September 10, 2015 • Paul Chaney
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
Yelp is possibly the most restrictive of all the business directories and review sites when it comes to asking for customer reviews. Basically, “asking” is forbidden, according to its policy guidelines.
In this article, I summarize Yelp’s review policy and provide a list of ways to get customer reviews that won’t place you in violation.
Yelp’s Review Policy
The fact that Yelp discourages businesses from asking their customers for reviews may seem counter-intuitive since the site’s popularity is built on users reading and writing reviews about their favorite local businesses.
Yelp defends its policy by saying that review solicitation could lead to mistrust, due to the likelihood that businesses would only encourage positive reviews from their customers.
“Let’s face it, most business owners are only going to ask for reviews from their happy customers, not the unhappy ones,” Yelp said. “Over time, these self-selected reviews create bias in the business listing — a bias that savvy consumers can smell from a mile away.”
If consumers don’t trust that Yelp will deliver authentic reviews, they may deem the site unreliable and not return — something that would adversely affect the company’s bottom line. It’s a bit of “give to get.” In looking out for its users’ best interests, Yelp is protecting its own.
Another aspect of Yelp’s review policy has to do with the way its software algorithm determines which reviews appear on the site and in what order. The software looks at different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and user activity, and is attuned to flag fake or solicited reviews.
“Solicited reviews are less likely to be recommended by our automated software,” Yelp said. “[W]e have the unfortunate task of trying to help our users distinguish between real and fake reviews … the harsh reality is that solicited reviews often fall somewhere in between.”
On average, the software recommends about three-quarters of the reviews that users submit, even with those safeguards in place.
Ways to Encourage Yelp Reviews
Getting Yelp reviews is well-worth the effort, if you believe the results of a 2011 study by Michael Luca, a professor at Harvard Business School, which found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating led to a corresponding 5-9 percent jump in revenue.
There are several ways to get reviews — some of which Yelp itself recommends — despite its policy forbidding review solicitation. Here are seven to consider.
- Give customers a ‘heads-up.’ Instead of saying “Write a review about our business on Yelp,” instead say, “Check us out on Yelp.” The first is a solicitation while the latter is a “heads up” — an FYI that raises awareness. The difference may be slight, but it’s worth noting.
- Place a Yelp badge on your website. Yelp offers several badges that you can put on your site, which link to your business profile. Just copy and paste the HTML code associated with each badge into the site. Review averages and counts update automatically as new reviews come in.
Add Yelp review badges to your website.
Make your own sign using Yelp brand assets.
Businesses must qualify to receive the coveted ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ sticker.
In addition to displaying the “sticker on your window, Yelp recommends that you hang the letter of commendation in a picture frame at a conspicuous location inside your business, such as on the wall behind the cash register or front counter.
- Share reviews on Facebook and Twitter. You can share Yelp reviews on social networks like Facebook and Twitter by logging into your business owner account and clicking the “Reviews” tab. It may be advantageous to include one or two negative reviews, so long as you add a comment citing your efforts to satisfy the customer. Fans and followers may become skeptical if they just see positive reviews.
- Use reviews in marketing materials. While Yelp discourages asking for reviews, it doesn’t mind you sharing those you’ve received in marketing materials. There are some guidelines, however:
- Don’t take it out of context (e.g., don’t excerpt a positive quote from a negative review);
- Stay faithful to the reviewer (e.g., no word substitutions or deletions);
- Only use Yelp’s recommended reviews (i.e., do not use reviews that aren’t currently recommended);
- Get permission from the reviewer and provide attribution;
- Attribute Yelp as the source using the logo guidelines above.
Yelp reviews may not make or break your business, but the fact that people rely on others like themselves for recommendations when making purchase decisions is sufficient reason to take advantage of the marketing benefits they have to offer. Just don’t violate the policy guidelines.
Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert, a Hall of Fame keynote speaker and emcee, host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast, and the author of six books including Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth.
Editor’s Note: This post is one of Convince & Convert’s Top 10 Posts of 2016.
Unless a majority of them are negative, having more reviews is better than having fewer reviews. Sometimes, the total number of reviews for a product or company is prominently displayed on the website, and can serve as visual shorthand that helps consumers decide to click or purchase.
It‘s good business to ask your customers to provide reviews, as long as it isn‘t too aggressive or a quid-pro-quo. There‘s a fine line between encouraging reviews and demanding them. Even Yelp, which, without a steady stream of new reviews, would be as useful as a knife and fork in a hot dog eating contest, discourages businesses from overtly asking for reviews.
Personal Connections Matter
As a practical matter, however, businesses do often ask their customers to provide Yelp reviews, says Martin Shervington, who runs Plus Your Business, a local reviews consulting firm. “What we‘ve found is that when there is a more personal connection between the business and the customer, whether it‘s a server, a manager, an owner, customers are more likely to provide a review,” he says. “TripAdvisor and Google do not prohibit or discourage review solicitation the same way Yelp does, but businesses everywhere are asking for reviews, and they should.”
An Amazing True Story of Asking for Reviews
Last week I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico hosting the annual retreat for my team at Convince & Convert and their significant others. This is a great tradition where we figure out what we’re doing for the year, and celebrate the prior year. We stay all together in an enormous villa, which is great for margarita drinking team-building.
This year we went to dinner one night at Le Kliff, a breathtaking waterfront restaurant south of the city. One of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been, the entire place is a giant palapa on a hillside. No doors. No windows. No walls.
Our party of 20 was attended to with exceptional grace and good humor, but it was what the head waiter said when he presented the bill that was so remarkable (and noteworthy for this post):
“I am Ramon. It has been my pleasure to serve you tonight. As you may know, Le Kliff is very popular at certain times of the year, but in the summer we are closed in July, August, and September. I do not work at Le Kliff those months, so I am not paid in the summer.
We rely very much on reviews from TripAdvisor to generate our customers, since we are far from the city center. Our manager knows this (note: his name is Everado Vazquez. I talked to him afterwards, and he is an extraordinarily good restaurant manager), and he encourages us to ask our happy tables for reviews.
The way it works is for every review that shows up on TripAdvisor mentioning my name – Ramon – I am paid for one summer day.”
I was gobsmacked. What a brilliant method of encouraging your staff to solicit reviews in a human way! I would probably have reviewed Le Kliff anyway, because it is so extraordinary, but when Ramon asks us personally because it will benefit him personally, the psychological impact of that appeal is quite powerful.
And then he gave each of us – all 20 – a small card with his name on it, with the TripAdvisor logo, and contact information for Le Kliff.
From Ramon, with Love
I really, really wish I had experienced this last year, as I would have included Ramon in my new book, Hug Your Haters. Speaking of which, the book is available for ordering now at HugYourHaters.com or Amazon.
A Cautionary Tale: the FTC v. Amerifreight
Remember though, there is a line that shouldn‘t be crossed when it comes to demanding reviews. It can even be illegal to do so. In April 2015, the United States Federal Trade Commission settled a case with Amerifreight, a Georgia-based vehicle shipper. The settlement also required the company to stop using terms such as “highly rated” and “top ranked” in its advertising.
The firm charged customers an extra $50 if they did not write an online review of the service at transportreviews.com, and removed the $50 charge if a review was written. Customers who wrote reviews were also entered into a “best monthly reviews” contest. Compensating customers for reviews without disclosing that information is a violation of the FTC‘s online marketing guidelines first released in 2009, and updated in 2013.
The best practice is to do it Ramon’s way: let customers know you participate in review sites, and that you care about their feedback, however and wherever they choose to provide it. But charging customers who don‘t write you a review is half-pushy, half-stupid, and wholly illegal.
Lots more on this subject, plus proprietary research on the state of online customer service in Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, about which Guy Kawasaki says: “This is a landmark book in the history of customer service.”
How do you get a satisfied customer to become an online advocate? Columnist Brian Patterson offers tips on how to ask for reviews to help bolster your business.
Outside of the food and hospitality industry, it can be a real struggle for businesses to get positive reviews.
Consumers don’t typically review their landscaper, gym, car rental agency and many other business types that they interact with on a daily basis unless something goes wrong.
Because of this, we talk daily with companies who do outstanding work and have a great real-world reputation, but have more negative online reviews than positive.
For business owners, this disparity between offline and online reputation is beyond frustrating. So what’s a business owner or general manager to do when they find themselves in this situation?
Ask happy customers for reviews.
Tip the review balance back in your favor by getting those happy customers to be your online advocates. Below, I’ll share some tips, best practices and tests you can run to get more positive reviews.
But first, you may be wondering: Is it okay to ask for reviews? For Google, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Yelp, however, has issued conflicting statements on whether or not you’re allowed to ask customers for reviews. I asked Yelp directly, and they told me that it is okay to ask for reviews as long as there is no incentivizing (See #2 in “5 Yelp facts business owners should know”). For all of the other review sites, you’ll need to check their terms of service and guidelines.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive in…
The gold standard: Asking in person
There’s no better way to ask for, and get, reviews than to do it in person. The person-to-person request is incredibly effective, particularly if the requester has spent a lot of time with the customer. We’ve found that asking in person can garner you seven to eight times more reviews than asking via email.
Let’s take a furniture store as an example. A sales associate might spend an hour or more helping a customer pick out and customize just the right couch for their home. They get to know each other over the course of that time, talk about where they’re from, their families, and so on. A mini-bond is built in the time spent together.
At the end of the sale, there is now no person better positioned to ask for a review than this sales associate. The associate can explain that it helps other customers who are researching them and gives a true perspective on the business.
If you’re thinking about asking customers for reviews, first try to figure out the customer touch points and who within the company builds the deepest relationship with the customer. That is likely the person who should be asking for reviews.
The “tip” trick
The “tip” trick is one of those review growth hacks that can work really great in particular industries. The strategy is that someone who has spent a lot of time with a customer then asks for a review, but throws in the kicker of, “If you had a good experience and include my first name in the review, the company gives me a $10 tip.”
This little “sweetener” gives a customer the extra incentive to leave an online review, particularly if he or she had a good experience.
We’ve seen this strategy work best with services provided in and around customers’ homes. This includes landscapers, exterminators and movers.
The service providers work hard, and people sometimes want to tip them for their work; this strategy gives customers a free way to tip someone who did a good job.
For the right companies, this can drastically accelerate the number of review that come in.
Asking via email
Asking for reviews via email is a bit trickier. There are cases where you don’t have a lot (or any) face time with a customer. In those instances, email may be your only option.
If you’re going to ask for reviews via email, we strongly encourage you to pre-screen your customers via an internal survey before following up with another email asking them for a public review. While this may sound like cheating, it’s no different from what you would do in person.
If someone is clearly upset, you wouldn’t ask them for an online review. Likewise, using triggers from an internal survey allows you to apply this same human logic, just algorithmically.
Here are some of the best practices for your email request letter:
- Have the email come from a real person’s email address (Even better, have it come from a name they’d recognize, such as someone they worked with).
- Have the email written as a personal request from that same person.
- Have a very clear call-to-action link/button. Remove random social media or website footer links — just as with good conversion rate optimization, have a singular goal of users clicking the review button.
- Test using a plain-text email versus an HTML email.
- Test different subject lines: We’ve found that using the person’s name in the subject line works well in many instances but falls completely flat in a few others.
- Test different email copy to see what performs best.
As with any good campaign, test everything until you’re getting the best conversion-to-review rate possible (not just open rate). Email will almost never perform as well as asking in person, but it can still be very effective at scale.
An organizational initiative
We’ve seen that reviews tend to be a slow trickle until getting them is truly adopted as an organizational initiative, not just some side project done by marketing. The best strategies for making reviews a priority across an organization include:
- Making better reviews a top-down focus; executives need to communicate the importance.
- Obtaining organizational buy-in on the importance of reviews by helping employees understand the direct impact they have on the business.
- Training key employees on how to ask for reviews.
- Developing a scorecard that tracks reviews by locations (similar to our SERP score, but for reviews).
- Providing bonuses and awards for the locations that have the best online reviews.
Putting the C-suite behind the online reviews initiative is the absolute best way to get action to be taken.
The simple act of asking for reviews starts to put the power back into your hands. Many business owners just throw their hands up in the air and assume there is nothing they can do. But as you can see, it’s quite the opposite.
Asking for reviews doesn’t require any special tools or technology, just a commitment to see it through. Using these strategies, you can fight back against the phenomenon of businesses (outside of the food and hospitality industry) only getting negative reviews.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
If you own a local business with a Yelp profile, then you know that Yelp reviews can have a large impact on your revenue.
People frequently use Yelp to discover new places to eat or hang out so negative reviews on Yelp can lead to potential new business going elsewhere. Unfortunately, angry customers are more likely to leave reviews than happy customers since upset customers use review sites to unleash their frustration while happy customers never think to leave a review.
Getting Yelp Reviews Without Violating Yelp Policies
Out of hundreds of review websites and apps, Yelp has what is considered to be one of the most strict set of rules and policies about what businesses can do to get reviews. Yelp is very clear on their support website about their policies – and the overall message to business owners is, “Don’t do anything that involves requesting that anyone leave you Yelp reviews.”
Here are the specific guidelines regarding how to get Yelp reviews:
- Do not ask for Yelp reviews – this includes not asking customers, family, friends or anyone else.
- Do not have competitions for your staff to collect reviews.
- Don’t use surveys to request reviews from customers who report positive experiences.
- Don’t run any type of promotions including discounts, payments or giveaways in exchange for Yelp reviews.
If businesses aren’t allowed to ask for reviews on Yelp, how can a business get Yelp reviews?
Here are a few tips:
- Place a Yelp badge on your website
If someone is angry enough to leave you a negative review then they will find your Yelp profile with or without a badge on your site. However, there could be hundreds or thousands of happy customers visiting your website every month who don’t know you have a Yelp profile. Placing the Yelp badge on your website can help these satisfied customers find your Yelp page and, hopefully, leave you a positive rating.
- Share your Yelp reviews on Facebook and Twitter
You can share your Yelp ratings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can even post or share your less than favorable Yelp reviews as long as you’ve responded appropriately to them. Your happy and loyal customers might take notice and decide to take action and support your business by giving you a positive rating and review on Yelp.
- Increase customer awareness of your Yelp profile
While you are not allowed to ask for Yelp reviews, there is nothing wrong with letting customers know that you have a Yelp profile. A few ways of getting the word out include:
- Telling customers, “Check us out on Yelp!”
- Place Yelp signs in your place of business. You can create these yourself or request them from Yelp here.
- Include Yelp reviews in your marketing materials. There are some guidelines about how this can be done (scroll down t0 the “Yelp Content” section for specifics), but overall it’s a great way to draw attention to your business’s Yelp profile.
Yelp’s strict policies about how businesses are allowed to procure reviews can be frustrating, especially if you’ve had an angry customer vent their frustrations on your Yelp profile.
Use the methods listed above to get positive reviews while remaining within Yelp’s guidelines. If you need help managing reviews on other websites, consider evaluating our Reputation Management solution. Our solution not only helps you gather positive reviews while avoiding negative reviews, it also monitors over 50 reviews websites for all mentions of your business so that your online reputation is not only easy to manage, but also easy to protect.
This article was originally published on June 20, 2018, and was updated on May 24, 2019.
When it comes to attracting new clients, few things are more powerful than social proof. If you haven’t heard the term before, it basically means that shoppers often move as a group — more likely to jump on the bandwagon than to opt for the road less traveled. While individuals might not find this characterization flattering, it’s a marketing truth that you can leverage to bring new clients knocking. Testimonials, reviews and case studies are the tools to make it happen. Here’s how to ask for testimonials and take advantage of these credibility-boosters to bring in new clients.
How to ask for testimonials (and why)
A testimonial is a direct quote from a client reporting how great your business is. What better way to show off your value than by letting happy customers do the talking?
Testimonials are generally short and to the point. Because they take up little physical space, they can easily be added to your website, print collateral and email outreach.
In one case study, a company increased sales 34 percent by adding three lines of testimonials to its sales page.
If you’ve never attempted it before, obtaining testimonials may seem daunting. Turns out, it’s easier than most people expect. In many cases, all you have to do is ask. Timing is key. The ripest moment is when you’ve successfully delivered that new website — especially if you’ve over-delivered.
One of the smoothest ways to painlessly collect testimonials is to send out a short satisfaction survey containing three or four questions, similar to this:
- How do you like the design and function of your new website?
- How would you rate our timeliness and responsiveness in meeting your requests?
- Would you recommend our services to others? If so, why?
The answer to number three, basically, is how to ask for testimonials. If the client provides a positive response that’s not worded ideally, summarize it with any necessary editing and ask if you can use it as a testimonial. This neatly sidesteps the paralysis that some people get when directly asked to write a testimonial. Of course, if your survey reveals the client isn’t happy, fix the issues and try again.
In lieu of a survey email, some designers and developers create a survey page on their website that includes a textbox specifically asking for a testimonial. On project completion, they send out a link. Others feel an email is more personal and likely to generate a better response.
How to ask for reviews
Unlike testimonials — which are usually included in your own website and promotional materials — reviews are often located elsewhere. Reviews on sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook can act like a magnet, attracting new customers to your door. The bad news is that unhappy clients are the most likely to leave reviews on their own. The good news is that, these days, all customers recognize the importance of reviews, and to build a trove of good ones often all you need to do is ask.
Like we learned with how to ask for testimonials, timing is everything. Ask immediately and make leaving a review as easy as possible.
Make sure you’ve already set the foundation in place by creating profiles on the most popular review sites. Include direct links to the profiles in multiple places. Your website, newsletter and follow-up emails are prime locations.
Editor’s note: Looking for an easier way to manage your business’s information on multiple online review sites? Check out GoDaddy’s Local Business Listings tool. You simply update your business listing from one convenient dashboard and the changes appear across all sites.
The next time a client compliments your service, tell them you’d appreciate it if they would leave the same feedback in an online review and provide one-click links that take them directly to the review sites. Online recommendations like these have become nearly as influential as direct referrals, with 85 percent of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations — so this is well worth the effort.
How to ask for case studies
Case studies provide proof that your services work. As a marketing tool, they capitalize on the idea that potential clients perceive long, in-depth reviews as more reputable than brief quotes. If you’re wondering how to ask for testimonials, keep in mind a case study typically details the problems you addressed for a client, the solutions you used, and the results achieved.
Producing a case study takes more time than obtaining a simple testimonial or review, but it has the power to draw in new clients and can help you stand out from other designers and developers who don’t bother to invest the time and effort.
In fact, according to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends report from the Content Marketing Institute, only in-person events and webinars are more effective for drawing new business clients in.
The first step to producing an effective case study is to choose a project or client that exemplifies the kind of job you want more of. For example, if you cater to inexperienced, mom-and-pop shops, your chosen case should profile one of those — not that fancy tech startup that gave you more headaches than income. Be sure to ask the client’s permission. Often a satisfied client will enjoy being featured as a success story, because the case study indirectly promotes their business as well.
Next look for hard numbers that demonstrate what you delivered. Did the number of clicks on the “Buy Now” button go up? Did the average bounce rate go down? Does the new site load in half the time of the old one?
Those goals become the “angle” that your case study will follow. The headline will often come directly from this choice as well, such as “Using website design to boost engagement 200 percent.” It’s best to focus on one or two key goals rather than enumerate every benefit you delivered.
Scan the web for example case studies to use as models for your own. The finished case study can be simple and factual or gussied up with fancy graphics, as long as it drives home the point of the metrics you accomplished.
Start building your cache of social proof
When trying to build up a cache of social proof, knowing how to ask for testimonials will often do the trick. Incentivizing is also an option, but tread carefully if you go this route. Offering something like a free upgrade is acceptable, but charging a higher price to someone who doesn’t agree to leave a review could get you in trouble with the FTC. To be safe, it’s often wiser to stick with encouragement over incentivizing. Often that’s all you’ll need to get the power of social proof working to boost your bottom line.
Why Google Reviews Matter
Like we said above: Ask for them.
When you’ve satisfied a customer, ask them to review you on Google. This is the best and most reliable way to get those stars showing up under your business on Google.
First, we’ll show you how to create a Google My Business link to make it easy for customers to write a Google review for you. Then we’ll give you the email template so you can use that link to ask for Google reviews.
How to link to your Google My Business page for reviews
You can (and should) send your customers or clients links directly to your review page like this.
Here’s how you do it.
- Go to business.google.com
- Click Home.
- Find the “Get more reviews” box and click “Share review form.”
- Copy the URL
Note that you do need your Google My Business page already set up (and verified), so if you’ve never done that then take care of it first.
Here we go! You’ve got your Google My Business link ready to go.
Now get the email addresses of your three most recent happy customers.
Here is a customer review email template you can use:
Hope you’re doing well.
I’m writing to ask if you’d be willing to leave a quick online review for the recent [SPECIFIC] services from us because I’m working on improving our online marketing.
It should only take a moment if you click here [INSERT LINK YOU CREATED ABOVE].
It would really help me if you mentioned the [quality of material used, customer service you received, turnaround time, price, etc.].
Thanks, and let me know if you have questions,
You may be surprised by how responsive people are. When you provide terrific service, people are happy to give you a quick review in return, especially when you make it this easy for them.
What if they don’t have a Google account?
This is only likely to be an issue with certain client bases (e.g. elderly customers who don’t get online very much).
Am I allowed to ask for Google reviews?
The best way to suggest to your customers to leave a review on Yelp is to get a Yelp sticker and put it in your business’s window by the door so customers think to leave reviews for you. (You can also read our full write-up on how to get the most out of Yelp as a business owner and why you should never, ever buy their ads.)
Unfortunately, Google stopped including their Review Us on Google sticker, so sending that link in an email is going to be your surest bet.
Why will customers agree to leave a Google review?
Because you provided them with great service and they don’t mind hitting you back.
Because we said “because,” just like Robert Cialdini tells us to in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
If you’re B2B, you can also provide value for them by sharing info on how to create a Google My Business link for themselves.
Since you are providing them with information to help their business, they will be more likely to help you. Reciprocity is another principle from Cialdini’s book Influence.
Never stop earning and asking for reviews
Don’t stop once you have stars showing up in organic search listings! In the same way you should think of links to your website as growing “link equity” for your SEO, you want to grow your “customer review equity” month after month.
Do this by earning both high star ratings (you want to be in the 4-5 range consistently) and dozens of individual reviews. When future customers are deciding whether to buy from you and they see all your past customers singing your praises, the decision will be easy.
As well as being essential ranking signals for local SEO online reviews from clients and customers can be seen as one of the most powerful ways of promoting trust and confidence in your business. To highlight this, a recent survey from Zendesk found that 90% of respondents claimed that positive reviews affected their purchasing decisions, with 86% saying negative reviews were also an influence. In other words reviews matter when it comes to choosing between your company and your competition.
Brian Solis puts it very well when he says:
“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
With Google dominating online search it makes sense that you put a lot of your focus into getting reviews on your Google My Business page. In this article I want to look at why Google My Business reviews are so important and how to get your customers or clients to write and post them without breaking any of Google’s guidelines.
What is Google My Business and why is it Important?
Google My Business is effectively an updated version of what used to be Google Places for Business. By integrating this into the Google Plus platform, Google has allowed companies to manage the business information that appears in maps and search all in one place.
With local search results, Google will often show a series of businesses in the area in what is known as the “local pack”. It is from here that your potential customers will see things like your address, phone number and of course reviews that people have written about you. Not only do reviews help you with your click through rate but they can also help your business appear in the local pack in the first place.
Although there are a host of sites you can (and should) look to get reviews on, with the majority of search traffic coming from Google it pays to focus your energies here to begin with. Google has a ton of information on setting up and verifying your business, so if you haven’t done already you’ll need to do this. Once your business is set up on Google Plus, it’s time to start thinking about getting some reviews.
How to ask for Google My Business Reviews
It goes without saying that the most genuine and natural looking reviews are the ones that customers leave without any prompting. That’s not to say you can’t prompt someone into writing a review by asking them directly what they thought of your business and if they minded leaving a review. Far from incentivising, engaging with someone directly about their experience is actually good customer service and will often prompt a (hopefully) positive review on your Google My Business page.
Of course there are some steps you can take to make this an easier and more likely outcome.
- Get your Timing Right
Basically this comes down treading the line between not asking too early and not asking too late. Too early and your customer may not have got the full benefits of your product or service and may simply not have an opinion on it yet; too late and that initial sense of impressiveness you incited may have faded.
- Make it Easy to Leave Reviews
This might sound like an obvious one but it’s amazing how many businesses fail to make it at all obvious how to leave a review. Your website and social media accounts shouldn’t just be encouraging people to leave feedback but actively showing them how by linking to it (we’ll talk more about how to link directly to your Google My Business page review form in a bit).
- Integrate with your Email Marketing
If you have an email marketing campaign then you’re missing a huge opportunity by not utilising it to ask people for reviews. Ask people what they thought of your business or services and encourage them to write a review if they were impressed. You could even incorporate a call to action (CTA) on your email auto signature with a link to your Google My Review page.
Linking to your Google My Business Review Form
Many of your clients or customers are likely to be very busy people so if they’re going to take the time out of their day to write you a review you need to make it as easy for them as possible. The best way you can do this is by giving them a simple link to click on that will take them straight to your Google My Business page. There used to be a really simple way to do this but with the recent updates Google has made to Google My Business this is now slightly more convoluted.
1.Browse to maps.google.com
2. Search for your business name
3. Click on your business name
4. In the box on the right hand side click the reviews link under your company name
5. This will open a new browser window and open up your reviews
6. Now grab the URL from the address bar
7. Copy this address and paste it into an email, your clients can now click on this link and leave you a review.
Going Beyond Google
We’ve focused entirely on getting reviews on your Google My Business page in this article but that’s not to say you should ignore other review sites, just that Google should be your prime focus. There are a ton of review sites out there such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, Trip Advisor, Trust Link, Trust Pilot and FreeIndex to name but a few, all go a long way in helping build trust in your business, as well as supporting your local SEO efforts.
Social media is also a huge area when it comes to getting endorsements. Whilst positive reviews on social media won’t have a direct effect on your local SEO, they will build trust in your business and encourage engagement which can lead to more reviews. Platforms like Facebook and even YouTube are great for getting public endorsements, whilst LinkedIn is perfect if you are a sole trader, allowing people to endorse you for key skills (you unfortunately can’t leave reviews for companies or groups though).
If you rely on local search traffic to your website then you will, to a large extent, also rely on reviews. Whether we like it or not, the internet has allowed us to say what we think about any company or organisation. Whilst reviews can be a mixed bag and won’t always be entirely positive (learning how to respond to negative reviews warrants an entire article all of itself) they have become extremely important in the way they influence the purchasing and business decisions we make online every day.
You may be hurting your Yelp rating by proactively asking your customers for reviews.
Yelp’s recommendation software is designed to highlight reviews from people inspired to share their experiences with the community. Most businesses only target happy customers when asking for reviews which leads to biased ratings, so the recommendation software actively tries to identify and not recommend reviews prompted or encouraged by the business. The Business Owner Guidelines section of our Content Guidelines, which are part of our Terms of Service, also makes clear that businesses should not ask for Yelp reviews.
The businesses that do best on Yelp are the ones that provide a great customer experience to everyone who walks in the door without any expectation or encouragement that they write a review.
Here are some tips to avoid hurting your Yelp rating:
- Don’t ask customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.
- Don’t ask your staff to compete to collect reviews.
- Don’t run surveys that ask for reviews from customers reporting positive experiences.
- Don’t ever offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews — it will turn off savvy consumers, and may also be illegal. Yelp has a Consumer Alerts program to let people know about businesses that engage in this sort of activity. For the same reason, you also shouldn’t offer incentives for users to remove reviews.
Your best bet to get high quality and unbiased reviews about your business is to provide a memorable and amazing customer experience — not by asking your customers to post on Yelp.
For a more in-depth look, read our official blog post on why you shouldn’t solicit reviews. For other tips on how to put your best foot forward on Yelp, check out our Guide to Success.
Here are easy ways to ask customers to review your social media pages.
There is a dedicated page for reviews, once there, the customer can select to review the page.
It’ll say something like “Do you recommend [Company]? YES | NO”
This one is a little tricky. There are two ways you can do this.
Create a link from a Google Search:
- On your Desktop, Google your Company Name.
- NOTE: This is assuming your company has been registered via Google My Business. https://www.google.com/business/
- A card on the right side should show up and a button should be there to review. Click on the Review Button
- A popup with review options will show up. Copy this link. Done!
Create the link using PlaceID Lookup Tool
- Go to https://support.google.com/business/answer/7035772?hl=en and there is a tool at the bottom.
- Enter in your business name and select your business with the correct address location
- On the map, click on your location if it doesn’t show up.
- Copy the Place ID Code. Example: ChIJxVFJylfDJIgRo9ii5sRpiGE
- Place the Place ID Code to the end of the url. https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
Yelp has some of the strictest review guidelines.
- Don’t ask customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.
- Don’t ask your staff to compete to collect reviews.
- Don’t run surveys that ask for reviews from customers reporting positive experiences.
- Don’t ever offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews — it will turn off savvy consumers, and may also be illegal. Yelp has a Consumer Alerts program to let people know about businesses that engage in this sort of activity. For the same reason, you also shouldn’t offer incentives for users to remove reviews.
I know… it sucks.
What you can / should do:
- Put the Yelp badge on your site
- Social Media Sharing by posting “Check us out in Yelp”
- Put Yelp badge at your business location
Here’s a template you can use to send out to your customers.
Thank you for your recent business. We really appreciate your business, support and feedback, and truly value you as a customer.
We would love to hear your feedback, and I would be incredibly grateful if you could take a couple of minutes to write a quick Google review for us. This will allow us to improve our service and let others recognize the value we provide.
To submit your review, simply click the link below and let us know what you think.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It really means a lot to us. Your feedback is highly appreciated and important to us. We look forward to reading your comments.
Online reviews for attorneys play a major role in maintaining and growing your law practice. Let’s look at how to manage them and how lawyers can get more online reviews from satisfied clients.
In the not-so-distant past, anyone looking for a good lawyer would ask a friend or family member for a recommendation.
Today, many people turn to online reviews to make decisions about who to call for legal help.
But while getting online reviews is important, it can be a sticky proposition for lawyers dealing with complicated cases.
The best way to build your reputation in a totally ethical manner? Be proactive, be sensitive and systemize your approach.
Why Reviews Matter For Lawyers
Lawyers do important and serious work, and it might be tempting to write off online reviews as the territory of cafes and gift shops. But attorneys have to be concerned about reviews for two simple reasons:
- People are going to write r eviews about you , whether you want them to or not.
- People are going to read reviews about you , whether you want them to or not. And what they read in those reviews will affect whether those people hire you.
But that’s not all. Reviews can help or hurt your reputation in other ways:
- Reviews are an important part of a good SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Earning a steady stream of reviews will help you rank highly in local search engine results , allowing more new clients to find you.
- People like to share the reviews that they write with friends online, and many people have their social media profiles set up to automatically share any reviews they write. If one person writes a rave review about you and shares it with a few hundred Facebook friends, it’s very likely to drive new business your way.
You might as well embrace these facts, and take steps to shape your own narrative.
Hold up, though: you’re not quite ready to start receiving those all-important reviews just yet.
Review Sites For Lawyers to Target
Before you start working on getting more reviews, y ou have to decide what sites you want your clients to post reviews on.
Facebook, Yelp and Google are the “big three” review sites. They’re incredibly popular with users, and consumers trust the reviews they find on these sites.
A few other niche sites are also important for attorneys, including Avvo.com, Lawyers.com, SuperLawyers.com and Martindale.com.
It’s crucial that you diversify the sites you target. For one thing, a lot of consumers have a favorite review site, like Yelp or Facebook, and will go directly to that site to find reviews.
The big three sites are also great because a lot of people already have accounts with them, so they can easily type up a review without having to go through the hassle of creating an account with a new site.
On the other hand, niche review sites for lawyers tend to have a lot of credibility. When potential clients look for someone to handle complicated and expensive cases, they might be more inclined to visit a site that doesn’t also host reviews for dog groomers and hot dog carts.
The bottom line: it’s ideal to receive reviews on multiple legitimate sites. You might need to set up a profile and verify that it belongs to you in order to be able to post information about yourself and respond to feedback you receive.
Every site is different, but Google, Facebook and Yelp all allow you to verify or claim your profile.
How to Ask Your Clients for Reviews
How can you affect what people write about you online without edging into unethical or even illegal territory? It’s simple:
- At the end of your business dealings with a client, ask the person for some feedback. Ask questions like, “Are you satisfied with how I handled this case?” and “Would you recommend me to others?”
- If the client is happy with your work, say something like, “I’m so happy to hear it. It would be a huge help to me it if you would write a review about your experience on [site] or [site].”
- Send the client out on a high note. Make sure your staff knows to be especially warm and attentive as the client leaves so he or she leaves feeling good about your practice.
However, all your clients won’t leave happy. That’s just the nature of practicing law. So i f the answers to your initial questions are anything but positive, don’t ask them to post an online review.
Obviously, you shouldn’t risk tainting a relationship or a client’s case in an effort to get online reviews, so be very mindful about how and when you raise the subject:
- Wait until the case is settled to bring it up. Don’t ask for reviews while you’re actively working on a case.
- If the client has come to you concerning something very private or emotionally devastating, like leaving an abusive ex or the loss of a child, don’t ask them for reviews. You risk seeming callous.
A Systemized & Automated Approach
You’re busy, and so are your clients. Sometimes (if not most the time) they’ll forget to write a review, and sometimes you’ll forget to ask. That’s why using an automated system like ReputationStacker can simplify your life.
All you have to do is enter an email address or phone number for your clients, and ReputationStacker will contact them with a single-question survey. The system directs happy clients to the review site of your choice, and unhappy clients are directed back to you.
It’s incredibly easy to use, completely private, and it integrates with niche lawyer review sites in addition to all the major online review sites.
In today’s world, receiving a steady stream of positive online reviews is part of running a successful law practice.
Asking your satisfied clients to post to sites like Google, Facebook and Avvo can help you build a positive reputation and attract new clients.
Using an automated system like ReputationStacker will take the heavy lifting out of getting online reviews so you can focus on your practice and your clients.
When you own a business, you know that online customer reviews are very influential. From Yelp to Healthgrades, Angie’s List to Trustpilot, people are sharing their experiences on everything, and what they say has an impact.
These days, a Google review can shape your business far more than a Google Ad. According to a Zendesk survey, 90% of participants claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decision, and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews.
As social media expert Brian Solis said, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Many businesses focus on what to do about the one or two bad reviews, but the most effective way to combat a few negative words is to load up on the rave reviews. This means you’ll need to encourage your happy customers to take the time to write about their experiences. Here are six tips to get you started:
‘Booking.com’ Is A Trademark – Does This Matter To Your Business?
1. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites
Consider all the sites that are relevant to your business: Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, and CitySearch. Even if you don’t think you are in a review-driven industry like restaurants and hospitality, general review sites like TrustLink and Trustpilot are great (Trustpilot has the added benefit of showing up on Google).
2. Ask Your Customers
Want to know the best way to increase the number of reviews for your business? Just ask. Your customers understand how important reviews are to your business, and as long as you provide an excellent product or service, they won’t be annoyed if you ask for a review. Don’t wait too long: customers are more likely to give you feedback right away.
The next time a customer compliments you via email, phone, or in person, mention that you’d appreciate if they left the same feedback in an online review on Trustpilot, Yelp, or the review site of their choice.
3. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website. Yelp offers downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banners that you can use on your website or print out for your store.
4. Incent (but Don’t Buy) Reviews
Sometimes even your most satisfied customers need some extra incentive to take time out of their busy schedule to write a review. Offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation. You just need to make sure your offer is for writing a review, and not for writing a good review. Monthly giveaways, where you choose one reviewer at random, are effective ways to encourage reviews, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for a review.
5. Thank Your Reviewers
If the review site allows it, thank each person who reviews your product or service. In addition, you can even surprise a top reviewer by sending them a discount code or freebie after they’ve posted a review. This simple act will turn a satisfied customer into an incredibly loyal evangelist.
6. Make Reviews a Part of Your Work Processes
Make sure that all customer service and sales employees understand the importance of soliciting reviews from the customers they work with. At our company we saw the number of reviews rise after implementing an incentive program where employees receive a cash bonus for any reviews (for example, 3 reviews=$100; 15 reviews=$750).
Choose whatever kind of bonus and program makes sense for your business. It’s just an added incentive to help employees remember to ask for a review. Given the importance of reviews in the customer decision process, this is one of the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars.
Read all of Nellie Akalp’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
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No amount of advertising, tweeting or direct mailing can impact customers the way an objective peer review can. That’s because in the era of social media and online reviews, it’s not what you say about your business that matters; it’s what others say about you.
According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by Zendesk, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions, and 86% said their buying decisions were influenced by negative reviews.
While online reviews are a precious commodity for any business, soliciting reviews from customers can be a delicate courtship. In many cases, the biggest obstacle that small businesses have with online reviews isn’t getting negative ones — it’s getting them at all. Many small business owners can be skittish about asking customers for reviews, worrying that they’ll annoy and turn off a once happy customer.
However, if the success of your business truly hinges on online reviews, encouraging reviews is a skill you’ll need to master. Here are seven tips to help you overcome the awkwardness and encourage customers to leave reviews.
1. Make writing a review as easy as possible.
The average customer is not going to search for ways to leave your company a review (unless they have a negative experience to share). That’s why you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to offer a review. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places, for example, a thank you or follow-up email.
2. Be present on multiple review sites.
Everyone has his or her own preferred review site — maybe it’s where your customers researched your business in the first place. Having a presence on every review site (or every review site that makes sense for your business) can make the process more seamless and comfortable for your customers. For example, there’s Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TrustLink and many more.
Ask customers to leave a review on their favorite site — never pressure them to write reviews on multiple sites. And be careful about pushing customers to write a review on a brand new site. For example, if a non-Yelper feels compelled to create a Yelp profile to give you a review, Yelp’s spam filters will most likely flag their review and all that hard work will disappear into thin air.
3. Be candid.
If you feel shy about asking for a review directly, don’t. It’s a part of doing business these days. You can help your case and foster goodwill by being as candid and open as possible with your customers.
You can say something as simple as, “Your opinion matters to us and to other customers, so we’d be really appreciative if you take a few moments to review your experience,” or “Do you read online reviews? We do, and so do other customers. That’s why we’d love it if you take a few moments to review your experience.”
4. Tread the incentives line carefully.
Many argue that offering any kind of incentive for reviews corrupts the process and should be avoided at all costs. However, I appreciate the fact that anyone writing a review is taking time out of their busy schedule to benefit the overall community. Offering a small incentive (such as 20% off discount) can be a good way to show your appreciation and encourage customers to take the time to write a few words. You just need to make sure your offer is for writing a review, not just for writing a good review.
You can also surprise reviewers by sending them a discount code or other offer after they’ve posted a review. That way, you know your incentive didn’t affect their decision to write a review, but you still get to give a small token of appreciation for their efforts.
5. Consider your demographics.
If your customers are Millennials, they’re already accustomed to sharing every experience online and will most likely share their thoughts without much prompting. Bombarding customers under the age of 30 with requests to post a review will probably turn them off.
However, if you have older or less social media savvy customers, they may need a little more prompting or hand-holding.
6. Turn reviewers into brand ambassadors.
While a positive review is great for your business, the real value lies in the reviewer. Think about it. That person took the time to describe and share the great experience they had with your business.
Think about how you can further leverage this relationship. For example, you can produce video testimonials from your top customers to post on your website. Nothing tells a story better than well-produced, sincere video clips from real people.
7. Don’t ignore the negative reviews.
While your goal is to solicit good reviews, you’ll most likely encounter a bad review or two. Bad reviews aren’t always a business-killer, but how you handle a negative situation can be. Listen to and address the negative reviews; you may have a chance to turn an unhappy customer into a brand advocate.
At the end of the day, the best path to having great reviews is to offer a great product and customer experience. If you’re doing all you can to create a remarkable experience for your customers, there’s no reason not to remind them about the importance of sharing reviews.
As a provider of outsourced bookkeeping services, you are essentially selling trust, the corollary being that you must give your customers a reason to trust you. But, it’s not enough to simply say, “Hey, we do quality work, trust us!” A potential client has no reason to trust your word. What they will trust is the word of your past and existing clients because their experience validates the trust you are selling.
How important are customer reviews to potential clients? Very. According to this infographic, up to 90 percent of potential clients read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This leads us, inevitably, to the next question: How do you get your clients to write customer reviews?
My company, Legacy Advantage, has been very successful at getting our clients to post reviews on Google, Yelp and ProAdvisor®. As a result, we are now one of the highest reviewed outsourced bookkeeping services in Vancouver.
Here are our top 7 tips for securing online reviews:
1. Ask. Many bookkeepers and accountants are just afraid to ask for reviews. Don’t be. Your clients will be happy to give you a review.
2. Make it easy. In your email request, make sure to include the link to the review site so that they don’t have figure out where or how to do this for you.
3. Double dip. There are so many review sites out there (Google, Yelp, Facebook, ProAdvisor and more) that you might as well ask your clients to post on two sites. I wouldn’t recommend asking for more than two. That makes the task bigger, and it sounds suspiciously spammy.
4. Offer to reciprocate. If you use your client’s services, ask if you can give them a review as well. This makes your request for a review a win-win – everyone gets something in the exchange. Be sure to ask them where they’d like you to post the review, as there may be sites specific to their industry.
Here’s an example of a message that I send to my clients – feel free to use it!
Hi [insert client name],
We’re trying to improve our web rankings and I’m wondering if I could ask you a favor? Would you please write us a review on Google?
[insert Google link]
While you’re at it, could you copy and paste your review to the ProAdvisor site? ProAdvisor is like the Google for accountants, and I would really appreciate it.
[insert ProAdvisor link]
Also, I really like your services. Are there any sites where I could post a review for you? Let me know.
5. Engage clients who’ve already reviewed you. If a client happens to have given you a review without prompting, go ahead and ask them if they could copy and paste their review to another site such as Yelp or ProAdvisor. You can say something like:
Hi [insert client name],
Thanks so much for giving us an awesome review on Facebook. We really appreciate your support. I’m wondering if you could possibly copy and paste this review to our Google page as well?
[insert Google link]
[copy and paste the text of their previous review here in order to make it easy for them]
Are there any sites where I could post a review for you? Let me know.
6. Follow up. Your clients are busy people. They forget. Follow up two or three times on your initial request, leaving a week or two between each follow up. I find people usually post reviews after the second or third follow up. A thank-you note once they’ve posted the review doesn’t hurt either.
7. Be persistent and consistent. I’ve set a recurring reminder for myself every Saturday morning to ask a client for a review and/or follow up on requests sent. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, once a week isn’t overwhelming. Secondly, it’s much easier to follow up than sending a mass email to your entire client base. Lastly, review sites often flag service providers that get a high volume of reviews all at once. I know someone who asked 20 of his clients to review on Yelp in the same week. Yelp ended up removing all 20 reviews and freezing his account.
Have your own tips on how to encourage clients to review your services? I’d love to hear about them.
Small business owners know that gathering feedback on review sites like Yelp can be extremely helpful to understand their customers and their community. They also know that receiving negative reviews can be damaging to their reputation and can discourage potential customers from visiting their stores, restaurants, salons or auto-repair shops. How do you know when it’s time to flag a Yelp review?
When and how to flag a Yelp review
Even though negative reviews on Yelp can be discouraging, taking the simple step of responding can help to assuage the situation. But what about those negative reviews that are false, inflammatory, for the wrong business or from a former employee?
You can’t pay Yelp or other sites to remove reviews — and getting them taken down can be difficult.
But you can report reviews to Yelp’s content moderators asking them to remove the reviews that go against their guidelines.
Yelp has guidelines in place to prevent these kinds of reviews from overwhelming your business’s page. If a review violates Yelp’s Terms of Service or Content Guidelines, you can report the review to a Yelp administrator who will review your case.
4 steps to flag a Yelp Review
Not sure how to flag a Yelp review? Just follow these four easy steps.
- Click the flag icon.
- Click the most relevant option for flagging.
- Write a concise description of why you reported the review.
- Respond to the review.
1. Click the flag icon
From your Yelp for Business Owners account, find the review in question and click the little flag in the bottom right hand corner of the review.
2. Click the most relevant option for flagging
From the drop-down menu, you’ll click the most relevant option for flagging.
The options are different from the Content Guidelines, but you can select whichever option corresponds most closely to the issue. The categories are:
Inappropriate content: It contains threats, lewdness or hate-speech.
Conflicts of interest: It was posted by a competitor or ex-employee.
Promotional content: It contains promotional material.
Relevance: It doesn’t describe a personal consumer experience.
Privacy: It violates Yelp’s privacy standards.
Intellectual property: It violates Yelp’s intellectual property standards.
Demanding payment: The reviewer asks for payment to take down their negative review.
Photo: Marketing Land
There are also other options, like: “It’s for the wrong business” or “It contains false information,” which you can choose if one of those options is more relevant to your situation.
3. Write a concise description of why you reported the review
It’s important to be professional and to provide evidence where possible when you report a review to Yelp’s moderators. Referencing Yelp’s Content Guidelines in your response can help your case.
4. Respond to the review
It will take three to five business days for Yelp to decide whether the flagged review will remain on the site. They will let you know either way.
The decision is up to Yelp’s content moderators, but there are no guarantees that the review in question will be removed from the site. In the meantime, it’s important to respond and try to get some clarity on the review.
Potential customers can see this response, so make sure you are polite and amenable. You can still point out false information in a review without seeming disagreeable.
Ask questions to get to the bottom of the issue and apologize where necessary. That way, even if the review remains on your site, your customers will see that you took the time to respond because you care about providing excellent customer service at your business.
Ultimately, the best way to overshadow any negative reviews is to respond sincerely, succinctly and professionally in your unique voice to let your customers know you’re listening.
Another good way to overshadow any negative reviews is to get more reviews in general.
Yelp provides stickers that say “Find us on Yelp!” for your brick-and-mortar location so that anyone visiting your business knows that they can share details about their experience at your business on Yelp.
Bring in the good reviews
When it comes to getting more positive reviews, keep those glowing reviews coming in by continuing to provide the service and products that your customers love you for, and by continuing to respond to their feedback (on social media and review sites)!
Being friendly and accessible and providing a great customer experience are the best ways to get positive feedback and keep your business top of mind for your current and potential customers.
GoDaddy Social can help you elevate your reputation management strategy to help you get a handle on your online reviews and save you valuable time.
In another post we discussed why attorneys need to respond to online reviews that they receive and how to do it. Because more than 80% of people check lawyer reviews as the first step to finding an attorney, we’re taking a step back and looking at strategies for getting good reviews in the first place.
The first step to getting more reviews from clients is asking for them. You may have heard the phrase “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” Every time that your law firm does not ask a happy client to submit a review, you are missing out on an opportunity to improve your online presence for potential clients.
The absence of positive reviews is compounded by the reviews that unhappy clients will submit without any prompting. In today’s online culture, people who feel they’ve had a negative experience with a business will find websites where they can let other people know just how they feel. People are less likely, however, to proactively submit positive reviews. To do so, they just need a little encouragement.
Some law firms ask clients for feedback, but choose to eschew third-party sites such as Yelp. Instead they put a Testimonials page on their firm website. There’s nothing wrong with a Testimonials page, but readers know that such a page, by definition, contains only complimentary comments. And those positive reviews will not be seen by people who discover you on a third-party site. If your firm doesn’t have positive reviews on Facebook or Lawyers.com, a potential client may not even make it to your website.
Now that we’ve convinced you to ask your clients for reviews, the next step is how to do it. Remember, happy clients want to help you; you just need to send them in the right direction. Here are some tips:
- Ask your clients to submit a review as close as possible to the end of your work with them: Whether you do this at the end of a final meeting at your office or include the request in a closing email, ask your clients to submit a review when the experience is fresh in their mind.
- Make it easy: Include links to any website where a client can submit reviews in your closing email and on your website. If your clients are more technologically inclined, add a QR code to your business card that links to a list of websites where your firm wants reviews.
- Give multiple options: There isn’t one website that people visit for information on attorneys, and there isn’t one website that a client may be willing to use to submit a review. One client may not have a Yelp account, while another may submit daily reviews of every business they interact with. At the end of this article, we summarize some of the most important review sites. Ultimately, the more websites where you have reviews, the better.
- Don’t be too aggressive: Reviews are important, but not so important that it’s worth souring a relationship with a client who may refer people to you in the future. Ask once, and maybe send a follow up one to two weeks later if you don’t believe they’ve submitted a review. We are aware of some law firms who dedicate a computer for clients to use for submitting reviews while in the office. If your firm takes this approach, be careful about creating undue pressure on your client or this may backfire.
Sites to focus on for Client Reviews:
Lawyers.com/Martindale.com — Yes, we’re biased. But one of the main benefits of our sites is that reviewers don’t need to create an account to submit a review. For clients who aren’t web savvy, this may be the best option. Every attorney/law firm profile page on these sites has a link to submit a review. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell reviews, visit our website. (Note: Reviews submitted on Lawyers.com will automatically appear on Martindale.com and vice versa.)
Facebook — Almost everyone has a Facebook account, which is all a client needs to complete a review. If you haven’t created a page for your law firm, you should . Prior to directing clients to Facebook, consider that clients may not be willing to associate their name publicly with a review for personal situations like divorce or bankruptcy.
Google My Business — Even if you haven’t created a Google My Business page for your firm, Google may have created one for you based on information from publicly available directories. You can start here to either claim and update your existing page or build a new one. Clients will need a Google account to submit a review, but anyone with a gmail.com email address already has one.
Yelp — Most people know Yelp as a place to review restaurants or hotels. However, the site accepts reviews for literally any type of business. Clients will need to have an account to submit a review, and your firm may have a page on the site even if you didn’t create one. Click here to create a Yelp page for your firm or claim an existing page.
Client reviews are crucial to how any business, including your law firm, presents itself online to future clients. You’ve seen the smiles on the faces of your clients when they’ve completed the purchase of their first home or received a settlement after an accident. They are glad you were there for them and they want to repay the favor by recommending your services. Make sure they know where to go to do that.
Here are a couple images that I thought would be worth sharing on the blog.
I ordered a portable external battery not too long ago via Amazon.com from a company called Anker. I’d seen it recommended as a good option to help deal with Google Glass’ poor battery life, and it seems like that’s going to be the case.
In the product box was what I think is a pretty effective attempt at encouraging reviews. It’s not local search-related, but maybe some of you small business owners can use this (or something similar) to get more reviews of your business on Google+, Yelp, Citysearch, InsiderPages or wherever.
It started with this small card:
And that card then flips open to show this message:
I drew an arrow where the review encouragement begins. I think the wording is pretty effective: “… post a product review so that others can benefit from your experience” — that’s an appeal to our innate desire to help people. And the next sentence works for me, too, where it mentions being a “growing business” and “we know how scarce time can be.”
The inclusion of specific instructions is smart, too. Only problem is that Amazon seems to have changed the wording on its button — the card says “Create your own review,” but Amazon’s button now says “Write a customer review.” Still, no big deal there, in my opinion.
I think that’s an effective example of review encouragement (although no, I haven’t actually followed through and written one myself yet).
Do you agree? Anything you’d do differently? What are some effective messages that you’ve seen to encourage reviews?
3 min read Last Updated May 26, 2020
Getting feedback is amazing for your business always. But asking for that feedback from customers can be quite tricky. There are several ways to go about it. But what’s best for one business might not work for another. It all comes down to the way you ask (and when you ask) your customers that determines whether they provide it or not.
How do you write an email asking for feedback? Email is a very effective way to ask customers for feedback as long as it’s done in a timely manner. However, customers today are wired into their phones 24/7, so SMS requests (texts) often have a higher conversion rate into reviews. Since every customer base is different, BirdEye lets businesses request reviews both through email and SMS.
How to ask for feedback from customers?
1. Ask for a rating.
There are a few ways you can ask for a rating from your customers. You can use the standard 5-star scale:
Another way to ask for feedback from your customers could be using the Net Promoter Score method:
Traditionally, you’d survey your customers with the one question, “Would you recommend us?” Based on their 1-10 rating, you’d classify your customers into three categories: detractors, passives, and promoters.
The benefits? This way is quick, easy, and quantifiable.
2. Ask for a third-party review.
Requesting feedback from clients: Amplify customer voices to the public. Include direct links to the review sites that are most important to your industry. Examples: TripAdvisor if you’re in hospitality, Yelp if you own a restaurant, or Zocdoc if you are in healthcare.
The benefits? Your business gets free promotion, boosts ratings, and improves search engine optimization (SEO).
3. Send a survey link
Customer service feedback email sample: Get deeper insights into key areas of your business operations with custom surveys that ask only the questions that matter most.
How to ask for feedback from customers: BirdEye lets you include a review request within your survey, but all survey respondents must be given the opportunity to write reviews to third-party review sites.
The benefits? Run surveys for everything, including market research, employee engagement, and customer experience. Knowing what your customers really want (or really don’t want) is a huge part of making your customers happy (and keep them coming back for more).
Ask customers for feedback email: Customers are happy when you fix their problem. But they forget to share their experience with others. The feedback interview solves this problem. How does it work? You simply ask customers for their feedback. And how do you ask your customers for feedback? Just review samples 1-3 above. Now get started collecting that feedback!
Before you send any emails to your customers, make sure you define your goals and decide how you plan to measure success. Don’t stress out, just relax — all of BirdEye’s email, SMS and survey templates are totally customizable so you can continue making tweaks until you find what’s just right for your business.
Google’s acquisition of Zagat last week and Yelp’s excellent snarky response has brought customer reviews to the forefront of the news again, so it’s a good time to start thinking about how garnering more online reviews fits into your business. In my experience, when it comes to reviews there are four types of businesses: Businesses that […]
Google’s acquisition of Zagat last week and Yelp’s excellent snarky response has brought customer reviews to the forefront of the news again, so it’s a good time to start thinking about how garnering more online reviews fits into your business.
In my experience, when it comes to reviews there are four types of businesses:
- Businesses that get most of their business from referrals, don’t get any online reviews and could care less about them (perhaps the biggest chunk of businesses).
- Businesses that get most of their business from referrals, get online reviews and think that nobody reads them or cares.
- Businesses that think reviews are hugely important and work hard to get a lot of them.
- Businesses that think reviews are hugely important and work hard to get them, but don’t get many, if any.
What the types that rely heavily on referrals and ignore reviews don’t realize is that some time in the next year or two someone is going to write something about them online and there’s a good chance it’s going to be negative.
If it gets around, which it usually does thanks to Google, their referrals are at risk of drying up. If the first thing that shows up in Google for your brand is a negative, you are potentially screwed.
For those that work hard at getting a lot of reviews, I would wager that most of them are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.
While positive reviews are great, the real power is in the reviewer. A customer willing to spend the time to review you is a brand ambassador. Instead of just asking them for reviews, you should be thinking about how you can harness your relationship with these valuable people to help spread the word, both online and off.
Those that try but can’t seem to get traction with reviews should consider the following on how to build review generation into their business processes.
There are basically four ways to get an online customer review:
- Via phone
- Via email
- Via a Website
- Via transcription from a hand-written review
Which method is right for you depends on how you conduct your business.
Do you collect customer email addresses? Most of the businesses I work with know they should but rarely do, or rarely do it with any rigor.
Do you have more than 50% of your customers’ up-to-date email addresses? If so, then you can use email solicitations where you can ask them to provide a review via email or you can direct them to a website where they can leave a review.
If email doesn’t work for you, then you’ll need to consider how you typically interact with your customers. If most of your business is done in person then give them a comment card. If it’s over the phone, you may have to do it via mail. Try stapling a comment card with return postage to your invoice.
When figuring out your review acquisition strategy, take a good look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what your staff can realistically do every day.
Some tips for asking customer reviews:
- Don’t offer incentives. A percentage of your customers will do it for free. If you offer to pay your top brand ambassadors, it’s possible they will get turned off, which could hurt your business by dampening the enthusiasm of these mavens.
- Make it easy for customers. Don’t send them a link to review you on Google unless they have a Gmail address.
- Don’t ask people for Yelp reviews. This almost always backfires. You may get a few positive reviews in the short term, but if your customers are not active Yelpers, Yelp’s SPAM filters will eventually toast their reviews. You’ll end up with no reviews and potentially some angry customers who wonder why their work of review art disappeared.
- Do it promptly. Don’t wait. People are most likely to give you feedback right away. The longer you go from the time of service to the time of request, the likelihood of getting reviews drops precipitously. According to Ted Paff, CEO of CustomerLobby, a review service, “Comment card reviews solicited at the time of service can see completion rates of 80-90%” vs. much lower rates for other forms of review solicitation.
- If you have the customer’s email address, follow up your initial request three days later with a reminder email containing links of where to for review submissions. Reminder emails can account for a huge percentage of review conversions.
Bonus Tip: (always underpromise and over deliver :))I have often heard that business owners can feel embarrassed when asking customers for reviews. If that sounds like you, my advice is to be totally candid with your customers.
Tell them that you are working on improving your business and some blogger guy told you that asking for reviews was a good way to do this. I have found that this kind of candor makes the asker feel less bad about asking for reviews which improves the chances of actually getting them.
And if you still can’t figure out the review thing there are several companies out there that would be glad to help you including, but not limited to:
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
How Much Does Yelp Matter for Small Businesses?
Yelp is one of the most influential online marketing tools for businesses today, as millions of potential customers flock to the site to determine the best merchants and service providers in their area. The website is driven by reviews given by customers. This can work in the favor of a business that receives multiple positive reviews on Yelp. However, negative reviews on Yelp can prove detrimental to a business. While you cannot remove a bad review on Yelp, there are steps you can take to increase positive reviews and improve your business reputation.
Navigate to the Yelp homepage and locate your business through the search feature. Click the name of your business on the search results page.
Locate the negative review you wish to address. Click “Add owner comment” located in the bottom right corner of the negative review.
Login to the “Yelp for Business Owners” page, if you have not already done so. If you do not have an account, create one by clicking “Create your free account now” and follow the onscreen instructions to complete your login.
Return to the review page and address the negative review on Yelp directly. As the business owner, you can respond to negative reviews and present your side of the story or attempt to resolve the matter. State that you are sorry the customer had a negative experience at your place of business. Offer a steep discount or even a free service as an opportunity to rectify the situation with that customer. Encourage her to write a revised review of your business, once she has returned to your business.
Encourage your loyal customers to write reviews on Yelp. Since Yelp reviews are displayed in chronological order, a number of positive reviews can push a negative review to the next page, where potential customers are less likely to view it.
Offer a discount or other incentives to your customers to encourage them to submit a positive review on Yelp.
Say it’s a Friday night, and you just finished a movie at the local theater. You and your significant other are happy to be out of the stuffy, jam-packed flick and are now pining for a scoop of ice cream in a freshly made sugar cone. You quickly pull out your smart phone, hop on Yelp and start combing through reviews weighing out your best options.
You find that less than half a mile away, there is a cute, locally owned ice cream shop that has 4.5 stars and over 2000 yelp reviews. Before you make any hasty decisions, you verify this with their Google reviews, and you’re on your way. You get to your destination, and your evening comes to an end, once your sweet tooth is sufficiently satisfied.
If you are finding yourself thinking, “Over 2000 Yelp reviews on a local ice cream shop? No way!” We are here to tell you, yes way! Ici Ice Cream in Berkeley, California was able to do just that, and you can too.
In 2013, it is no secret that Yelp and Google reviews are gold when it comes to small businesses. Whether you’re a personal contractor trying to bring in new clients, or a personal trainer wanting to help people get in shape, positive Yelp and Google reviews will boost your business. Keep reading, and our six tips will get you up to speed and well on your way.
1. Add Special Offers to Your Yelp page
Yelp advertisements allow you to add special offers to your page such as deals, gift certificates and check-in offers. Adding these advertisements will bring customers to your yelp page, increase your chances of reviews, as well as drive traffic to your website.
2. Showcase Positive Reviews
Quote one or two positive reviews on your site and rotate new ones in frequently. Quoting your reviewers will express your gratitude and will show customers that writing a review for your business is worthwhile. It helps build trust and credibility too.
3. Receipts and Invoices
Add notes to your receipts and invoices asking people to share their experiences on Yelp and Google along with your custom domain name (website URL). When your customer reads this along side the items they’ve purchased, they will recall the experiences they’ve had and be more willing to share them.
You know who your top customers are and whom you’ve had the best interactions with. Ask these specific customers to share their exceptional experiences in a Yelp or Google review; they will appreciate that you have reached out to them personally.
5. Call-To-Action (CTA)
Gain the attention of your customers by placing an obvious and inviting CTA on your site linking to your Yelp and Google page. Your CTA will boost your click through rate more than your average link, creating a much larger potential for reviews.
6. Give Feedback
Responding to your reviews is key to showing your appreciation for your customers, as well as their opinion. Respond to positive feedback by thanking the customer for their review and expressing excitement for future business.
When handling negative feedback, be sure to apologize for unpleasant experience, and do your best to rectify the situation. In many cases, this will not only result in a repeat customer, but a positive updated review as well.
Gaining a large amount of Yelp and Google reviews may seem to be a difficult feat, but it is well worth the time and effort. Keep at it, and let us know how these work out for you!
Managing Your Online Reputation by Asking for Reviews
In today’s digital marketplace, reputation plays a central role in the consumer decision making process. 70-90% of a buyer’s journey is completed before engaging with a vendor. 1 This is because consumers are cautious. They search through tons of content – researching both the product and the provider in order to make an informed decision before buying. Reviews are an integral part of this process.
It can be nerve-racking to sit on the sidelines and hope that no one writes a negative review. This idea scares many people away from asking for reviews because we often think that no reviews are better than bad reviews. But, for those with a large client base, sticking your head in the sand isn’t an option. Apps and services like Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc. make it easy for consumers to voice their opinions about the organizations they do business with. Because of the weight consumers give online reviews, ignoring these outlets can have a serious negative effect on new business opportunities.
Most consumers who interact with you will have an average experience. That’s normal. These people aren’t very likely to share their experience by writing a review. The only people who tend to write reviews without being prompted are the small percentage who either had a really good or really bad experience. If you rely solely on these polarized groups to manage your reputation, it may controversialize your product or service. In turn, it may lower consumer confidence for those who were considering contacting you.
Instead, you should take the initiative to manage your reputation.
It is inevitable that everyone will receive some bad reviews even if they are unfounded. That is the nature of the beast. If you actively seek reviews from your clients, you stand a chance to drown out those negative reviews with a high volume of good and average reviews.
Here are a few good tips to help you get better reviews
Ask in your email signature
This is an easy way to passively ask for reviews. Provide links in your email signature that take your clients to pages where they can leave reviews. Like any passive channel, you will not have a large amount of engagement through these links, but it requires little effort and creates awareness that you otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Ask your clients directly
The best way to encourage people to write good reviews is to ask for them. That isn’t to say that you should include a plug for reviews in every communication, though. You should ask for a review after completing a sale or solving a client’s problem. Also, be specific when asking for a review. If you just helped a client solve a problem with their service and they are happy with the results, ask them to write a review about how you handled the situation.
It never hurts to give your clients an incentive to write reviews and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Simple incentives like a $5 gift card or a small discount on services can be just enough of a nudge to convince your client to act.
Incorporating soft requests for reviews in your client communications will help you take charge of your online presence. It isn’t necessary to use every tactic that I’ve listed but you should consider which tactics would work harmoniously within your communications and build from there. Whichever route you choose, remember to be patient. These channels for reviews take time to perfect. Your first attempt may have underwhelming results but that shouldn’t discourage you. You need to be proactive to manage your online reputation and this is the way to do it.
To learn more about our review guides, please click here.
You can bet that in this digital age, potential buyer or seller clients will look you up online to see your reviews; getting those reviews should be a key objective in your overall marketing plan. Be deliberate and consistent in your process and you can get more reviews to attract leads and build your business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for them. It’s much easier to ask a satisfied client for a review than to ask a prospective client to work with you. Most clients will be pleased to help you out and some even expect to be asked for a review. Be on the lookout for good review content and capitalize on kind words the minute you hear them.
How many reviews is enough? The more, the better! The key is to target the client when they’re most satisfied with your services. Let them know the importance of their feedback to your business.
Request reviews at all stages of the transaction process.
Requesting reviews is all about timing. You don’t have to wait until after a deal closes to ask your client to write you a review.
- Request them early in the process. The best timing is the moment you get your first win with a new client — like when they get pre-approved or when you show them a home they get excited about.
- Request reviews at mutual acceptance or within three days after closing. Don’t be shy about highlighting something amazing that wouldn’t have happened without your help.
- For past clients, you’ll have a higher probability of success if you reach out with a phone call. Use the conversation as an opportunity to remind them of a great moment from the transaction and encourage them to use that memory as a testament to your service in the review.
- Offer you clients an incentive or provide them something of value, such as current market data or recent neighborhood statistics, for following through with writing your review.
Make it easy.
- From within your agent profile, you can send clients a link and ask them to click the Write Review If your client doesn’t have an account, give them specific, clear instructions about how to set one up.
- Many consumers find it difficult to come up with an original review on their own because they have to jog their memory about what they liked about you or how great the transaction was. Anticipate this and provide them with some ideas. Offer to send some sample content for them to riff off. If there were any “hero moments” during the process where you went above and beyond, jot them down in your request as well. Most clients are more likely to sign off on sample reviews or tweak pre-populated text than they are to write something from scratch. Not only are you making it easy on these clients, but you’re also able to manage the message.
Focus on where you want future business to come from.
- Before approaching clients for a review, think about what kinds of business you want. For instance, if you’d like to work only with home buyers, focus on getting reviews from your past buyer clients. Interested in growing your business in a particular school district, neighborhood or town? Ask for reviews from all your past clients who live in those target areas.
- Do you want more listings in your client’s existing neighborhood? Suggest that their review highlight your expertise in that neighborhood.
- Don’t be afraid to guide your client toward the type of review you want; as long as you request only accurate and honest information in the review, there’s no reason your client will object to providing one.
Reply to all reviews — good, bad or neutral.
- Use your response as an opportunity to say “thank you.” As a consumer, seeing a personal thank-you note from an agent in response to their review means a lot. It conveys a personal touch—that you took the time to acknowledge and thank your client. Responding to reviews also shows that you are accessible and responsive online.
- Respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. Even the best-intended, most professional agent might receive a less-than-stellar review from a dissatisfied client. You can be sure other potential clients will give that review a close read. Present your side of the story professionally and tactfully; be careful not to appear as though you are criticizing or deriding the unhappy client. If possible, offer a solution to the problem or make some other goodwill gesture to the client.
Syndicate your reviews.
For an easy way to sync your reviews to your office or personal website, check out Zillow Tech Connect: Reviews. Connecting your reviews to your website gives potential clients powerful social proof when researching your experience and history online.
Free scripts: Asking clients for reviews
Client reviews are a real estate agent’s bread and butter, but for different reasons, many agents forget or are hesitant to ask for them. These scripts—used in person or through email—can help you get the conversation started.
Yelp is the largest source for online reviews. Thirty-fourth among the most visited website in the US (according to Alexa), Yelp has 70 million visitors each month and has accumulated over 40 million Yelp business reviews. This staggering amount of visitors and reviews makes Yelp very important to businesses.
Yelp is a powerful entity the reviews and ratings heavily affect them when it comes to making decisions. According to research, 90% of Yelp users are easily affected by the positive reviews they see on Yelp. Also 93% of users that conduct research on Yelp make purchases on the businesses that they look up. Most of all, small businesses that take advantage of Yelp would enjoy an $8,000 increase in their annual revenue, thus making it possible for them to enjoy increased growth and further expand their business. Knowing these facts, it is important for businesses to consider Yelp reputation management and get Yelp reviews.
WHAT IS A YELP REVIEW?
Yelp Review is a feature of Yelp.com, the largest review platform on the web. Yelp review is the method on how consumers rate businesses and share their opinion regarding the products, service or even the experience they have encountered. It is also a tool that helps consumers determine which businesses would suit their needs. Unlike other review portals, Yelp reviews also serves a community wherein businessmen and consumers can interact with one another.
HOW TO GET YELP REVIEWS
There are two ways how businesses can easily increase the count of their reviews. One: Encourage customers to leave a review. Two: buy Yelp reviews or seek out a Yelp review service. Looking forward to buy reviews on Yelp is actually good thing to do for it would not only increase the business’ review count on Yelp but also improve its rating.
But where should you buy Yelp review? Is it necessary to look for Yelp review for sale on the internet? There’s no need to do any of those things.
Here at Reviews That Stick, we provide all the reviews you’d need to improve your standing on Yelp. If your business has no review, then we can provide one. If it is drowned with negative reviews, just buy positive yelp reviews and we will handle the rest.
WHY BUY YELP REVIEWS?
There are many reasons why you should buy Yelp reviews, and here are why:
- Yelp reviews increase revenue by bringing new customers. According Harvard Business School, a 1-star increase on Yelp could lead to 5-9% increase in business revenue.
- Yelp reviews will increase credibility to your business.
- 72% of consumers say positive reviews on Yelp would make them trust a business more.
- Having Yelp reviews would make your company more legitimate.
- 92% of consumers would read Yelp reviews before deciding to buy.
- 87% of customers see Yelp reviews as personal recommendations from actual customers.
- Yelp reviews drive local purchases. After reading Yelp reviews, 93% of Yelp users would make a purchase from their local store.
- Positive Yelp reviews can increase customer base and increase a business’ visibility.
WHY BUY YELP REVIEWS FROM REVIEWS THAT STICK?
- We are a reputable seller with countless satisfied customers and partners.
- Established in 2013, our service is backed with years of experience.
- We use active and phone verified accounts.
- We post reviews from appropriate IPs and browsers.
- We offer replacements for filtered ordered reviews.
- We have active customer support that responds within 24 hours. (Support Time: Monday to Saturday, 11:00AM – 4:00AM EST)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What accounts do you use for posting reviews?
We use phone verified accounts for posting reviews and reviews are posted using Geo-Located Proxies and Residential Proxies. This allows the reviews to be seen as authentic and written by real customers.
2. Do you use software in posting reviews?
No. All Yelp reviews are posted manually by our in-house team. No bots. No posting software.
3. Do you use the same IP on each review?
No. We use different Geo-Located proxies and Residential proxies. Thus, you don’t have to worry about reviews posted using the same proxies or IPs.
4. Tell me more about your services.
We at ReviewsThatStick, we help clients boost their online reputation through reviews. We are in this industry for a few years now that’s why we are confident that we can stick one or two reviews on your listings.
We can also set a phone meeting if you want so that we can explain more of our services to you.
5. What happens if my review is filtered?
There are 2 sets of 30-day policies. First, we have the initial 30-day free replacement policy as soon as the review is posted. If the review goes into the “NOT RECOMMENDED” section within 30 days, we will replace it for free. Then, another final 30 days to observe if the review is still live on your listing.
6. How do you create the reviews?
We first start by researching the information on your website. We will gather the product name, service name or any other information that we can use to construct the reviews. You can also provide keywords, names or photos if you want us to include in the reviews.
7. I don’t have Yelp.com listing?
We advise you to build your Yelp.com list first before ordering reviews. It’s because only business owners are allowed to create their listings.
8. Who will make the review contents?
By default, we’ll be the one to craft the review contents, but you have the option to provide it yourself or give us some keyword to add in our content.
9. Do you have an affiliation program?
As of the moment, we don’t have an affiliation program but you can avail our special rates to avail discounts.
10. Do you guarantee that the reviews will stick?
As long as we carefully follow protocol when posting the reviews. Example is applying safety interval when posting. All of our accounts are created and maintained using residential proxies so they aren’t used by static or data center IP’s but they appear as though they live within the residential area. They are anonymous in the eyes of antilogarithms and the platform.
11. What is the (ETA) Estimated Turn Around time of the order.
Please expect it within 48 – 72 hours after placing the order.
If you’re a business owner, you likely already know the importance of getting reviews from your customers.
From a digital marketer’s perspective, there are two main reasons why online user reviews are so important:
- Having reviews of your product or service can have a real effect on potential customers who are researching online. A recent study by BrightLocal found 73% of consumers say positive reviews increase their trust of a business! (Ed.: and even 1 star reviews have a 107% better conversion rate than no-reviews products)
- Having multiple good reviews on sites like Google+ and Yelp can help make your business more relevant to search engines.
So, having your customers to leave you reviews online seems like a no-brainer. But what’s difficult is actually getting those reviews. The reviews wont happen unless you ask your customers to review you. The key here is to ask at different times, in different ways until you find one that works.
Here are some creative ways you can encourage users to post reviews on your online profiles.
10 Ways To Ask For Reviews
- If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, ask customers to leave you a review immediately after their purchase. You can even hand them instructions on where and how to leave the review. If you’re an online business, ask for feedback in a follow-up email.
- Next time a customer gives you a compliment in an email, over the phone, or in-person, request that they leave you that same feedback in an online review on your Google+ or Yelp profile.
- Ask users to rate your business on industry specific review websites like HomeStars, RateMDs, Urbanspoon, and TripAdvisor, so you can be where your competitors are.
- Send personal emails to your regular customers and VIPs requesting reviews – they are more likely to leave feedback.
- If you send out a monthly newsletter to your customer base, include a link to leave a review on your Google+ profile.
- Add links to your online review profiles in your email signature, especially if you interact with customers on a regular basis.
- Instead of offering a discount or an incentive to customers to solicit reviews, ask them as a personal favour, and offer them an easy way to leave a review.
- Don’t forget the social networks! Many of your customers are already active users, and wont need to create an account to leave a review. Facebook Pages and LinkedIn Company Pages offer users a place to give feedback on your business. (TIP: Install the LinkedIn Recommend Button on your website so users can recommend your products and services more easily!)
- Set up an in-store review station with a computer or tablet, where customers can visit your profiles, sign-in, and leave feedback about their experience . Google saysnot to do this;
If you’re a business owner, don’t set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.
3 Ways To Use Reviews
Once you’ve got a number of reviews, it’s time to make the most of them. Some of the ways you can use existing reviews+ to encourage more reviews include:
- Consider featuring a review of the month on your website or Facebook page. Users will be more eager to leave a review if they have a chance to be put in the spotlight.
- Ask those who have reviewed you to do so on a number of different sites. If they’ve reviewed your business on Facebook, ask them to write another on Yelp or Google+ as well.
- Manage negative reviews properly. By answering a bad review immediately with a positive tone, you’ll show potential customers that you are dedicated to customer service.
Encouraging more positive online reviews is a key component in managing the reputation of your small business, as well as obtaining new business.
Question: What are you doing to encourage more reviews? Let us know your tips in the comments!
Hi I’m Casey Meraz with Juris Digital and today we’re going to be talking about how to get more reviews for your law firm.
Getting Reviews on sites like Google and Yelp are essential to your law firm’s success because that’s were consumers are searching.
Just remember before we get started you cannot solicit reviews from yelp because that’s against their terms of service. However, with google you are allowed to solicit reviews at this point.
Here are some quick tips that help your law firm get more reviews.
Tip number one: Look at existing clients. You probably have a database with old clients, think about which ones were the happiest with your service. Then have the person who had the most contact with them, reach out via phone and ask them if they will be willing to leave a review for the firm. Follow that up with that an email and your on your way to getting some good reviews.
Tip number two: If you use case management software and can set up a process to auto email clients. What you should do is sign up for a service like get five stars, what that will do is it will allow you to email clients after your case is closed or settled and then they can give you a rating from one to ten. The good thing about that is that you are allowed to set a review threshold so if they hit eight to ten on the high side they are then promoted with options automatically to leave a reviews with the sites that you want, you could do that on google, you could do that on yelp.
Tip number three: This is something that applies mostly to personal injury lawyers but basically once the case is settled what you can do, you can actually deliver the check to the clients home and ask them at that point if they are willing to leave a review. What this does it allows them to leave a review from their home computer and at the point where their the happiest.
Tip number four: You should use the review tactic sparingly but if you work with other professional service businesses, such as an investigator or a process server you can ask them to leave a review for you. If you do that, just make sure their honest and leave their review in their own voice clear business to business way.
Tip number five: This is my favorite technique for long term success for reviews for your firm. And it involves incentivizing employees and constant client communication.
Here’s How it works:
First, lets start with the employees side of it. Incentivizing employees by making positive reviews apart of their performance or incentivizing them with money is a great way in getting them on board. Now since your employees are in constant communication with the clients. Ensure they have a positive experience and when a case is closing, that person should call the client and inform them that the way that their performance is judged is partially on reviews.
Doing this adds an emotional connection at that point the client is typically more inclined to leave a review. Follow that up with an email and a direct link to where you want that review to go and your going to see it done nine times out of ten.
And as a bonus to you, we are going to talk about three things you should not do.
Number one: Don’t solicit reviews on yelp.
Number two: Don’t offer monetary incentives.
And number three: I wouldn’t recommend setting up a review station in your office on the network where all the reviews are coming from the same location. That could be flagged for spam in the future.
And that’s it for today. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.