I hear this a TON. How can I get more, better, any – you name it – reviews online? The short answer. It is not always easy. If you are an independent business owner without staff – the answer is simple. ASK! You have to ask. Nine times out of ten, people do not just go leave reviews if they have had a positive experience with you – on the flip side, nine times out of ten, they will go leave a review if they didn’t.
Your customers can leave reviews in a multitude of places – Facebook, Yelp, Google, Bing – to name a few. If you are in a specific industry – there are even more places (Healthgrades in healthcare, Zillow in real estate, and so on)! My suggestion is to pick no more than 3 review destinations to use. You don’t want to overwhelm people with too many options, but at the same time, not everyone has a Facebook to leave a Facebook review, or a Gmail to leave a Google review. Give options – but not too many!
Now … the kicker – If you have employees, the answer isn’t always quite so simple as ASK. I mean it is, but it isn’t. Hopefully these quick hacks below help kickstart your review collection process within your organization or business.
- SHARE! Always share the reviews received with the staff. Positive & negative. Be transparent with this. I have always sent internal and external reviews to the staff stating great job! (on the positives), and hey – what’s going on here (on the negatives). This allows staff to be more cognizant of how patient’s feel when they come into their business.
- TRAIN. Your staff are your marketers! They are the second impression of the business, sometimes first. A customer/client/patient may have seen a kick-ass ad online that prompted them to call, but the way your staff answers the phone and helps them when they call – is truly the first impression of the business – TRAIN THEM! This may come as a shock – but good phone etiquette and skills doesn’t come naturally for most. As a marketer, it should, so help them. Train them. Sit with them. Show them how it’s done!
- INCENTIVIZE. Yep, I said it – bribe them! Do you need more Google reviews? Tell them they need to hit 10/month in order to get a pizza party. Do you need more positive reviews to bury those negatives? Gear it towards only a pizza party with 10 FIVE-star reviews. Want to have a friendly competition if you have multiple offices? Then make it whoever has the most reviews for the month! One of my favorites? If they are named in a review, they get a $5 gift card – for every mention! This shows me they took the time to talk and make an impact on their customer/client/patient. As a marketer – I bribe the heck out of my offices! And I am not ashamed of that.
- MAKE IT EASY. Make it easy for your employees to ask for a review. Put together a QR code that can sit upfront at checkout to be scanned. While it is extremely easy for me to ask anyone to leave a review, many employees find this VERY intimidating. Make it easy and train them. Give them a quick script. “Hey! We would love for you to leave us a review if you had an exceptional experience with us today. Just scan this code here!”
Bonus tip: incentivize the reviewers 😉
- Do you have samples you can give out?
- Can you do a monthly drawing for a gift card?
Lastly, and most importantly, I can’t stress enough, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS respond. Respond to your negative reviews and your positive reviews.