What frustrates me is businesses online without ANY online customer reviews! Even the most amazing, customer-centric businesses can struggle to attract organic, 5-start online reviews.
That is what this article is about. Not only how you can easily request reviews, plus also leverage them to further promote your business.
In this webinar recording, I discuss what I believe are the 2 BIGGEST components to attracting and leveraging online reviews. I am joined by a group of our VIP clients where I answer their questions about reviews and how it relates to their unique businesses and industries.
The key steps and helpful links are outlined below and the full transcript of this video is available right at the end of this article.
Date: Monday, 10 May 2021
Presented via: ZOOM
Online Reviews – PART ONE
Encouraging Online Reviews
How to Get Reviews
Step 1 | Be prepared to ask – most customers don’t fully understand how impactful that one extra 5-star review is.
Step 2 | Ask for 5-Stars – asking specifically for a 5-star review vs “just a review”, means you’ll increase your chances of getting those valuable high-impact reviews.
Step 3 | Use a Script – using a pre-written script means you’ll be more organised and make this process a lot faster. We’ve prepared a generic Review Request Email Script HERE that you are more than welcome to start with.
Step 4 | Put Your Request Out There – Send your script out via email or text message. You can also post a request to social media or from within an online directory (e.g. Word Of Mouth). Two other strategies can include: on your printed materials (like the example presented in the video) or as a simple link in your email signature.
Your Review Links
To make leaving a review for you, as convenient and easy as possible, it’s best to include the direct links to the 1 or 2 platforms you want your customers to save their reviews.
We suggest mixing these up so that you get an even spread of reviews across multiple platforms.
1. Google My Business | you’ll need to have created and verified your free listing with Google first. Below is a great step-by-step video by Google Domination that shows you how to retrieve your Reviews Link.
Your Review Links cont…
2. Social Media | Most socials allow for the accumulation of reviews. Simple copy and paste your profile URL/website address.
3. Online Directories | Share your direct business listing URLs. e.g. Here’s a link to our Truelocal directory listing. If you’re finding this article helpful so far, why not leave us a 5-star review to better understand the process 😉
Other online directories include:
There’s 100’s of others you could focus on. As long as you already have your business listing published, you can share that link with your customers.
Offering a Sweetener
Have you ever purchased anything online, received your order, then been emailed a few days later requesting an online review? In some cases, you may need to offer your customers an extra incentive to leave you a review. This is great if you are a new business, trying to generate a lot of reviews quickly or are struggling to get a decent conversion rate on your review requests.
This can be in the form of a discount towards a future purchase, a free gift or an entry into a prize draw. Whatever you decide, be creative and be mindful of what your target audience might actually desire.
Online Reviews – PART TWO
Leveraging Your Reviews
The Multi-Platform Approach
Now that you’ve gone to all that effort to elicit reviews from your happy customers, now’s the time to make the most of it.
1. Social Media | When you receive a 5-star reviews, e.g. on your Google My Business listing, then copy and paste that into social media posts.
BONUS HINT | If you are a business-2-business operation, then ‘tag’ your client’s social account/s where appropriate. This means a little extra promotion for you both!
2. Other Platforms | To further leverage the power of just one review, here’s a list of where else you can copy and paste it:
- Website | this can be on a dedicated reviews / testimonials section of your website, or a service specific / sales page
- Email signature | this makes you look good when communicating with new prospects
- Email or print newsletter | sharing new customer reviews can encourage past happy customers to finally leave you one too
- Specific Directories | directory websites like Word Of Mouth, allow you to submit the review on your customers’ behalf, triggering an email to them that they can simply approve with the click of one button
THE MORE THE MERRIER | leveraging just one review multiple times means that more people have the opportunity to see it. Naturally, your target audience will be scattered across your different online-presence-platforms, as should your awesome 5-start reviews.
Replying to Reviews
Not only is it a nice thing to do, replying to EVERY review adds to your overall online reparation.
PLUS | according to Birdeye:
1. Your local SEO will benefit from you taking the time to respond, and
2. Over 50% of customers expect a reply to their review. So why leave them hanging!
The Review Wrap Up
PART ONE |
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a review
- be sure to specifically ask for a 5-star review
- provide the direct link/s to where you would like the reviews to be published
PART TWO |
- Copy and share your reviews onto multiple platforms
- Respond to EVERY review where possible
Karen: Ready to go. Awesome. Awesome. I’ll get started guys. So what I’ve done this particular presentation is to do with reviews. And so I usually look at this in two stages. So there’s obviously the first section of trying to get the review. You need to request the review in the first place. And then once you’ve got the review, usually most people and most businesses stop there. They don’t do anything with it.
Karen: And what we want to be doing is actually leveraging that further. It seems like such a waste to get a review in one location and not do anything else with it. So that’ll be the second part of what I’m presenting today. So basically the first component I’ll cover is the actual asking of a review. A lot of us feel uncomfortable doing this and silly that we should. Unfortunately reviews though don’t generally happen that organically unless we ask.
Karen: Especially if you’re in the game of business to consumer. There’s a lot of consumers who are not business owners, don’t understand the importance of a review for a local business. So as local business owners, it’s up to us to ask for one. So that’s kind of step one. Is feel comfortable asking for the review in the first place. Another really good hint is to request specifically for a five-star review.
Karen: If you are not asking for a five star review and they’ve got the intention of leaving you a three star review, then they’re going to leave you a three star review. The really cool thing is by asking for five stars is you’re actually going to generally discourage anyone who’s looking to give you a review less than five stars or, and or, will encourage those that might’ve only given you a four star review they’d be more inclined to give you a full five star review instead of just giving you the fours, because you’ve asked specifically for five star.
Karen: That’s a little bit of a psychological trick that one but it’s a nice one to employ. So the second technique you can use is there’s a script on our website to tackle. And I know a few of you are already using that script. So you can modify that script to suit you and your customers. A really good way is only send that script or a similar script to those customers you know who have had a really lovely experience with you because you’re more likely to get more five-star reviews.
Karen: The reason we’re doing this is so that for the very odd occurrence where somebody leaves you a bad review or in… And I know that Margaret you’ve experienced this before, where you’ve had a case of mistaken identity and somebody has left you a one-star review but incorrectly on your profile on say something like the Google Map listings.
Karen: Super inconvenient because it drags your average back down. So what you want to be doing there, his encouraging as many five star reviews possible so that in the off chance there’s that one random one-star review, whether it’s legitimate or not, your overall average isn’t being dragged down. So that’s why we bother. So how do we now get this request out there? So we’ve got the idea of sending a script and we already know we’ve got to ask for it.
Karen: So there’s lots of different ways we can ask for reviews. What we do, the most effective way I’ve found to get reviews for web stuff, is to simply send an email. So we have a script that we use, which is not too dissimilar to the one that’s on our tech hub. That particular review script is quite effective and basically you’re playing the numbers game.
Karen: So the more requests for reviews you receive the more reviews you get. Our conversion rate’s probably around 75% of people that we’ve sent a request to. We actually get about 75% of them do actually leave a review. What I also do is about a month later, I send that email again with another little scripted response, just super quick and easy for me to do but another response would say, “Hey, just wondering if you’ve overlooked this?” Because, we’re all very busy these days.
Karen: But reminding people that they haven’t left a review yet, usually I can get that last little bit of people who haven’t yet left a review. So I keep a Google drive document of who I’ve requested, what I’ve requested and yes have I received them. So, you can keep a spreadsheet or a piece of paper that you write out, however you want to record that’s up to you but I use a Google drive document so it’s nice and easy for me to keep track of all of that. So an email script is a really good one to do.
Karen: Another simple way, depending on your customers, is to send a text message. So if you’ve got a bit of an older audience who are not as tech savvy but they’re used the text message, you can actually include a link inside the text message and I’ll come back to links in a minute. So the reason why that’s super handy is how many of us open our emails and leave unopened emails versus how many of us leave unopened text messages?
Karen: So text messages is a really great way of getting through usually instead of trying to avoid a very full inbox that people could ignore and overlook your request, not to mention if it accidentally lands in spam. A text message never lands in spam. So most people can’t not open a text message. So that’s a really good technique if you are struggling to get reviews.
Karen: So again, when I come back to links in a minute, you could actually include links in that text message as well. So that’s why text is really, really powerful. Another one is to simply ring people. Remind people that you would like for them to leave you a review. One of our clients, Khan’s Electrical over at [inaudible 00:05:21] island does this. After every single job they do a phone call, a follow-up phone call to see how everything went. And then they actually email through a request for people to leave a review. So they’ve got hundreds of reviews, all five star as a result of doing that.
Karen: So it’s a really effective way of doing it and it also gives you the opportunity to following up after the job anyway, if that’s appropriate for what you do. Another one is on social media. So if you have already asked specific customers on email and text message to actually leave you a review, you can leave more of a generic request on your social media. The risk is that anyone on your social media has access to this link.
Karen: So, and again, I’ll come back to the links in the tick. But basically what you want to be doing is that your broader say Facebook or LinkedIn audience can have access to whichever link wherever it is you want people to leave the review. And by doing that, it’s actually really cool because you can actually open it up to people who might’ve been customers a year ago, that you’ve forgotten to request something from, but they still follow you because they love you. So that’s a really nice way of doing it as well.
Karen: I probably do that once or twice a year, just to sort of see if there’s anyone else I can capture along the way. Mainly because me emailing and texting directly is a lot more effective. Another one is on a directory. So have I left anyone behind yet? Just remember, pipe up if you’ve got any questions. So online directories is a really great way of requesting reviews directly through the directory itself.
Karen: So anyone of you who have been part of our webs to tech, sorry our monthly marketing challenge. There was a couple of requests, a couple of activities rather relating to word of mouth. So wordofmouth.com.au which is a free online business directory. So from within, if you log into the account and you have your listing set up already, have the listing set up for Google reasons but what you can also do is actually request a review from within that platform 100% for free.
Karen: So, that’s a really great way of getting reviews quickly. So the way I use that is when somebody leaves us a review on a different platform. So for example, somebody has left us a review on our Google Map listing. I will copy and paste their review, open up my Word of Mouth profile, put it in there because there’s two options for reviews in Word of Mouth so you can actually ask specifically for them to say, well here’s your review and all they need to do is click a button to basically authorize it or to confirm that that is indeed their review. So now you’ve got their one review on both your Google listing and your Word of Mouth listing. Does that make sense?
Fiona: Yes, yes.
Yeah. So once you’re in there, it makes a little bit more sense but there’s more than one. There’s a few directories that allow you to make that request from within the directory when you logged in online. And another really simple one to employ is adding a link or text link into your email signature. So simply just write the words, leave a review and then hyperlink to wherever you want that review to be left.
Karen: So that link like I said, I’ll talk about that in a moment. It could be your Google My Business listing for example. And the last one that I’ve seen have very good results. A local company called Pest Cover, local pest control company, has been doing this for years. Because their customers generally are a bit older and not as tech savvy, they wanted to make it super easy. And this is probably the biggest challenge businesses have when they’re…
Karen: This is probably the biggest challenge businesses have, when their demographic will target audiences a little bit older, you get a lot of jobs in that type of audience range. What they actually did is, we created what’s called a QR code for them, we can generate a QR code online for free, and basically we’ve added a page to their website and this QR code redirected to that. What they did was had their business cards, have their normal details on the front of the business card and when you flipped it over, it had leave a review. What it allowed them to do, is the customer can get their phone, we’re all very familiar with QR codes at the moment because of COVID check-ins, you scan the code, it’d take the customer to a page on their website, a specific page about reviews. On that page, they had links to anywhere that people could leave a review. You can leave a review to their True Local listing, their website directly, and also their Google page. That does require having an extra page added to your site, but by doing the business card, it puts it in their hand right then and there.
Karen: What Pest Cover actually reported back, is that most people would get the card, see it, and go, oh, I’ll do that right now, and they would leave a five-star review while the technician was still standing in the house. That’s a really cool way that, if you’ve got customers that might be a bit slack, if you follow them up a few days after the appointment, then that’s a really good way of doing it. Particularly for those who are a little less tech savvy, because you can actually show them how to do it on their mobile phone and they can do it right then and there.
Karen: Fortunately, most people are logged into at least Facebook or Gmail account, while they’re on their phone. Most of them don’t even know they are. It’ll automatically let them link to whatever they’ve clicked on. That’s a really nice little strategy as well, particularly good if you go into people’s homes and you’re doing installs and that kind of thing, not applicable so much for Alicia and the business she works for. For [cool focus 00:11:02] it’s not quite the same, but for a lot of you guys, that would be really appropriate to do.
Karen: Any questions so far?
Margaret: Not at this stage.
Karen: Awesome. I hope you’re writing furiously because I’m trying to run through everything really quickly for you all.
Karen: Coming back to what I mentioned before, the second part of getting reviews is including the link or the links. What I’m referring to when I say links, is a direct link to whichever platform you want people to leave a review on. The reason we do this is because people are very slack, we want to make it super easy for them. Instead of just saying, Hey, can you go online and leave me a review? You haven’t defined where online. What we want to be doing here is actually, I would really love more reviews on my Google, my business listing. You want to give them that link. If you have a section on your website that allows people to leave reviews there, then you want to give them that link. If you want people to review you on platforms on Facebook or LinkedIn, you want to be giving them those links.
Karen: What I do is, I switch and swap around. I know I’ve got, say 30, 40 odd reviews on my Google listing, but only seven on my Facebook profile, and I want to even it up a bit, I won’t ask for as many Google reviews, but I’ll request a few more Facebook to equal that out. You can do the same with LinkedIn and you can do the same with anything on your website. Keeping in mind your review can be manually added later. There’s no real need to actually request people leave a review there, it’s actually more powerful if they leave the review on a Google, my business listing, or one of your directories or one of your social media platforms, because then you can copy and paste it from any of them and bring it back to your site, depending how your site’s been set up. Does that make sense for everybody so far?
Lenora: If they do a review on one of those, can you copy and paste it to all the others, or do you have to ask their permission?
Karen: No, generally you can just do it. Most people would be happy for you to do it anyway, because it’s already publicly shared, and they’ve already done that, they’ve basically given you the permission to do that. If you want to cover yourself, you can include that in the email script you would originally send them.
Karen: This review would be granting us permission to use this blah, blah, blah. From a legal perspective, I’ve never come across anything saying that you can’t. Again, every time I’ve asked the customer saying, Hey, thanks for leaving us a review on this platform, do you mind if I share it here and here? Fortunately our clients are businesses, so businesses are, yeah, chuck my name everywhere, I don’t care, that’d be awesome. If you are a business to consumer, they might be a little more sensitive. You can just include a little disclosure statement in your original script to cover you for that, or you can just ask them after the fact, when you’re thanking them for the review.
Lenora: It’s not less powerful because it’s been entered by me rather than a customer?
Karen: Well, if you’re putting it on your own website, there’s no real verification process that it’s them who’s left it or you have left it on their behalf, whereas a platform like Google, they need to be logged into their account to do it.
Karen: For instance, with that Word of Mouth directory listing, when you request it from behind the scenes, you’re logged into your Word of Mouth, it sends the customer an email and they have to click on it to verify, which means it verifies that the review is indeed legit, it’s not going to put it under your name.
Karen: Yellow pages, for example, the free yellow pages, you can add people’s reviews to that, but if you do it yourself, it will actually put it under your name. That’s not as powerful, it could look a little bit like you’ve just put people’s reviews here. You’re probably better off offering that link to the yellow pages listing if you want get reviews there as well.
Margaret: Can I ask a question? People have to have a Google account to leave a Google review, correct?
Karen: Gmail account. Yes.
Margaret: Gmail account, yeah. This is where most of our issues are.
Margaret: Not a lot of them have got Gmail accounts.
Karen: Would they have Facebook accounts?
Margaret: Some of them. Once again, that demographic is that older demographic and people, they’ll tell you straight up verbally, what a wonderful job, but only such a small percentage will reply to my emails.
Margaret: Then they’ll just reply to you, they won’t put any… It’s too hard for them.
Karen: They won’t go to the link.
Karen: Absolutely. Another way to get around that, is going back to the Pest Cover example, actually letting people leave the review directly on your website could be the next best thing. As much as it’s better for you from a Google ranking perspective and a business reputation perspective, to be leaving a review on Google, maybe it becomes more of a matter of when you’re out on the job, asking the customer directly, do you have a Gmail account? If they say no, there’s still a slight possibility they still have a Google account. You can log into Google with other email addresses. However, without them having to muck about with that, then you’ve got Facebook as a backup and then directly on your own website. The last one is Word of Mouth, actually would be really handy. If they are saying verbally, or they’ve emailed you a review saying, yes, you’ve done a fantastic job, you can actually go into the backend of your Word of Mouth listing, copy and paste it into the backend. It’ll send them an email to approve. They don’t need a word of mouth account to do that, they just click approve. It’ll do it for them. All it’s doing, is just verifying the email address is legitimate. At least that way you’re getting reviews on a platform, that’s not just your website and then you can copy and paste them from there as well.
Karen: You’ve got that option. The other way is similar. Like I said, get the card, they can scan a QR code or even just give them the link, they can type it straight into their phone, for those who have a smartphone, most of us do these days. Even if the technician is helping them do it, I’ve seen that happen a lot as well, where our clients who have to walk the older clients through that technology. Those customers are more than happy to leave a review, they just don’t know how. Having that link go to the website and then they got the option then of either leaving a review directly on the website or going to a platform like True Local, which you actually do need to have a Facebook account or Tue Local account to leave a review. Google, you need a Google account or Gmail account. Yellow pages you can do as well. You don’t need an account for yellow pages. That might be another one that could work, leaving them that one as well.
Margaret: Okay. Thank you.
Karen: So there’s a few other options where you can get it.
Margaret: Okay. Thank you.
Karen: So there’s a few other options where you can get it, because you want to get those reviews on platforms that are external to your website and just copy and paste them back into your website.
Karen: Because then you’re getting two bites of the cherry versus just the one.
Margaret: Very good.
Karen: Yes. So that might be a bit, and also to text message. So going back to what I started with, is sending an email, or sending a text message. If they’re not responding to email, a text might be more effective.
Margaret: Yes, I have done that on an odd occasion where I haven’t got an email address. And then I tend to get a response.
Karen: Beautiful. Yeah. And just try that. And even just changing the wording from time to time, too. So that can also assist with people prioritizing it, and realizing it’s actually worth their while doing it because they are actually helping you out.
Karen: Again, like I said right at the start, most consumers who are not in business don’t know how valuable just that one review is for us. Everyone thinks it’s very damaging to give us a one-star review. That seems to be pretty culturally accepted, and everyone believes that. But I think they don’t realize that it’s equally as powerful to leave us a five-star review. So we’ve just got to remind people that that’s the case.
Karen: Other links you can include. So when you’re sending out your email script, or your text message script, that kind of thing, then you can include any links. Like I was saying, people are very lazy. So include the link to your Facebook page if you want to get more reviews there, and send in the links to your LinkedIn profile, send links in directly to your Google My Business profile. If you’re not sure how to get these links, just flick me an email and I’ll get you a little video or something to show you how to do it. But the really cool thing with these is that by putting the link in front of them, they’ve got one less barrier to entry, or one less barrier to helping you out and leaving a review. So that’s why we do that.
Karen: So the third part to consider is psychology. So similar to, Margaret, like you were saying before, like trying to go, “Okay, cool. People are ignoring the emails. How do I get people, to encourage them to actually leave a review?” So, first of all, we want to ask specifically for five star review, like I said at the start. I’m going to explain why it’s important to us. And while I don’t encourage this, but if you’re in an industry where it’s really hard to get reviews, you may need to offer a bit of a sweetener. So what I’ve seen work really well is that you can get, you can provide a credit to the next service. So that could work really well if you’re in the electrical game. So that would work for you. Nick.
Karen: You could offer people a 20% discount, or a $20 voucher for their next service if they leave you a review. Or, a really nice, easy, and affordable way, if you are having trouble getting reviews, you could offer entry to a competition. So figure out what it is your customers, all kind of like. Fuel vouchers is always a nice one. Could be movie vouchers, it could be dinner voucher, it doesn’t have to be your service, because it usually costs you more to deliver that in time and energy. So it’s actually probably more cost effective if you go out and get a $50 movie voucher, for example. And then however often you want to draw that. So for everyone who leaves you review, you can give them a little bit of a carrot to do so and say, “How do you go into the draw to win a $50 movie voucher once every three months?” So, like I said, I only encourage you doing that if you are struggling to get reviews, because of the nature of your target audience. A nice little carrot.
Karen: And the competition can be super creative. You can do whatever you want there. Like I said, fuel voucher, movie voucher, dinner voucher. What I’ve done in the past is I’ve actually gotten a voucher from another Webster client. So doing a bit of cross promotion while we’re at it, and offering that as the carrot for people to leave a review. So that’s another nice little technique you can employ.
Nick: Quick question.
Nick: With the offering them something for a review isn’t there a little bit of an area of legality with buying reviews?
Karen: Not really, no, because it’s going into a competition. Lots of people do it. So for example, I did one today. We use the company called WP Fix It, and WP Fix It offer repairs on WordPress sites, basically. So when we have a bit of a technical challenge, we farm it out to an online 24 hour, 24/7 service called WP Fix It. And what actually happens there is that anytime we leave a review, they give us a $5 credit to go towards the next edit. Or technical assistance that we require. So it’s not necessarily that you’re buying it. It’s just ends up being like they can go into a competition, you can provide credit. A lot of businesses do this, online retail businesses do this, so if you come back as a customer, they’ll bribe you with a 10% discount. Is it a bribe? Yes, 100%, but it’s not actually buying a review from someone who’s not a legitimate customer.
Nick: You can do the same thing with referrals as well.
Karen: 100%, yep. Like offering a referral commission or whatever it is, or go into the draw to win something because you’ve referred someone else to us. Absolutely
Nick: Not even a draw. You can do it each time. So, go down and get two movie tickets, or whatever. If you get a referral to a job, and the job goes ahead, then the person that did the referral gets the, whatever it is, the movie tickets, or whatever, then you’re more likely to convert a lead where you’ve been referred to by someone, than what you are from a brand new lead.
Karen: 100%. So what I’ve done, I’ve got a couple of IT guys that get around and do referrals for us. And so what I do is I just send them a $100 gift card. Because most of our services are more than $100. So I can afford to do that, and keeps them happy. They don’t necessarily need it. They’re not asking me for it, but it’s a nice way to thank them for having given the referral in the first place. So very similar, similar kind of strategy or similar kind of psychology. If you’re looking to get reviews. Obviously you’re not going to pay someone directly say, “Hey, we’ll give you 20 bucks if you give us a review.” It’s more like, “Oh, we’ll give you $20 off your next service.” Or whatever it is you’re going to do.
Karen: Does that make sense?
Karen: And so, let me flip my page. So that encompasses the whole, how to get a review in the first place, which is, you know, there’s a fair bit of effort to go in it, but what I suggest you do is proceduralise it. Make it something that you do once a month, or once a fortnight. Script it out, test to measure a bit, just to see. If you’ve got a high turnover of customers, then using scripts and stuff, you’ve got a lot more opportunity to refine that. But over the course of six to 12 months, you’re going to have a really clear idea to go, “Cool, texts work really well for us.” Or, “Email works really well.” Or, “Just putting a post up on our social media once a month with the link to say, Google My Business, or wherever, works really well for us.”
Karen: So add those things into your calendar. I suggest asking for reviews at least monthly, if you’ve got a relatively quick turnover of clientele. If you’ve got a really fast clientele turnover. So for example, this might refer to you, Nick, and also maybe John as well. If you’re doing multiple jobs most days, or multiple jobs in a week, then… And I suppose even yourself, Margaret, you might be doing this as well, so what you could be doing is actually sending those requests out a day or two after the fact you’ve done the job. So that’s a nice way of doing it, just to make sure it just becomes part of your normal business administration. Because all what’s going to happen, say for example, you’ve done 10 jobs, seven of those people, or six of those people may leave you a review.
Karen: So basically what happens there is you basically, like I said before, it’s a number game. So just say five people out of 10 leave you a review, what you want to be doing there is then…
Karen: You want to be then making sure that those requests are pretty spread out, because otherwise what happens… And I’m very guilty of this. I’ll have a really beautiful run of 10 or 20 really good quality five-star reviews in the course of a few months. And then there’ll be like a six month period where no reviews have been left, because I’ve been busy. And then I have another like five and six five star reviews, and there seems to be a gap. So if there’s any consumers paying attention to that, they’re going to see a gap in your review history. So making sure you spread them out over every month, and making sure that those review requests are consistent. And whenever I have a month when, like for us, for example, we may launch 10 websites in a month, but we may launch two websites in a month, depending on how our projects are going. So what we do is I use that opportunity on those quieter months, when I haven’t got many-
… is I use that opportunity on those quieter months when I haven’t got many new people to request a review, I go back and remind those people who have not yet given us a review to do so. So, I’ll re-forward that email to them that I sent to them a month or two months ago, and say “Hey, just double-checking, blah, blah, blah.” That’s a nice way of doing that, just to make sure you’ve got this nice, consistent flow of five-star reviews coming through, particularly to your Google listing and things like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Nick: By doing that, you’re just putting yourself back in front of people too.
Nick: Might not be as prevalent for your business because people don’t go and redo their websites monthly, but for anyone that’s doing a service type of job, like with ourselves and that, the more you can be front of people’s minds, the more likely you are to get repeat work.
Karen: 100%. And what I’ve also found too, is sometimes if it’s somebody who I’ve requested a review six months ago, and I’ve just been having conversations with them recently, I’ll send them that request again. “Hey, while I’ve got you, do you mind leaving us a review for the work we did way back when and the work we’re about to give you because?” Then it’s fresh in their mind again. That’s a really nice way of doing it, or even if I’m in the process of quoting for an existing customer, but they haven’t said yes to that yet, but we’ve done work for them before.
Karen: It’s almost like reminder reminding people, “Hey, we did a really good job for you X amount of months or years ago. Could you leave us a review for that? And we look forward to working with you soon.” So, a bit of a reminder that, “Hey, do you remember when you used to do this sort of stuff? That’s what we’ve done for you already.” That’s another little technique as well. You can just test and play with the timing. It depends on your people, your customers.
Karen: Now, also to leverage, if somebody leaves you a review, then where else do you want it published? I’ve reiterate it a little bit, hinted to a bit of this before. If somebody leaves you a review on your Google My Business listing on Google, you then want to do something with that. If you just leave it on Google, that’s as far as it’s going to go.
Karen: I think it was Lenora, you were asking before, you can copy and paste that and use it elsewhere. I have a bit of a checklist I go through. When somebody leaves me a review on, say, Google My Business or another platform, like True Local, I’ll go and copy and paste it and I’ll add it to my website. I’ve got a page dedicated to reviews on my website. I’ll add it there first.
Karen: I’ll then also create a Facebook post out of it. I can either just do a text-based post on that, super easy, copy, paste, and I’ll make sure that I’ll tag the business if they’ve already got … Awesome.
Karen: And then, basically, what we can do then is tag the business. That tells them that you’ve given them a shout out on Facebook, which is really nice for customer service if they’re a business consumer. And also too, you can turn it into an image if you want to. If you want to create a little bit of a meme image, you can use a free service like Canva, and then post that so it’s a little bit more visually appealing.
Karen: The next one you can do with that review is then go into something like Word of Mouth. And there’s a section in there where you can, like I said, email it directly to the person who left it. There’s two review sections, like I said before, for Word of Mouth. You’d go in, you’d paste in their review, the one they’ve left on Google, put in their email address if you have it, and Word of Mouth will send an email on your behalf, requesting them to confirm that that is a legitimate review.
Karen: And then, they literally just click one button and it’s done. Then, that increases your five-star reviews on Word of Mouth. Really cool thing with Word of Mouth as well is if you get a lot of reviews relatively quickly, in a 12-month period, they will reward you with a customer, a badge basically, that says customer service award for that year. There’s been a few years where, by the end of January, we’ve managed to elicit enough five-star reviews where we get out the 2020 or the 2021 customer reviews badge straightaway because we’ve ticked the boxes.
Karen: Depends on your industry. If there’s lots of other businesses in your industry who already have lots of reviews, you may need to work a bit harder for that. But usually, I’ve noticed it takes about six to seven good quality five-star reviews, and you generally get that little orange circle badge from Word of Mouth. And then, you post that thing everywhere.
Karen: You can add that little badge into your email signature. Putting up as a Facebook post is really nice because I remember doing that last year sometime, and we had lots of people engaging with that post cause they were like, “Wow, congratulations. You got an award.” It’s not a hard award to get. It’s not like you’re applying for it, it’s just something that Word of Mouth as a directory does. That’s a really nice thing to further leverage as well, because it looks like you’re getting external recognition in the form of a badge. It looks important. It’s a really nice way of doing that.
Karen: Another really cool thing you can do is, if you’re promoting a specific service, matching up the review specific to what you’ve just done. For example, Fiona, if you’ve done a funeral and you’re promoting funerals, you want to match up your funeral dove release testimonials with your promotions for that particular type of event. And same with weddings, when you do wedding dove release, you want to make sure that the reviews you’re using to promote that service are relevant.
Karen: It’s amazing how many times I look at websites and the review down the bottom is for a service that person used to offer or for a completely different service that’s not related to the page they’re on. That’s a really good one to make sure you keep on top of. And then, the last one, guys, to leverage is to reply to every single review, even if it’s a bad one, a negative one, making sure that you are acknowledging and thanking that person for taking the time to leave you a review.
Karen: They’ve gone to a lot of effort to click on the link and do it and use the head space to leave you a review. By thanking them is a really great way of acknowledging it. It’s also publicly seen. If you’re replying to a review that’s left on Google My Business or Word of Mouth or True Local, other prospective customers can see that too. From a customer service perspective, it’s a really nice way of adding to your business image the fact that you’re friendly, you’re professional, so on so forth.
Karen: And it’s also a really good way of downplaying any negative reviews if you unfortunately get any of them, because obviously, we want to counteract that. Particularly if it is a case of mistaken identity, you want to be saying, “Hey, thanks for your review. However, we’ve checked our records and you’ve not been a client of this company. Please, could you remove this review?”
Karen: Hopefully, that might get through to them. They’ll get an email with their response so at least I can see that you’ve acknowledged their review. That’s how you want to do that. So, making sure you reply to every single review is really important because, again, like I said, really nice to thank the person who left you one and they’ve taken that time, and also the fact that other prospects can see your reply.
Karen: And that’s it, guys, and then basically my last wrap up is the same. Remember, it’s a numbers game, not everyone will leave you a review unfortunately. For every hundred people who ask for a review, you might get 50, you might get 80, you might get 90, depends. So, you want to just make sure that you’re patient with it and reminding people who have forgotten.