How to get online reviews
1) Ask for them
- On your website
- Via email
- In your email signature
- When you call them by phone
- By sending a postcard
2) Show them how
While leaving a review sounds simple, it can also sound like a bit of a chore.
If you create a quick “how-to” guide to show them just how easy it is, you'll encourage more of them to do it.
3) Make it easy
Any obstacle you put in the way of someone leaving a review will quickly put them off. In addition to a “how-to” guide, if you can make leaving a review as easy as one click, you're thinking on the right lines.
4) Earn it
It might sound obvious, but if you want someone to leave you a positive review, you need to earn it. Make sure that you always deliver a product or service which deserves a positive review.
5) Keep it personal
There are a great many tools out there which can help you automate the process of getting online reviews. The thing is, the more personal you make the process, the more likely it is that you will get a response.
After all, who would you bother to review? The brand which sent you an automatic review request, or the business owner who emailed you personally to request your feedback?
6) If you must automate, do it right
If you use automation to gather reviews, you can use it to guide people through the process of leaving a great review. Critically, you can also use software like this to let negative reviewers have their say somewhere offline – before they get to the online space.
Offering a simple “was your experience good/ bad?” choice is the easiest way to do this. If bad, make sure you apologise, offer your understanding and get in touch personally. You might just head that bad review off at the pass.
7) Respond to every review
After they've put in the hard work of writing a line or two (which they didn't have to), your customers deserve a little note of thanks. You need to respond to every single review you receive:
- Positive reviews: deserve your sincere thanks. If you know the client or remember the transaction, so much the better – add a personal detail.
- Negative reviews: it's easy enough to get defensive and argue against negative reviews – especially when they are unjustified. Remember though, in the online space, everyone is watching. You need to be calm and as understanding as you possibly can be. Engage with the review and try to be honest while you put yourself in your customer's shoes. Negative reviews can actually be a good way to improve your online reputation – if you handle them correctly.
8) Consider building a review point
You can build your own review stand in the corner of your salon. All you need is a laptop or desktop with a speedy internet connection and a little sign explaining how easy it is and how much you appreciate it. The only potential downside is that some review sites penalise reviews which come from the same IP address.
9) Get your team involved
Every time an employee is mentioned by name in one of your reviews it adds a serious personal touch and value to that review. That makes it worth rewarding stand-out, review-mention-worthy employees. It's also a good way to encourage your team to get involved in the review generation process.
If they know they might get something if they're mentioned, they'll be more inspired to go that extra mile. Do be sure to educate your team about the correct way to ask for a review though. Even big brands have made missteps by allowing employees to get too pushy when requesting testimonials.
Ethics are an issue here. Is that incentive large enough to be classified as a bribe? If so, you've gone far too far! You also can't make that reward contingent on the review being positive. However, a small discount or coupon can go a long way towards encouraging people to leave you online reviews thick and fast.