Too many business owners share a common experience when it comes to their online reviews: they have a great offline reputation but poor online ratings. 90% of consumers look at online reviews before making a purchasing decision, so negative reviews are very likely to steer people away, especially if the negative reviews happened more recently than any positive ones. This often leaves business owners wondering how they can get more positive reviews, and their conclusion is to simply ask for reviews from customers.
You may find this idea awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe you worry about coming across rude or desperate. But remember, if you do in fact have satisfied customers, you can just as easily turn them into promoters of your business by asking the right way.
The Best Way to Get Customers to Leave Reviews
Ask in-person, at the point of sale.
This type of request comes off personal and relational, compared to sending out an email or making a request through a review website. It works especially well if you have had a good amount of time to interact with them and build rapport over the sales process. This allows you to keep the interaction conversational and transition naturally to requesting a review. You are also catching your customers at the point where they are the most excited about their purchase and their experience is still fresh on the mind. Plus, it would be highly unlikely for a satisfied customer to say “no” right to your face.
Asking for Reviews by Email/SMS
Other than asking for a review in-person, there are digital methods to be aware of. Some automated review platforms allow you to send emails or texts to contact information entered by a customer. These messages can be sent immediately after the sale happens if you sync your kiosk to your automated review application.
Some applications allow you to interact in real time with customers once they’ve posted a review. This function can be valuable since it allows you to address any complaints that may come up and possibly change the customer’s mind.
Although asking by email and text can lack the personal touch and higher conversion rate of asking in-person, the automated review platform Broadly reports some businesses seeing 20% or more increases in revenue and even one company growing sales by 180%.
Using A Kiosk to Get Feedback (And Then Get Reviews)
Some automated platforms like ServiceGuru provide a kiosk to help businesses gather feedback right at the point of sale. You can get feedback on-site, save it to the application, and send a message or email containing the feedback content to the customer’s own device for them to publish on their preferred review website. It’s important that the customer is not actually logging onto a review website using the kiosk because many review websites can tell if multiple reviews are coming from the same IP address and will stop accepting reviews due to the possibility of fraud. Plus, logging into a new device in public can raise security issues.
Which Review Sites Permit Review Solicitation
What are the rules when it comes to asking for reviews? The answer varies depending on the review website. Yelp is hands down the least forgiving when it comes to asking for reviews. Their policy clearly prohibits asking customers to leave reviews at all, even if they are negative.
Google, now the largest review website in terms of number of reviews, has a more relaxed policy. They are okay with business owners asking customers to leave reviews as long as they aren’t only asking happy customers, and if mass requests aren’t made.
If you are using an automated platform, be sure each review request is being sent individually. You will also need to format the settings to direct customers to websites that allow requesting reviews.
As a business owner, you ought to have an online reputation that reflects your success. If done correctly, asking for reviews will pay off in the long run.