Yelp. It may actually hurt your Yelp rating if you ask customers to leave you positive feedback. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of all the review platforms your business is on so you don’t accidentally violate them and hurt your online standing!
Most online review platforms don’t allow businesses to offer their customers incentives in exchange for reviews. However, if you’re collecting testimonials for your own website, it’s fine to give customers who leave reviews a special discount or perk for providing you with feedback.
Customers who take time out of their busy days to leave genuine, thoughtful reviews deserve to be acknowledged. It’s a nice gesture to give them a 15% discount or free shipping in return for their efforts. Asking your customers to leave a review won’t feel one-sided or selfish if you’re offering an incentive. Plus, the discount will give them yet another reason to continue purchasing your products or services.
Just make sure you don’t make customers feel pressured to leave positive reviews. Emphasize that you’re looking for their honest opinions on what your business is doing well and what it could do better.
Make It Easy For Customers To Leave Reviews
Finally, it’s important to make it easy for customers to leave reviews by giving them clear instructions. Direct them to the page where you want them to leave the review, whether it’s your Google Business Profile or your website. If you ask a customer for a review in person, follow up and send them an email with the link so they don’t have to waste time searching for the correct online profile.
Your customers may also have trouble figuring out what to say in their reviews. To make it easier for them find the right words to describe your business, you can provide them with a list of questions or prompts to respond to, such as:
- Would you recommend our business to a friend?
- Would you purchase our products or services again?
- Did we meet or exceed your expectations?
- Was our customer service satisfactory?
If you’re asking each client for feedback in a targeted, personalized email, you can also remind them of the best results you’ve achieved for them to help them focus their review.
How do you go about asking your customers for feedback? Share your tips in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.