Lesson 5: How To Get More Reviews

It's no secret that businesses with more reviews show up higher in local search rankings.

These happy experiences are seen as trusted resources for browsing customers who want to get an understanding of your business and how it operates. As we've discussed in previous lessons, monitoring your reviews and your business's star rating is key for improving your online presence.

But how do you actually go about getting these coveted positive reviews?

Reviews can take months–even years–to accumulate, but what if we told you that there are a few simple steps you can follow to significantly increase your review volume?

While no marketing tactic can provide your customers with great service, there are specific steps your business can take to activate the voice of your happy customers, increasing their presence on your public review channels.

Let's take a look at these now.

Choose Your Request Method

Before you ask for a review from a customer, you should determine which method of request works best for your audience. Would sending a quick text message be appropriate, or would a friendly email snag their attention?

Customers are more likely to leave a review when it conveniences them, so don't be afraid to experiment with these methods through trial and error.

As a benchmark, around 20% of the customers you ask should be leaving you a review. If you find your conversion rate to be significantly below that, consider a different approach.

You've likely heard us say this before, but always ask every customer for a review. Generating reviews is a numbers game, so we recommend you take every reasonable opportunity to make a request (for example don't ask more than once in 60 days).

While casting a wide net for reviews may gain a few sentiments that are less-than-perfect, of the 177,682 reviews recorded in the Widewail system last year, 88% were positive (4-5 stars). Although the risk of negative reviews is always there, in our experience when given a chance customers will overwhelmingly leave positive reviews.

Directly Link Your Reviews

Requesting a customer review doesn't have to be that challenging. Asking for a review can be as easy as sending a direct link. Through a short URL sent directly to their mobile device or email, customers can get sent straight to your Google Business Profile and leave a short review.

Simply sign in to your Google Business Profile. Click home, on the left menu. From there on the “Get more reviews” card, you can copy your short URL to share with customers. When your customers click this link it will go directly to your GBP page and pop up a review window - no extra clicks needed.

Automate Requests

Soon after you complete a transaction with a customer and they leave with a smile on their face is the time to ask for a review. This can be incorporated through a quick text or an email, thanking them for their visit, and asking for a few thoughts about their experience.

Timing is a good variable with which to experiment. You should be mindful of when you send an automatic review request, testing different approaches to find the best time for your type of business and customers.

Delay them for too long and your customer may forget about their positive experience. Send them too quickly, and they might brush them off until they get home, and then forget about it entirely.

Automate your review requests to both streamline the review outreach process on your end and ensure customers aren't slipping through the cracks when it comes to asking them for feedback.

Widewail Tip: To get a review of the customer's experience, send the review request within a day after the customer leaves the business. To get a product review, delay the send for around a week so the customer has time to use the product.

Personalize, Customize to Increase Conversion

When a business takes the time to learn your name, you are more likely to have a good experience and return more often. Imagine carrying that same positive energy into asking your customers for reviews.

Including a customer's name in a review request can grab their attention and convey that you care about them leaving a review for your business.

Additionally, this can build a rapport between your customers and your employees as well, if you decide to include the employee's name in the review request. You can even set employee initiatives to encourage them to ask for reviews from customers that they help in their day-to-day services.

These simple ways can assist you in boosting your average monthly review tally. Test some of these methods out and see which works best for your business.

Widewail Tip: This level of personalization can easily be done automatically using personalization tokens and a CRM integration. 

Next Up: Why Reviews Are The Best Local SEO Strategy

Thanks for reading! Now that we've discussed how to manage your reviews and how to ask for them, our next lesson involves SEO strategy, and how reviews can boost your local rating.