Ask for customer reviews. Good reviews = more business (And will likely help your local search rankings)

You’ve probably noticed there are a growing number of reviews on the web  for all types of products and services on sites such as Yelp, Google Maps, MSN’s new Bing is showing CitySearch and Yelp reviews, shopping search sites, and many industry information sites.

Often when people search for companies or specific  products and services there are reviews in the search engine listings even is people don’t specifically search for reviews (More and more people do search for reviews too).

A quick example. A Facebook friend’s daughter posted that they were going zip lining in our area one day so I sent her a message, “Sounds like fun. Where is it?”

She sent me the name of the place and the town it’s in. I searched for it on Google. All I wanted was to find their web site, check it out, get the hours, that kind of stuff.

However near the top of the search results was a Yelp review about the place, so I read it. The review was pretty negative as was the only other Yelp review. So I searched for more reviews by searching on the name of the place and adding “reviews” to my search. I found about 5 more reviews. Most of them where also negative talking about lots of opening season problems. So I’ll wait till next season and hope they listened to the reviews and fix the problems!

Ask for Reviews
You should consider asking your clients for reviews like does. A few weeks after buying something you’ll get a message from Amazon asking for feedback in their customer rating system.

Many shopping sites run their own customer rating systems, like Amazon, or use a shared review system like Power Reviews. Most ask for reviews.

You should consider asking for reviews too. Otherwise you could end up with mostly negative reviews.

Its human nature, many people will not take the time to write a review unless they are upset. So reviews can tend to be mostly negative.

You should be able to improve your ratings if you ask for reviews (assuming you have mostly satisfied customers!)

You can ask for reviews even if you don’t have your own customer rating system just point them to the best online review site.

Find what review sites are best for you
First search to see what reviews sites are best for your company and industry.

Search on your company and product names and add “reviews” to the search phrase.

Search on your competitors’ names and their product and service  names and add “reviews” to the search phrase

Search on generic product and services for your industry and add “reviews” to the search

Send a message to some existing clients
You can send a message out to some existing clients if it hasn’t been too long since they purchased or used your service etc.

See “How to Ask for Customer Reviews” on in the ”For More info” section below for some tips; such as not sending out a blanket blast to all clients as this could back fire.

Set up a system to send a message to new customers
Have a message sent to new customers after just enough time has passed for them to have used your product or uservice long enough.

Tip – If you find more than one important review site you can cycle the messages for each review site.

You could just ask them to “please provide your feedback”. You might also mention it you’re not happy, “please call us at xxx-xxx-xxx. We’d appreciate the opportunity to correct the issue”

If you offer something to get them to write a review you want to make sure it doesn’t cross the line and look like you’re paying for reviews (See How To Ask For Customer Reviews – Nicely. Tips and examples, below)

Include simple step by step instructions on how they should do the review (I may post an article or a video on how to submit Google Maps Reviews in the future)

For more info

“How to Ask for Customer Reviews” – Tips from Sales & Marketing Magazine

“How To Ask For Customer Reviews – Nicely”. Tips and examples

Your Customers are talking about you! And your potential customers are listening!

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