With more virtual working and business being done virtually, the need for a steady stream of positive reviews becomes even more important.
We believe that in most cases Google My Business is one of the most important places to collect reviews as when people search for you or for your services, and are shortlisting companies to contact, they will take in to account reviews on Google My Business. Of course, they are likely to consider Facebook Reviews and any other review sites where your company name appears as well but with Google having around 80% of the search engine market share in the UK, it makes sense to have plenty of Google My Business reviews, followed by a good number of Facebook Reviews too.
Of course, it may also help you to get to page 1 of Google for a target keyword. For local businesses this is crucial as the map listing can be a big part of page 1 of Google as Figure 1 shows. The map listing is highlighted in the blue box.
Figure 1: The Google Search Results Page with the Maps listing
Why Spend Time Getting Reviews?
This may seem obvious but here is a list of just some of the reasons:
- increased credibility
- it also builds trust with new prospects to make your sales process easier
- your clients can help promote you by giving you those 5* ratings
- which in turn, increases the likelihood of an enquiry – especially now when this is more important than ever
- helps with SEO
- and apart from your time, it is free if you are looking at Google My Business and Facebook Reviews
When your potential customer is deciding who to contact reviews will matter, just as they do when we look to buy something from Amazon for example. They want confirmation that they are going to work with or are working with a great company that receives great customer reviews. In fact, research suggests ‘online reviews influence the purchase decisions for 93% of consumers.1
So, on the basis that we need to get reviews for our businesses…
How can you get more reviews?
We have compiled a list of 20 ways to generate more reviews for your business and they are as follows:
- Deliver the best customer experience possible
Of course to get any great reviews from your customers you must delight them. Delivering on what you promised and ideally more will turn your customers into ‘raving fans’ who won’t just write you a great review on Google My Business or Facebook, but may also refer you to their family, friends and colleagues.
- Incorporate getting reviews into your business processes
This is crucial to success. You need to think about how you can incorporate getting reviews into the everyday running of your business. When is the best time to ask for a review? There are most likely some obvious trigger points, for lawyers it will be as they close a case, for car dealers when the car is about to be driven off, or on delivery, and for many businesses it will be when the service has been completed. It needs to become second nature to ask for the review as part of the process and to make it as easy as you can for the happy customer to provide the review.
- When you get good feedback
You do not need to wait to the end of the service delivery to ask for a review. If you receive positive feedback verbally at any point, then ask for a review in person or on the phone and give a reason. ‘Really great that you’re valuing the service. I wonder if you might be able to help me. Would you be able to provide a review? Your help would really be appreciated as it will help others find us too.”
- Use the short version of your Google My Business URL to ask for reviews
Go to https://support.google.com/business/answer/7035772?hl=en-GB for details on how to find the short url.
- Make use of signage and signposting in your workplace to encourage reviews
Consider banners, dedicated cards, your email signature, your email newsletters, brochures, invoices, window clings and flyers as ways of encouraging in-person feedback and online feedback. You can download free print-ready posters using the Google My Business Marketing toolkit. There are window stickers to download, as well as other downloads such as business cards and postcards with a QR code, which you can print. It also gives you some great ideas for Social Posts too.
So, check out the free marketing kit from Google. If you make sure you are logged into your Google account first, then you will get customised information for your business. Go to https://marketingkit.withgoogle.com/
Figure 2: Example of the Downloads from the Google My Business Marketing toolkit
- Email follow up
Collect email addresses and follow up as soon as you have completed the work and ask if they would help you by providing a review. A simple thank you for your business, it would be great if you could leave us a review and a button to Google My Business as well as the alternative option of Facebook works well. If you are going to look to have an automated system for reviews, where an email is sent as soon as a case is closed, we would recommend two options. To reduce the potential negative reviews, include an Unsatisfied? option and ask the person to please reach out to me directly. If you are happy with our service, then please leave a review and include links to your two preferred review sites; Google My Business and perhaps Facebook Reviews or a sector specific reviews site if you have one. Remember to mention that it will really help us and help others find us too. You could even embed a video of you asking for the review.
- Give your customer options
When you are asking for a review, it’s a good idea to give your client at least a couple of options on where they can leave feedback as this will increase the number of reviews you get over time. We would recommend Google My Business and then Facebook, and then other Review Sites. Of course, if you are paying for a review site like Trustpilot or Checkatrade then you may want this to be your priority for reviews.
However, we would recommend giving at least two options for reviews as some clients may not have a Google account and others may not have Facebook accounts.
- Do not rely on one way of asking for a review
Do not rely on email, you can text send a link to leave a review too. Of course, if you want a Facebook Review, you could use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or any instant messaging service to send the link. Basically, think about which channel is right for each client and use the most appropriate channel to ask.
- Send a reminder
It is OK to send a reminder about a review. You could try using a different channel to send it and make them aware that, if they are busy, they can just leave a star rating which will not take as long.
- Train your personnel
Make sure that all customer facing personnel are trained to ask for reviews, highlighting that reviews would be very much appreciated, especially if the customer is happy with the service. You could even set a target for those personnel to encourage action, and perhaps a prize for the person that gets the most customer reviews each month.
- Give your customer a review first
This works well for business customers. Leave them feedback on their LinkedIn profile about how much you have enjoyed working with them. You can then ask if they might leave a review for you. If you buy from your client, then of course you can leave reviews on their Google My Business listing. You could ask them if they might do one for you after you have provided theirs. They may do it anyway, before you even need to ask.
- Make it easy for customers to complete a review
If your client is not used to leaving reviews, you really need to make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review. Ask them whether they have left reviews before and if needed provide them with a simple guide that shows them what they need to do to leave you a great review.
- Showcase your reviews on the testimonials page of your website
This may spark a client to leave you a review and of course is another place where potential clients can see just how happy your customers are and why it makes sense for them to do business with you.
- Respond to reviews as soon as you can
Say “thank you” when you get a review. Everyone likes to help and a thank you shows your appreciation for the support they have given you.
- Add a link from your website that encourages reviews
Having links from your website to your Google My Business listing and your Facebook Reviews section makes sense. You can perhaps add the links to the footer section of your website as well as your testimonials page.
- Download the Google My Business app and treat Google My Business like a social channel
Simply go to the app store, search for Google My Business and download the app. Once you sign in you can post to your profile, add photos, offers and events, share your profile to get more reviews and respond to your reviews so it is well worth downloading the app and getting into the habit of posting on Google My Business when you post on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Add new information regularly
Customers are more likely to add a review if they can see it is regularly updated. This is perhaps even more so the case if you are asking for a Facebook review. Clients want to see activity on the page, so you are your content fresh, so it is obvious you are paying attention to your review site.
- Give website visitors something for free
Perhaps website visitors can request a free guide or white paper, and after a day or so, especially if you know the content is excellent, ask them for a review by email.
- Reward all personnel for getting reviews
I included this idea in point 10 about training your personnel. Having a competition to see who can get the most could work a treat to encourage your team to generate more reviews.
- Ask your social followers to leave reviews – they would not be following you if they did not like you 😉
No doubt there are other ways to get reviews. However, this is our top 20 ways to get reviews for your business.
We do have two important points to make related to how we get reviews. Firstly, do not incentivise reviews as this is strictly not allowed and be careful not to get too many reviews at once as Google may think the reviews are not real.
Hopefully you’ve found this list of how to get reviews useful. If you have then please do leave us a 5-star review at:
It would really help us.
Well we had to ask, didn’t we? 😉
And finally if you need any help with your digital marketing then please do get in touch, simply call us on 0115 880 0211, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact form and we will be in touch.
Please see https://moz.com/learn/seo/getting-local-reviews and https://blog.hubspot.com/service/get-customer-reviews