How to get more google business reviews online

How to Get More Google Reviews for Your Business

As the internet becomes more and more a part of each of our lives the more important it is that your business has an online presence. Many customers will search online for a trusted company; it doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist or a pet groomer,  having an impressive online presence is vital if you want to capitalize on acquiring these customers.

A big part of gaining new customers to a business is word-of-mouth marketing, and having happy customers say good things about you online is a big trust factor! Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, having positive Google reviews can really impact your business online. Also learning how to flag inappropriate Google reviews is important which we cover in another post.

The rest of this post we will explain why Google Business reviews are important and how you can get more.

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Why Google Reviews Are Important For Your Business

More Visibility in Google Searches

Although any online review is a good start, Google Business reviews specifically can be very powerful.

When customers leave positive reviews of your business on Google, over time your business can receive better visibility when people search for your service or product. Lots of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts work their tails off trying to crack the Google algorithm to get websites to rank better in search results, and gaining Google Review can help fast-track your business to the top.

 

how to get google reviews - moz local seo

In fact, the above diagram by Moz shows that Google reviews account for almost 10% of your Google ranking chances. This study also mentions that review sites like Yelp, YellowPages, and others provide link and location signals that also greatly improve the chances of your business showing up in local search results.

How Review Sites Improve Business Visibility on Google

  • 10% – Reviews impact on your Google local ranking chances
  • 15% – External location signals impact on your Google local ranking chances
  • 18% – Link signals impact on your Google local ranking chances

Builds Trust With Potential Customers

As we mentioned earlier, word-of-mouth is very important to a business’s success. When someone searches for a company or service provider, they want to see the positive experiences that Patty Q., John F., and Jezebel W. had while working with them.

These past customers may mention things like how efficient your communication was or just how much they enjoyed their overall experience. Seeing real people vouch for you allows potential customers to get a feel for what it would be like to work with, buy a product from, or book you.

Social proof builds trust with those potential customers who are comparing options. Did you know 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend?

Think about it: If your office had a 4.5-star rating and plenty of positive reviews, and another competing company had a couple of mediocre reviews, who do you think the customer will pick? You, of course.

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Tips For Asking Customers For Google Business Reviews

Now that you know just how important Google Reviews are, you may be wondering how to to get them.

The number one tip for getting Google Reviews is easier than you might think.

  • Have to ask – Yep, it’s that simple. 70% of people will leave a review when asked.
  • Ask when your customer is the happiest. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a customer is much more likely to praise your business when he or she is still extremely happy with the experience. A happy customer may not leave such a great review weeks after the service is done. Don’t let a beaming customer slip away without kindly asking them to leave a review.
  • Don’t ask for 5 stars, just ask for feedback. No one likes being told what to do, and if you’re begging for a 5-star review, you could leave a bad taste in your customer’s mouth. Instead, tell customers you would really appreciate it if they could leave some feedback on their experience. They will feel much more inclined to compliment you in their own words and they won’t feel forced, which could lead to negative reviews.
  • Explain how reviews benefit them. Although reviews benefit you, the business, they also benefit the customer. Tell customers how their review can help you improve their experience next time around.

Ways To Get People To Your Google Business Page

So now that you know how much Google Reviews matter and you’ve brushed off the nerves about asking customers to leave a review, there’s only one part left to skyrocketing your online visibility.

You’ve got to get those people to your Google Business Page! They can’t leave you a review if they don’t know how to do it. Here are some great ways to help bring people right to where you want them: your Google Business Page.

Email Method

When to use it:  After appointments, service, or annually

How often: After each appointment, service, or annually

How to do it: The best way to use the email method for getting Google Reviews is to use an online review management service like Broadly. Broadly sends a follow-up email asking how the customer’s experience was, then the good reviews are pushed to your Google Business Page so it can appear there. The bad reviews are sent to your customer service department so you can help resolve them. A bonus is this system is automated, so you save tons of time.

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Direct URL Method

When to use it: With any printed materials such as invoices, direct mailers, business cards, etc.

How often: After each appointment, service, or annually

How to do it: You will want to create a direct URL for your customers to go to. Google has all the steps to do so right here. Once you’ve created that unique link, you will want to shorten it to make it easier for customers to use it. Just copy and paste it in the designated space here, and it will automatically shorten. Using the Google link shortener also gives you insight as to how many times your link was clicked.

Review Page On Your Website

When to use it: It’s always there for your customers to leave a review.

How often: This is up to the customers when they want to use it, but having a place is helpful.

How to do it: To give customers the option to leave a review whenever they want, simply create a new page on your website listing all the places you would like to receive reviews. Popular options include Yelp profile, Facebook, and Google. Just make sure the links to the review pages are as direct as possible—you don’t want your customer clicking the link then aimlessly trying to find the place where they can leave a review. Link directly to the page where they can leave the review. You want to make it as easy as possible to receive feedback!

How to Link Directly To Your Google Business Page

With all this advice suggesting you link to your Google Business Page, you may be curious as to how exactly to do that. Here are the steps for you to grab your Google Business Page link for people to leave reviews.

Step 1. Google your company name

You will see your company pop up on the right-hand side.

how to get google reviews - beautiful smiles chicago example

2. Click “Write a Review” Button

 beautiful smiles chicago example of how to get google reviews

3. Copy the URL that appears

Upon clicking “Write a Review,” a Google review box will appear. Copy the URL from that page’s address bar.

how to get google reviews screenshot

4. Setting URL for 5 Star Review

Now, the URL you have should be very long and confusing!

Ending with something that looks like the following

,3,,

The only thing we are concerned with is that final number 3 and the commas surrounding it. The 3 is the part that prompts the review box to open. If you replace the 3 with a 1, for example, it will instead open a pop-up window that shows all your reviews. But what we want to do is leave the 3 there, then add a 5 in between those last two commas like this:

,3,5,

Now, not only will the review box pop up, but the stars will automatically start at 5 stars. This makes it super easy for customers to rate you as high as possible!

how to get google reviews 5 star screenshot

5. Shorten the URL

As you may have noticed, the URL you get is pretty long. To clean this up a bit, just follow the steps in the Direct URL method above, where you enter the long URL into Google’s link shortener, https://goo.gl/. Once you get your nice little URL, you are ready to start sending it to clients!

Ready to Get More Google Reviews?

The strategies outlined above are some of the top ways you can start getting more reviews online. Especially if you use an online review management software like Broadly, you can automate the process and minimize your to-do list. Since Broadly alerts you of unhappy customers and automates email sending, you will have more time to do what you do best—whatever it is that may be.

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Top Dentist Blogs & Forums In 2018 To Follow

As a dentist, your day is spent running your practice so it can be hard to stay up to date on both the industry and business side of your practice.

That’s why we at Broadly went out and found the top blogs and forums for dental professionals to help you stay caught up.

Top Dental Industry Blogs

Academy of General Dentistry

Also known as The Daily Grind, this blog offers readers a glimpse into the life of a general dentist practicing today. Visitors can use the site to keep up with modern dental trends and the site even provides guides on dental success and team building in your dental office. Academy of General Dentistry also has a very regular posting schedule, so it’s worth checking it daily.

Dental Buzz

One of the sites that is the most up-to-date on what’s happening in dentistry is Dental Buzz. The site owners showcase new technologies, new techniques, and even have easy-to-digest information for patients as well. For dentists, Dental Buzz has whole sections dedicated to dental team communication and practice management. There’s even a dental debates section if that’s your thing!

New Dentist Now

New Dentist Now is all about what you can expect as a new dentist. There are articles all about patient treatment techniques, finding specific dental jobs, and there are even articles about dental student loans. Its modern take on dentistry also makes New Dentist Now an excellent resource for anyone looking to really streamline their practice.

The Dental Geek

Do you consider yourself something of a dental fanboy/girl? Well, then the Dental Geek may be for you. In fact, this is a great place for a person that’s just starting their practice who wants to hear about unique dental topics, even if they are a bit controversial. The site is run by a team of dental “geeks” that specialize in dental marketing, so if this sounds right up your alley, pay this site a visit.

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The Dental Warrior

While the site name might sound combative, the Dental Warrior is actually a page run by a lifelong dentist named Mike who likes to post on a wide variety of subjects. This is a great site for anyone looking to get insight into the life of a long-term dentist (Mike’s practiced since 1988) and is a great resource for anyone looking to learn about someone with experience in cosmetic dentistry.

John Flucke’s Blog

John Flucke’s blog, which is subtitled “Ramblings of Dentistry’s Technology Evangelist,” is all about new trends and technologies in the dental industry. His site is fairly straightforward and highlights a series of medical and dental articles that tackle some of the more recent updates, fads, and advancements in the field. John Flucke himself is the chief dental editor of Dental Products Report Magazine and his love of dentistry is truly clear on this blog.

Top Dental Practice Blogs

best dental practice blogs

True Dental Success

Dr. Mark Costes is an incredibly successful dentist and businessman and his blog helps you understand why.  During Dr. Costes’ career, he has been able to start or acquire over a dozen successful dental practices. He credits a lot of his success to the fact that he made more mistakes at the beginning of his private practice ownership than most dentists make “in an entire lifetime”. He produces one of the best dental podcasts offering advice to help other dentists run successful practices and his blog is full of tips on how to help your practice be both profitable and productive.

Exceptional Dental Practice Management

Running a dental practice is no easy task. The objective of Dental Practice Management is to help you have happier patients, happy staff, and a successful practice. Towards this goal, the blog offers advice on things like managing your employees, helping patients, and building your reputation with positive reviews. Overall, this is a great, inspirational site for anyone finding themselves feeling bogged down by running their own practice.

Act Dental Blog

Success isn’t always easy to attain, but the Act Dental Blog’s goal is to provide you tips that’ll help you increase your patient counts. The site has video, articles, and interviews that are designed to provide a bit of elucidation on what it takes to run a successful practice. Each article is easily digestible and phrased in such a way as to be fun for the reader.

The New Dentist

When you’re just starting out, The New Dentist is a great blog to utilize to learn the ins and outs of dentistry. The New Dentist focuses primarily on techniques and steps that can really grow your practice from the ground up. Not only does it help educate you on the operational aspects of a dental practice, but it also has articles that can help you push through burnout as well.

Enhance Your Online Reputation

Go Ask Fred

For a dental marketing-focused website, Go Ask Fred has a lot of insights for dentists that want to increase their leads and gain new patients. This is also a great resource for anyone that’s just starting out with their first practice; Go Ask Fred has articles about managing no-shows and even patient financing options. Fred, who is a founder of-1-800-DENTIST, also has informative videos for site visitors.

Ask Dr. Spindel

Spindel’s blog’s tagline is “Advice and Education on Dental Subjects” and the site doesn’t fail in this regard. There are articles that run the gamut from dental techniques to managing friends that come into your practice for a procedure. Dr. Spindel’s site is fairly simple; it’s a collection of dental-related articles that are meant to guide dentists and each post is personal and educational.

Next Step Dental Resource

This site is a great guide for dentists who are running into the typical problems that occur when you run a practice. The site talks about a plethora of topics including staffing changes, handling negative reviews, and personal anecdotes from the site owner, Missy. The site even has a free stuff section that can help your practice flourish!

The Curious Dentist

Need help tracking overhead? How good are you with saving for retirement? The Curious Dentist is a great site for learning how to manage the financial aspects of running a successful dental practice. The site owner, Chris Salierno, is an expert at managing dental practices; in fact, he’s an internationally recognized lecturer and has even published some books on the subject of building a successful practice.

Inspired Hygiene

Inspired Hygiene is a very focused website that is designed to provide some valuable tips on how to treat your patients’ right, manage your staff, and drive a profit at your practice. There are articles about dental hygiene (of course), some about boosting your cash flow, and others that are designed to provide a bit of coaching to dentists.

Marty Jablow D.M.D

Another dentist that embraces technology, Marty Jablow has a high level of expertise when it comes to bolstering a number of patients coming into your practice. He talks about social media as pertaining to dental practices; he has articles on industry developments and about dental technologies that could streamline your office’s performance.

The Tao of Dentistry

The author of the Tao of Dentistry is a veteran in the field since he started his first dental practice 44 years ago. He has a lot to impart to his visitors; you can find out his philosophies on things like keeping patients happy, learning from your mistakes, and constantly continuing your education as a dentist. The page is very informative and has more than a few entertaining anecdotes to learn from.

Top Forums for Dentists

top forums for dentists

Dental Town

This forum is great for anyone that needs information on things like pediatric dentistry, endodontics, or the newest trends in implant technology.

Dentistry Subreddit (Reddit/com/r/Dentistry)

Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet basically a “subreddit” that covers any topic.  The topics are primarily for patients that are looking for insight about dental procedures, but you can find info for dentists as well.

Health Boards

This is another forum that’s designed for patient inquiry; it’s very useful for learning how other dentists offer input when presented with various dental issues.

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Topix – Dentistry

Topix presents a place for dentists to discuss the ins and outs of the dental profession. Oftentimes, things like new technology and patient acquisition are discussed.

Dental Lab Network

If you’re looking to keep up to date with dental developments, the Dental Lab Network is a great forum for tracking dental news.

Dentistry Forums

This page is designed for both patients and dentists to find information on a wide array of topics, such as general dentistry and orthodontics.

Blogs & Forums For Dental Students

DENTAL STUDENT FORUMS & BLOG

When you’re a dental student, things can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, there are online resources for you. These next four sites are designed to make the lives of dental students a bit easier.

American Student Dental Association

The ASDA blog is called “Mouthing Off” and has a wide variety of topics that are focused on helping dental students. While it’s great to get info on new procedures and ways to boost your study skills, it’s the fact that this blog also includes topics like healthy snacking for students and the best dental podcasts for learning the ropes that make this a very good site for students.

Junior Dentist Blog

If you’re looking for a site that has a steady stream of content for student dentists, the Junior Dentist blog has more than its share of interesting articles. Write-ups range from educational pieces about muscle structure in the jaw to new developments in the way that dentists are repairing cavities.

Student Dental Networks Forums

This is a great forum for pre-dental and dental students to get information from other students when they are having problems with their studies.

Conclusion

We hope that these blogs and forums provide you with the resources you need as you continue to grow your dental practice and to help you flourish in your career.

These are all great sites, but if you feel we missed any, please let us know in the comments.

Want even more great advice for your practice? The more online reviews you have, the better your practice is to get chosen by new patients. If you’d like an easy solution to get more reviews, check out broadly.com!

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dental marketing ideas

Dental Marketing Ideas That Will Get You More Patients

No matter how great your dental office is, if people don’t know that it exists, you won’t get the patients that you need to succeed.

 

Fortunately, we have put together a large list of dental marketing ideas to help you gain new patients & get ahead of your competition. In this guide, we’re going to highlight a few dental marketing tips so that you can start making the changes that you’ll need for a surge in new patients.

 

GET YOUR DENTAL OFFICE LISTED ON ONLINE DIRECTORIES

Dentist Marketing Ideas - Dentist Directories

Did you know that more than 70% percent of the individuals looking for a service or a product will check online before stepping into the actual store?

 

This means that your dental office needs to show up in local search results. Using a phonebook is completely outdated, but there are some modern directories that your dental office needs to be listed on:

  • Google My Business Since 83% of online searches are done using Google, being listed on Google My Business is important for marketing your dental office.
  • Yelp – Yelp is something that millennials are bound to check before visiting your dental office, so being listed can help them find your dental office with ease.  Even a half of a star more than the dental office down the block will help you get more patients. This makes having a strong Yelp profile very important.
  • Facebook – This is another important directory that you want your business to be listed on so that local active Facebook users can find your dental office.

Check out this Moz post to see all of the most important directories to list your dental office on (other than Google).

 

MANAGE YOUR ONLINE REVIEWS

dental marketing ideas - online reviews

Seven out often consumers say that they trust reviews and online recommendations just as much as if a friend were to give them the recommendation.

 

In fact, 92 percent of all consumers look at reviews before deciding on which business to try, which means that a business with no reviews is worse than one that has a few mediocre ones.

 

Encourage your patients to give your dental office reviews online. You can use dental office review management software like Broadly to keep track and respond to all of your reviews in one place!

 

Check out this list of ways to more reviews for your online reviews

 

FORM PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES

 

You can also build partnerships with local businesses to provide a bit of cross-promotion. The businesses that you ally with can offer discounts to patients when they come to your practice for things like check-ups.

A few potential partnerships could be:

  • A local spa could give their patients a coupon for free teeth whitening at your office.
  • A fellow local doctor could promote half-off a teeth cleaning at your office
  • A local plastic surgeon could give a promo-code for 20% off of cosmetic dentistry when they visit your office

OFFER REFERRAL DISCOUNTS

 

You can also work with local businesses to give each other referrals. In other words, if the photography studio next door has a someone who wants uber-white teeth for their senior photos, they can let that person know that if they use your dental office, you will give them a discount.

 

ENCOURAGE PATIENTS TO ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Just because you have a lot of likes on your Facebook page doesn’t mean that people will see what you post.

 

The reality is, the more someone engages with your page the more likely they are to see when you post content.

 

Here are a few ideas

  • Caption a photo (example a puppy in a dentist chair)
  • Ask them a question like “What is the weirdest thing you would eat to never have a cavity again?”
  • Celebrate a fun holiday like National Cheese Pizza  Day OR Talk Like a Pirate Day.

ENCOURAGE IN-OFFICE SELFIES

Dentist Marketing Idea - Encourage In Office Selfies

In this age of social media, people love showing off their accomplishments.This includes when they have no cavities OR getting their braces off.

 

Taking a selfie with your patients during these moments creates the opportunity for them to tag your dental office when they post online.

 

You can also print out signs like the ones in the picture by My Social Practice that encourage patients to take & post pictures.

 

CARRY BUSINESS CARDS

 

You are your best form of advertisement, so if you have a funky office that patients talk about, show a picture of it on your business card! It’s something that sets you apart from your competitors.

 

If you don’t have a business card on you, you may lose the opportunity to land a new client, so keep at least a few on you at all times.

 

MAKE USE OF SEARCH ADS

 

Have you ever noticed that when you do a search, some of the results have an “Ad” box next to their URLs?

 

These are Google paid ads, and they can be very effective if you have a large marketing budget because your ads can help you rank for specific keywords. can quickly rank for any term you want. The downside is that this can be very expensive and you the ads disappear when your budget runs out.

 

FACEBOOK ADS

dental marketing idea - facebook ad
Facebook Ad campaigns are also a great very good way to get new patients. The powerful part of Facebook is that you can directly target your perfect patient. Facebook has a large database of information, which allows you to target patients looking for specific services, with specific demographics, in specific geographical areas.

 

Want to target parents with kids who make more than $75K a year with 10 miles of your office?

 

Yep, you can do that with Facebook ads!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MARKETING YOUR DENTAL OFFICE

Hopefully, after reading this you got some ideas on how to help your dental office gain more new patients.

 

We are interested in hearing what you do to market your dental office and stand out from your competitors. What tips did you like? What could we have done better?

 

Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out to marketing@broadly.com!

 

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How to Respond to a Negative Online Reviews

As a business owner, you’re no stranger to the concept of negative reviews. A negative review can happen regardless of the quality of your work or how many people love your business. A negative review may not seem like a big deal, especially if most of your customer feedback is positive – but it’s always best to address the situation.

You may be well aware that negative reviews can alter consumer perception of your business. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. 

The team at Broadly recommends the following steps to construct an effective response to a negative review.

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1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE ISSUE

In most cases, even if you don’t think the customer is right, it’s important to acknowledge the issue. For example, begin your response with something like this:

“Thank you for providing your feedback and letting us know about  this issue.”

Thank the customer for bringing the situation to your attention. Whether the customer doesn’t understand your process or is just having an off day, it never hurts to take the first step to find a solution.

EXAMPLE

The Jet Blue Twitter Team did a great job quickly responding to this unhappy passenger by acknowledging that it is a problem their tv screen is not working and then ask them to direct message them details to help them make it right.

Responding to a negative review - Jet Blue on Twitter

Responding to a negative review - Jet Blue on Twitter

2. APOLOGIZE

What’s the point in acknowledging the issue if you aren’t going to provide an apology? Again, even if you feel that the customer is in the wrong, you should always take the high road by issuing an apology. Not only does an apology appease the customer, but it also shows others that you care about providing a high level of service. Here’s an example of how your response continues:

“We apologize that our service did not satisfy your expectations. We set a high standard for ourselves and are truly sorry to hear that standard was not met in your interaction with our business. Your happiness is our number one priority”.

This apology is sincere, to the point, and demonstrates that your business sets a high standard and intends to deliver.

EXAMPLE

Forest Family is a dental office that does a great job apologizing and giving the patient the opportunity to contact her directly to resolve this negative Google review. Even if the patient doesn’t return as a potential patient this makes me want to visit them.

Responding to a negative review - Forest Family Dentistry

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3. PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION, IF NECESSARY

There are times when an apology is more than enough to address a situation. Even so, there may also be instances where you’ll need to provide more information to clear up a misunderstanding. Here’s an example of an in-depth explanation that follows an apology:

“Our entire team apologizes for the miscommunication that took place when scheduling your service appointment. We experienced a serious technical issue with our scheduling software, which caused us to lose valuable information about our upcoming appointments. As a result, we did not meet our scheduled service window at your home.

We truly apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. We have since resolved the technical issue, so feel free to re-schedule an appointment online or by calling us directly. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you soon.”

There are three things to remember when providing an explanation:

  • Don’t make excuses – take responsibility. Be clear why the misunderstanding occurred.
  • Issue an apology, even if the other party was in the wrong.
  • Offer advice on how to re-engage with your business.

EXAMPLE

Mother Bear Pizza a local pizza shop does a great job explaining the reason behind the delay without coming across as making excuses. If they consistently respond to reviewers it will help them build a trustworthy Yelp profile that doesn’t filter out your Yelp reviews.

Responding to a negative review - Pizza Place

4. COMPENSATE THE REVIEWER APPROPRIATELY

As a consumer, there’s nothing worse than having a negative experience with a company and have them brush it off like it was no big deal. In their eyes, the fault either has cost them time or money.

As such, be willing to go above and beyond and incentivize or compensate the consumer to use your business again. An apology goes far, but a 20% credit on their next service is much more incentive for them to use your business again. If you’re willing and able to go that extra step it could mean the difference between a one-time customer and a lifetime customer.

EXAMPLE:

  1. 20% off next service (For example 20% off their next spa visit)
  2. Offer them priority scheduling – reschedule with them as soon as possible to rectify the problem

Enhance Your Online Reputation

5. INVITE THE REVIEWER TO DISCUSS THE MATTER OFFLINE

Offer to resolve the problem offline. In person or on the phone you’ll be able to resolve your customer’s problems and allow both parties to reach a resolution. Here’s how you can extend that invitation following your initial apology:

“Please reach me personally via email or phone, and I would be happy to discuss the issue at your earliest convenience.”

Make sure to provide your name, title, and direct contact information (or that of a manager at your business who has the authority).

We do not recommend that you ask the person to remove the review, as this could make the situation worse. Simply ensure the client feels that their complaint was heard.

EXAMPLE

Honda of Thousand Oaks an auto dealership does a good job giving the person a direct line to their General Manager to help them resolve the issue.

Responding to a negative review - Auto Dealership Example

CONCLUSION

Even though it may be difficult, responding to a negative review is part of maintaining your integrity as a business. Keeping an even tone with your customers in your interactions online and offline will only help you in the long run.

In a perfect world, every online review your business receives would be positive. Unfortunately, this isn’t realistic. Although it can seem unfair, it’s important to acknowledge negative reviews and prepare for them.

If you ignore negative reviews altogether customers are unlikely to return. Furthermore, the customer may continue to share his or her negative feelings about the experience with others offline, which causes even further damage to your business’s reputation in the community.

If you would like to be proactive and keep negative feedback offline with a simple solution, get in touch with us to learn more.

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Get More Online Reviews For Your Business

For a lot of local businesses, online reviews are the first thing that potential customers look at. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Review sites (like Google, Yelp, and Facebook) provide a place for your customers to tell you about their overall experience. These reviews also provide testimonials for future visitors to read, evaluate, and decide whether or not they’ll work with your company.

Simply put, there are many reasons why online reviews and ratings will help your business grow, so let’s take a look at how you can make them work for you.

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In this post we are going to go over the following:

  • How to ask for reviews
  • Where to request online reviews
  • Wrong ways to ask for reviews

how to ask for online reviews

How To Ask For Online Reviews

Social media expert, Brian Solis had this to say about the importance of reviews:

“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.” Many business owners struggle with one thing: they don’t know how to ask for reviews from their clientele.”

How do you start getting your customers to review your business?

You are not alone, this is a question that many business owners have. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Start with these 3 tips to ask customers for online reviews properly:

  1. Ask your customers to leave a review
  2. Ask for a review  when they are happiest
  3. Explain How Reviews  Benefit Them

You Have To Ask For The Review

It turns out that seven out of ten customers will leave a review if you just ask them! As long as you are tactful and they don’t feel pressure, asking for a review shouldn’t cause an issue. Let them know that their opinion is important to you so that they feel valued.

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Ask Them When They Are Happiest

Customers are usually happiest as soon as the service you provided is complete. This is one of those situations where it’s best to “strike when the iron is hot.” As time passes, your customers forget about your service and become less excited to leave a review.

Before requesting a customer to leave a review be sure to check with them to see how their experience was.

If they had a negative experience follow up with them immediately to see if you can resolve the issue, and turn the negative sentiment into a positive review.

Once you know they had a good experience, ask them to leave a review on review sites like Google, Yelp or Facebook.

Explain How Reviews  Benefit Them

Help your customers understand that you truly value their feedback and that leaving a review is an opportunity for them to improve your company.

All of these reviews allow you to do a better job for your customer the next time.

Get more online reviews - Ways to ask for reviews

Where To Ask For Online Reviews

Alright, now let’s discuss a few tactful strategies on how to get reviews from your customers. Some of these strategies are more personal while others are more scalable.

Request to Review in Your Invoicing

If you want to get paid, you likely have an invoicing process.

When you send out an invoice, consider asking your client to review your services at that time. If their experience was positive you can direct them to leave a review on a site like Google or Facebook.

It’s as simple as adding a field to your invoice that says something like: “How are we doing?”

Adding this call-to-action funnels customer reviews to a specific place, allowing you to push customers to the credible review sites.

Reach Out to Repeat Customers

The repeat customers that regularly come to you for a service can be a goldmine for positive reviews. It’s always a good idea to reach out to these customers first because they are already loyal to your brand.

It’s important to remember that just because they like your service doesn’t mean that they’ve already written your business a review, so nudge them in the right direction.

Have A Review Page On Your Site

You can take advantage of the visitors your website already has by adding a review request page or footer to your site.

To do this, you can simply add a review icon to the footer of your website that leads them to a page where they can leave a review of your company. You can provide instructions on how to leave a review and leave links to the review pages that you’d like them to use.

Get more online reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp

Ask Your Newsletter Recipients

Many businesses have mailing lists set up that will reach out to a customer in order to announce a promotion or company newsletter. In one of these emails, you can ask them for feedback on your company.

We recommend you pre-screen your review requests with a survey; this way, any angry or dissatisfied respondents are screened out. Broadly’s software automatically takes care of this for you if you’re wondering if someone can help.

Send a Postcard

If your customers are on a mailing list. When you send a postcard with coupons or birthday greets you can also use this same opportunity to request a review. Using a QR code on the postcard can send them directly to the page you would like to receive reviews on.

Again postcards provide a great visual reminder that is easy to remember and is a very effective method of gaining reviews.

Utilize an Email Signature

Another simple method of getting online reviews is to include a request for a review in your email signatures. This is perfect when a customer is receiving a follow-up email after a sale or service has been completed.

Get more online reviews on by using your email signature

Send Requests Through Chat

Sometimes, your customers need help from your reps, and increasingly, many customers are getting this type of help through chat programs built into their websites.

If you have live chat support, have your reps request a rating after the support session has come to a close. This can lead to them being directed to leaving a review of your company on another review website

Enhance Your Online Reputation

Phone Call Review Requests

At the end of your customer service calls, your phone reps should ask for a review, especially when you have a satisfied customer. Each call can end with an ask like, “We hope you enjoyed your experience with our company. If you’d like to leave feedback, please leave a review! Link your review pages to your website, and let your customers know they can find the pages there.

Search for Mentions

When your business is mentioned on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Yelp it is a good opportunity to connect with customers and ask them for a review.

If a customer mentions your salon business on Twitter, this is a great opportunity to ask for a review. If they say something like, “I’m at @(your business) with some friends”  you know they already endorse your business.

Reply to them with something like, “@(customer name) Thanks for your business! We hope you enjoyed your service. Rate your experience with us at (link).”

This engages your customers directly, which has a tendency to encourage them to leave a positive review.

How not to get reviews

The Wrong Way to Ask for Reviews

Now that we’ve covered the right way to get and ask for reviews, let’s also look at some techniques to avoid when trying to bolster your online reviews.

There is nothing wrong with trying to get more reviews, but doing any of the following strategies can cause your business being kicked off of review sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook or even get in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.

Do Not Offer Incentives For Online Reviews

While things like loyalty programs and punch cards are nice incentives for your customers, do not use things like this to bribe customers into leaving positive reviews.

An example of how this can go wrong is in the case of AmeriFreight, a company that offered their reviewers a $50 discount for positive reviews.

The Federal Trade Commission came down pretty hard on this company and didn’t say exactly how much they fined AmeriFreight, but your business can be fined up to $16,000 per a violation!

In addition to this, sites such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor discover that reviews are incentivized, each company has a penalty for those reviews and your company.

Don’t Buy Reviews

If you should not incentivize real customers for reviews than it should be obvious that you should not buy fake reviews!

Review sites like Google are pretty advanced and have ways of detecting fraudulent behavior when it comes to online reviews. We weary – you can be penalized or even kicked off the site for this behavior!

Google, for instance, will notice if you a specific group of people reviewing your business, and it has algorithms in place that can quickly detect if a review has been paid for. When these paid reviews are detected it can actually hurt the business who purchased them.

Yelp was at the center of a major review-buying scandal, and as a result, they have adopted a very hard-nosed approach to any purchased reviews. When it’s detected, Yelp actually employs pop-ups that’ll outline the shady behavior and quickly drives potential customers away from your business.

Don’t Spam Customers for Reviews

Lastly, nothing will annoy your customers more than spamming them with too many requests to review your business. As a general rule, if they want to review your company, they will when you ask them after the service is completed or after you prompt them to.

Repeatedly asking customers for reviews will only make them more prone to leaving your business with negative or inappropriate reviews. It can take a happy customer and turn them into a sour one if you annoy them.

Final Thoughts

Online reviews are a great way to bring in new customers, establish brand loyalty, and encourage repeat business.

While bad reviews are inevitable, having a plan to consistently gain positive reviews will help you build your business a strong online reputation.

Let Broadly help you get started in getting more online reviews for you today!

Try Broadly Review Software