How to Ask Customers to Write a Review in 4 Steps
In this article, we’re going to provide you with some tips on how to ask customers to write a review for your business.
Online reviews have become an efficient way for customers to quickly judge and compare local businesses; especially doctors, dentists, restaurants, and hotels.
So, what do you do if your local business has no online reviews, or maybe only a couple of reviews?
The first thing you need to do is to start getting your happy customers to write reviews for you. However, since most of your customers won’t go out of their way to share their experience online, the only way to significantly increase your online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google is to start asking your customers for reviews.
1. Get Feedback from EVERY Customer
It’s important that each customer knows how much it would mean to you to get an online review from them. So, the first thing you need to do is ask them, “how was your experience today?” or “how did we do?”.
If you get a good response to this question then you want to ask, “would you be willing to recommend us to your family and friends?”
You can ask these questions in person, use email, a customer survey, or even use SMS text messaging. The important thing is that you ask both of these questions and then go on to the next step.
2. Make it Easy for Them to Leave a Review for You
If step 1 went well, then you have a customer that just said “yes!” to recommending your business. Congratulations, that was the hard part. Next, you just need to help them do it.
There are a number of ways to make it easy for the customer to leave you a review, just keep in mind that the best path is the one with the least amount of friction. Below are a few examples and ideas to help you get started.
- Put the links on your website
- Give the customer a postcard with direct links to your review sites
- Send the customer email with direct links to your review sites
- Text the customer direct links to your review sites
PRO TIP: Make sure you get the customer’s permission before using SMS text messages and/or emails to contact them. Follow all local and national communication laws. Have a questions? Contact us for more information.
3. Follow Up with the Customer
If you’ve completed the first two steps and aren’t seeing results, don’t panic. It might not be your fault. In fact, the title of this article probably shouldn’t be “How to Ask Customers to Write Reviews for Your Local Business”, it should be something more along the lines of; “How to Ask Customers *Multiple Times* to Write Reviews for Your Local Business”.
Asking once won’t typically get the job done. The secret is to ask multiple times and use a combination of methods.
If you’ve sent them a text message but no review has been posted, try following up with an email. If there’s no response from the email, try sending them a postcard. If that doesn’t work, you may have to try calling them. Like most other marketing efforts, getting reviews is a numbers game. The more you ask, and the more times you ask, the better your results.
It’s important to note that you don’t want to annoy your customers. Reach out to them 3 or 4 times, if there’s no response then plan to try again the next time they hire you or buy from you.
4. Have a System In Place to Easily Repeat the Process
In order to consistently add 5 star reviews online, you’re going to need to have system in place that makes this process as efficient and easy on you as possible.
Whether you have a CRM that allows you to easily email your patients and customers, or you use a spreadsheet and upload customers weekly to an email service provider like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, or use a direct mail vendor to send out postcards to your customers a week after their visit; setting up a repeatable process is very important for your longterm success.
As you setup this process in your business, try to automate as much of it as possible. When you see a business with 50+ reviews on Google and Yelp, it’s safe to say that they’ve used automation in their process.
Need a hand with your process? We can help! Get a free demo of our reputation marketing services.
How do YOU ask customers to write a review for your business? Join us in the comments!