Back in the day, the only way to search for businesses was by word of mouth and the phone book. Today, many people use the internet to search for a business. They research the company and look at online reviews before deciding to purchase an item or work with a business. If you are ignoring online reviews for your business, then you are missing a huge marketing opportunity.
In this article, I will cover some ways to gather online reviews, including a template for requesting a review from a past client. It is also important to respond appropriately and not ignore a negative review.
BEST WAY TO GET CLIENT REVIEWS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
This one is super simple. You just need to ask your clients. It’s important to make it easy for them to leave you a review. Be sure to include the link, so it’s fast and easy for the client to leave a review.
BEST SITE FOR YOUR CLIENTS TO LEAVE YOU AN ONLINE REVIEW
I highly recommend using Google My Business. If you don’t have one yet, sign up. It is a free business profile, and adding reviews on google helps with SEO. Need I say more? You want to have the most reviews of anyone in your area that specialize in what you do. If you focus your efforts on getting reviews on Google, it will pay off big time. Your company will start to show up at the top of the search, when someone searches for a business like yours in your area.
BEST PRACTICES FOR MANAGING ONLINE REVIEWS
Maintain your Listing
If you don’t have one already, set up your listing and complete your profile. It’s a good practice to update these at least once a year. If your contact information changes, address, phone number, email, update your listings right away.
Automate the Process
I use Insightly CRM to automate emails that I regularly share with clients. We start from the template and then personalize it. I have a list of email templates that I have drafted, so I don’t have to write the same email over and over. When a client service has been provided, I send a thank you email and ask for a review.
Template for client review requests:
Thank you for putting your trust in me and my company to help you. We hope that our service meets your needs and we can support you in the future. There are always other people out there but don’t know where to turn. That is why I would truly appreciate an online review from you to let others know they can trust us too.
Google Reviews are especially helpful in keeping our business to thrive so we can continue to provide service to the community.
Please write a review (hyperlink to your google my business page or another page where you are requesting your clients leave a review for you)
Respond to Reviews
Responding to a positive review is easy. Send a simple thank you message.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to leave us a review. We welcome feedback, and it’s always nice to hear when we have met a client’s expectations. If someone you know ever needs our services, we are always here to help.
Respond to Negative Reviews
The best way to avoid negative reviews is through strong communication and customer service. However, there are always clients that will be dissatisfied no matter what you do. Sometimes the results were out of your control. You can attempt to avoid this by not asking a client who you know was unsatisfied with your service to a review. If they were to leave you a review without requesting it, you should respond professionally.
The worst thing you could do is let your emotions get the better of you and respond unprofessionally. Keep your response generic. You want to keep it confidential and professional. Invite the reviewer to contact you privately to address their concerns.
To help you with an idea of an appropriate response, here is a sample response to a negative review:
We sincerely thank you for leaving your review. As much as we’d like to receive nothing but positive reviews, we welcome all feedback. Feedback such as yours allows us to take into consideration our clients’ concerns and experiences and to improve our service. If you would like to speak with us privately and confidentially about the issues you mentioned in your review, we would like to hear from you in person.