Client reviews are a magical thing. They can make your business stand out from the rest or they can kick you to the ground, making you question your entire existence.
Client reviews can and will make an impact on your business. From Google to Yelp to Angie’s List and all the other top sites where customers post business reviews, you must stand out. Having a multitude of solid reviews will ensure your company gets the business it needs. Lets jump in.
How to get reviews.
Getting reviews can be a little tricky but there are some simple methods to help the numbers grow. For most of your clients, leaving a review is the last thing on their mind so you have to make it easy.
My business has recently changed to paperless receipts that get emailed to the client. (Also a great way to build your email database if you ever want to add email marketing.) The bottom of the email has clickable links to my business page on the review sites. I also send a thank you card that mentions these same sites. After doing this Google reviews increased and my location stands out compared to the competition. I just had a caller this week say that they saw my Google reviews and they had to use me even though I gave a higher bid. POWERFUL!
Another way to increase reviews is to stay engaged with your clients on social media. If you are staying on top of your social media you can ask for reviews from people who have used your service in the past. (If you are unable to keep current with social media, hire a pro.) Asking clients on Facebook and Twitter to leave a review about the service I provided had a dramatic impact in only one week.
Angie’s List offer printable forms that you can have the client fill out at the job and mail it in. Another simple option.
I have reviews, now what?
Once you have started to amass your reviews, how do you leverage them to get more work? First, respond to the reviews. People want to know that you heard their opinion and your time to respond is appreciated. Other potential clients see this and get the same warm feelings.
You can also highlight your business reviews on your company website. Another service based small business owner I know said the review page on his website sees the second most amount of traffic, just getting beat by the home page.
What to do when you get a bad review.
Oh the bad review… As a business owner, this can hurt both physically and mentally. First, you should respond to the review (see #2) in a very professional manner that both listened to the reviewers concerns and looked to solve the issue. Second, do your best to bury the review so it will be overlooked. This motivates you to get more reviews in a short period. It might be one of the best things that could have happened to your review building process.
Put in the time and implement these practices to gain reviews and keep your clients happy. People will be more likely to call if others are singing your praises! It is awesome when it comes together!