How To Get Your Clients To Write Online Reviews

Posted by David Chism | Fri, Nov 12, 2010

 How To Get Your Clients To Write Online Reviews
Update to this post (2÷6÷2012) Rate­point is no longer in busi­ness. Feel free to read over the arti­cle any­ways, but no need to hunt for Rate­point. They got bought out by a com­peti­tor and total­ly changed their services.  In recent years, anoth­er ben­e­fit of the tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion has been online cus­tomer reviews. Whether they are buy­ing a trac­tor, a trun­dle bed, or a tooth­brush, peo­ple will check out cus­tomer reviews on any num­ber of web­sites. Today, the major­i­ty of home­own­ers will research your com­pa­ny by search­ing for reviews by your pre­vi­ous cus­tomers before call­ing to set up an appoint­ment. This trend was start­ed sev­er­al years ago by Ama​zon​.com, as well as local restau­rants in var­i­ous loca­tions. Soon, it spread to sites like Yelp, Google, Angie´s list, Wal​-Mart​.com, and the BBB online reports. When a cus­tomer has an expe­ri­ence, good or bad, they can go to any num­ber of sites to describe their sat­is­fac­tion or anger about a prod­uct or ser­vice. Now some of the major search engines are begin­ning to give first place rank­ings to the com­pa­nies with the most reviews. Obvi­ous­ly, this means you want reviews — good ones, and lots of them! The prob­lem is that your sat­is­fied cus­tomers are con­tent­ed­ly qui­et, and the ones that make online noise are usu­al­ly those who are dis­sat­is­fied or have a chip on their shoul­der. Also, many of the clients of the com­pa­nies I work with are busy, wealthy home­own­ers who have nev­er heard of Google Reviews or Yelp. They might read some reviews on these sites before hir­ing a con­trac­tor, but after­wards they don´t remem­ber the sites they used. So what can we do to get our sat­is­fied cus­tomers to leave excel­lent reports about us? Gener­ic emails ask­ing them to write a review won´t work. A ser­vice com­pa­ny has to get a lit­tle more cre­ative and per­son­al. As you con­clude a job, talk to the cus­tomer by phone or in per­son and ask them to write a review for you: Can you do me a favor…” or Can you help me out with some­thing?” Briefly explain how it helps you to keep down adver­tis­ing costs and assists oth­er home­own­ers in find­ing you online. Give them a quick overview of how long it takes and what they need to do. If they seem will­ing, then send them an email with detailed instruc­tions, prefer­ably with screen­shots. Besides mak­ing it per­son­al, you need to make it easy. Many cus­tomers won’t write a review because they have to reg­is­ter for an account or fol­low com­pli­cat­ed instruc­tions. To make it easy, I´ve start­ed using a pro­gram called Rate­point. This is an inde­pen­dent online review pro­gram that makes every­thing a piece of cake, and doesn´t require cus­tomers to cre­ate an account. A com­pa­ny can install cer­tain wid­gets or graph­ics on their site that will encour­age vis­i­tors to read recent rat­ings and tes­ti­mo­ni­als. It´s like hav­ing your own Ama​zon​.com review sys­tem right on your site. Because it is 3rd par­ty, it also has many Search Engine ben­e­fits. For exam­ple, Google can dis­cov­er the reviews and post them on Google Places. Rate­point has also made it even eas­i­er for cus­tomers to share their thoughts on oth­er major review sites: after writ­ing a review (again, with­out need­ing an account), cus­tomers are invit­ed to share their thoughts fur­ther on oth­er major web­sites. Anoth­er key ben­e­fit to Rate­point is that it can han­dle your email mar­ket­ing and any sur­veys you want to con­duct. It can replace your cur­rent email sys­tem com­plete­ly. I’ve used it for a few clients and I do like it. How­ev­er, my favorite email pro­gram con­tin­ues to be MailChimp. It is just real­ly slick and easy to use. So remem­ber, per­son­al­ly invite your sat­is­fied clients to write reviews, and tell them how. Make it easy for them. Give Rate­point a try: Here is a sam­ple of how it looks on a web­site: Bren­nan’s Cus­tom Painting

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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