How to Get Good Reviews
We’ve all been there; you carry out a job for a client, they’re over the moon, they sing your praises, and express how happy they are that they chose you to carry out the work required. You ask them for a review. “Of course,” they reply, “I would love to give you a review.”
You give them all the details. A week passes…, no review…, you might even give them a gentle reminder…, still no review.
There is no doubt about it, reviews are a very important thing to have for your business. In a world that is increasingly online, online reviews are becoming essential for a business. We all rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions. When you’re planning a holiday, do you check TripAdvisor to see what reviews this or that hotel has, first?
Your clients are no different. With many rogue tradesmen on the loose, and lots of reports of bogus builders, clients are very wary of who they choose to carry out their project.
One way in which they can verify whether the company they are choosing is trustworthy is by checking the online reviews.
In this article, I am going to discuss:
- A. How you can get good reviews?
- B. How to get a client to do them?
- C. What review platforms should you focus on?
- D. How to avoid getting a negative review?
- E. How to respond to a negative review?
How to get good reviews
Firstly, you will need to make sure clients have places to leave reviews. I will discuss later in this article which platforms you should be pushing to get reviews, but firstly make sure the settings are turned on, so your happy clients can leave their reviews.
The next thing you will need to do is tell your happy clients to leave a review.
How do you make sure you are getting 5-star reviews?
Transparency – ask them outright. Either verbally or by a questionnaire get the honest opinion of your client. What did they like most about your service? What did you do well? Where could you improve?
The ‘where could you improve?’ question is the critical one.
At this point the client will let you know how they really feel, and you’ll be able to determine if that would result in less than a 5-star review. This also gives you the opportunity to smooth things over.
If they were not happy with the finished product, this is the chance for you to rectify it. If they were unhappy with a delay, this is your chance to explain what the problem was so the client understands that, maybe, this was not your fault. If there were areas that you did fail to deliver, this is the opportunity to make it up to them by offering, perhaps, some compensation, a free gift, or a discount on their next purchase. This could make all the difference.
Then ask them if the above would be enough for them to give you a 5-star review. You will find in many cases if you follow the process the customer will be happy to give you a 5-star review, even if it all didn’t go to plan asthey will be happy that you did everything in your power to solve their problem(s).
People are very quick to leave negative reviews when they are angry, but they often forget to leave a positive review when they are happy with a job, so you will need to request it.
How to get a client to actually do them
As the pace of life increases, even well-intentioned individuals simply forget to leave you a review. They promise they will and you hear nothing. How do you get these individuals to leave a review? There are a few effective tactics:
- Have you ever tried passing them your own phone/tablet so they can leave the review there and then? Be upfront and ask them but not pushy if they decline or seem hesitant. Many times, if you walk the client around the job and they state they are happy, they’ll be willing to give you an instant review there and then.
- If your client has promised to give you a 5-star review but hasn’t , approach them directly. Tell them that you rely on recommendations to get business, you appreciate how busy they are but would be very grateful if they could give you the promised 5-star review. Most of the time the client will remember and do it. If they still forget, follow up with an email containing a link of where they can leave the review, and then send a reminder email if they haven’t done it in a few days.
- Incentives – this can be a controversial topic. Many companies offer incentives; if people leave them reviews they will send them a voucher, a discount or something along those lines. You have to be careful with this method though, as this can go against the policies of some platforms. If you are considering offering incentives, check the terms and conditions for the site where you want to receive the reviews.
What platforms should you be getting reviews on?
With so many options of review platforms, should you be on them all? Wat ones should you be on? What sites will bring better business?
If time and resources are tight, then signing up to every review site might not be a good idea. Why not start by really focusing on one or two? Once you have built a good reputation on these sites you can start to expand.
To get you started, what sites should you get reviews on?
1. Google reviews – when you ask a question, where is the first place on the internet you would go? Most people would say …. Google – this is therefore the first place to try to gain a review.
Having positive Google reviews also helps with your Google rankings. If you type a company’s name into Google, one of the first things you will see is their google review, so it’s definitely a place that you should start.
Are there any negatives to getting google reviews?
YES – both you and your client will need to have a Google account. Anyone can Google something, but you can only can leave Google reviews if you have a Google account such as Gmail etc.
2. Facebook – with 2.8 billion users in the world using Facebook and spending countless hours on it, Facebook is not a platform to be ignored. You can set up a free Facebook business page where people can leave their reviews.
What are the positives of using Facebook? Facebook ranks highly, many of your users will be on there and will check out your Facebook page when thinking of using your company.
3. Specialist construction sites like Trustatrader, My Builder, FMB, Checkatrade, Rated People, Trustmark.
Because these sites specialise in builders, they promise to do certain checks which give the customer peace of mind. They also rank highly in search engines.
4. Houzz – setting up a Houzz profile is certainly worth considering. Houzz is a website many people go to find inspiring design ideas and to plan their build so having a strong profile on Houzz could win you business.
5. Yell – let’s not forget about the good old yellow pages, now called Yell. The online service ranks highly on Google and, perhaps, for the older generation of internet users this is the first place they would turn to.
6. Yelp – many think Yell and Yelp are the same thing but they’ re not. Yelp also ranks very high on Google. The problem with Yelp is you need to spend money to be seen on Yelp ; a review left by a client will only be shown if they are a heavy Yelp user, or if you advertise with Yelp.
How to avoid getting a negative review
It’s important to understand your client experience right the way through a project. It can be difficult to know what is really happening on the ground and whether your workers are telling you the truth, especially if you are a business owner and starting to run several projects.
The first thing to do before the job even starts is to identify the client’s expectations. The following suggestions will help:
We want you to be happy at the end of this project and give us a 5-star review, what is important to you, so we can get this?
Or, if we deliver X, Y and Z, would you say that is worthy of a 5-star review? Then ask them what is important to them.
Then, mid-project, find out how you are doing, not from your workers but from your client. At that point ask what you are doing well and what you can improve on. You will really get a feel for how the project is going and discover if there is something that you can improve on.
By the end of the project be sure to have rectified all the issues that arose midway through. Then have a second survey and apply all the points that were previously discussed. If there are still issues iron them out before you ask for a review.
How to respond to a negative review
It will happen, no matter what you do, there will always be negative reviews. But how can you respond when you get a negative review?
Firstly, do not go on the defensive. Try and learn from your negative reviews. Even if the customer was awkward is there something you could have done better?
If you have done what you should and kept in contact with your client then you should be comfortable enough to call them up and talk about the negative review. Often if someone is disgruntled, they feel that no one wants to listen and that’s why they take to posting a negative review.
Show them that you do care, and you do want to rectify their problem, and do what you can to resolve it for them. If you then turn them around and leave them happy, explain to them that negative reviews will really affect your business and you would appreciate it if they would delete the review now you have solved this for them.
Don’t be pushy if they say no, still be super polite and smiley, and tell them that’s fine and their right, but often you will find that you’ve done enough to do the trick and they will take down the review.
If they don’t take down the review, then just try and see if there are any lessons you can learn from it. Google responds positively when you give a reply to all reviews so make sure you answer but not in a sarcastic or negative way but in a positive and honest way.
In 2019, reviews are a vital way to get business so bear this in mind from the start of your project; learn from the negative, embrace and make the best of the positive. Don’t be shy, be upfront and ask for reviews, but if they are hesitant or refuse then leave it there.
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