Think of this article as the kama Sutra of reputation growth. Within a day you should have lost your review virginity and soon will be the strutting around like a T-Bird or Pink Lady (sorry kids if the Greece movie reference is lost on you)
Let’s start with a story
On our family vacation, we tried a horse riding experience and had an amazing adventure. Afterwards, we talked excitedly about our favourite parts of the trip with our tour guide. During the conversation she politely asked us to leave a review on Trip Advisor. Without hesitation we assured her we would.
By the time we returned to our hotel, showered, changed, made supper (and started drinking wine) – we were tired and simply forgot.
In short the review did not get written.
The next day was a new day (obviously) and a new adventure began. We didn’t write the review the next day either.
A few days later we remembered our promise to the tour guide, but the steps required to leave a review felt quite big in our mind. The momentum and enthusiasm was lost.
As this is your problem. Customers who are like me, suck.
Trying considering writing a review from your customers perspective: They need to:
- Open their phone/computer
- Search Trip Advisor
- Search for your company within Trip Advisor
- Check it is the correct company
- Open up the company’s Trip Advisor page
- Find the “leave a review” button (which is towards the bottom of the page!!)
- Compose the review.
Watch the steps in this short video:
That probably ranks as one of the most dull videos you’ll see in a long time, but it illustrates the point well.
Let’s roll back to the point where we were talking excitedly to the tour guide about our experience. At this precise time, we were the happiest we will ever be with the company.
It’s at this point we were likely to have sung their praises in a 5-star review and even included a photo of ourselves with big smiling faces.
So, how could the tour guide do things have been better next time?
The secret is to plan way before you’re actually talking to your customers. It starts here. Sitting in front of your machine.
Let’s do this.
Find your review links, so they don’t have to
If the most important review site to your business is Trip Advisor – get the link to the actual review page. To do this,
- Go to your TripAdvisor page
- Scroll down, to find the review section
- Click on Write a review button
- Copy the URL / Website address in your web browser address bar
Save your review link and make it easy to share, eg
- Your email signature
- Create a link in the footer of your website
- Create a shortened link using Bit.ly and add to your business card
- Create a QR code and print a poster
Asking for a review face to face
So, back at the horse riding ranch. We’re happy, our instructor is happy.
In between “Yeehaw’s” and general over enthusiasm that seems to infect those who work with animals, she asks if we’d be happy to leave a review.
in 2019 – asking a visitor to point their phone at a QR poster to open a webpage would be like asking you’re speaking a different language.
Thankfully, due to the corona virus, QR codes are much more widely known, understood and altogether less weird.
So first of all you can get your link turned in to a QR code and print it out.
How do you ask your customer for a review (script)?
"Hey I hope you enjoyed your at (Company name)"
If the customer responds positively, then, respond:
"We do try and deliver a great service, and we're pleased you enjoyed it. You know, those kinds of comments help other people looking for (Service or product) to feel more confident in choosing us. If you didn’t mind writing what you just said in a quick review on (platform of your choice), that would be awesome."
At this point, GET THE REVIEW!
The customer may “promise” to write the review when they get home or back to their hotel – but the likelihood of that review being written has just dropped. Massively.
The following graph illustrates how the probability of a review being left diminishes considerably days after a request has been sent.
Asking for a customer review (Not face to face)
If the customer is not present, then you will have to rely on different methods. You will need to have some method of contacting them, so collecting their phone or email address is a must.
Send your review request via:
- SMS / Text message
- Through your website (ideally, via a dedicated testimonials/reviews page)
- Social media (direct message or post)
- Thank you pages
- On receipts/invoices
- Telephone call
Remember to send the link that takes the user directly to the leave a review page on your preferred review site.
Again, the key is to ALWAYS try and get the request to the customer as close to receiving the product/experience as possible.
Best time to ask for a review
Reducing the time between experience and review request is key, but if you must specify an actual time of day – e.g. through an SMS or Emailing scheduling system, our data shows that sending the review request between 2 pm and 8 pm is most effective.
It seems obvious – but the middle of the night doesn’t work well, especially if you’re sending an SMS Text message. Nobody will appreciate being woken up at 2 am for a review request!
Things to be aware when asking for a review
IP Address detection
It’s vital that your customers are not using your company wifi when leaving a review. The review site may incorrectly think that you’re writing multiple fake reviews (identified from your business IP Address).
When the customer uses their phone mobile data, they will have a unique IP Address. This approach will ensure that their review is not flagged as suspicious by the review site
GDPR + Permission to contact the customer
There are some countries (such as those in the EU) where it is illegal to contact a customer without their expressed permission (there can be hefty fines too). If you’re contacting your customer ensure that you are following the relevant laws in your area.
Top tips for leaving a review
Ask for the customer to share their review on Social Media
Sometimes review sites do not immediately make a review live. Sometimes they need to pass through an approval process internally. This does not stop you asking your customer to:
- “Check-in” to your business on Facebook and share their experience
- Share their photos on their Instagram account – with a link through to your website and / or your review page
- Share your company webpage on Facebook or Twitter
- Recommend you on LinkedIn
Again, asking the customer to perform this task while they’re with you ensures you maximise your reviews.
Opportunity to upsell
And finally – have you thought about upselling or requesting a share on social media? If your customer has left a 5-star review, this is an ideal time to request another sale, plan their next visit or buy some promotional merchandise such as a T-shirt