How to get reputation-boosting customer reviews
Customer reviews are a great tool to boost the reputation of your business, increase your visibility to potential clients and strengthen your relationships with existing clients. But before you start handing out surveys, take a moment to consider some time-honored best practices when it comes to getting reviews from customers.
Who to ask for a review
Compile the names of clients who have been with you the longest and who you’ve bent over backward to help. The reviews you receive from these clients will likely provide the most value to your business.
Clients using a highlight-worthy service
Seek out clients who’ve had success using one of your marquee services. They can help brand you as a specialist in that area.
How to ask for a review
Record spontaneous feedback
If a customer says something great without being solicited, make a note of what they said, and ask them if they would mind if you quote them on it. More likely than not, they’ll be flattered that you’d want to use their words and won’t have any trouble saying yes.
Ask for feedback
If the situation is appropriate, ask the client if they would be willing to provide a positive (but honest) review of your services. You can provide a questionnaire or leave it open-ended, and you can administer it in person or via email. Check out this template to get started.
Show your appreciation
After a client completes the review, make a point of thanking them in some way. Acknowledge the time they took out of their day, and maybe even send them a personal note of thanks. Depending on the client, you might even offer to review their business in return.
How to use what you get
Consider the placement
The content of the quote should match the environment in which it is being displayed. Personal quotes might be stronger on your website, while more professional quotes might be better suited for LinkedIn or your Find-A-ProAdvisor profile, and certain service-related quotes might be better on review sites like Yelp.
Don’t alter responses
Your customers took the time to give you feedback, and you owe it to them to preserve the integrity of their responses. You can choose whether to use them, but if you do, keep them written as they were provided.
Don’t ask for reviews when …
It’s your first time receiving praise from that client
You should take note of their praise, but don’t press for more all in one sitting. It could read to your client like you’re fishing for compliments, or that compliments are all you care about.
You have a less-than-ideal relationship with a client
Don’t put yourself in the position of potentially jeopardizing a fragile relationship. Getting the most out of client reviews comes down to quality, not quantity.
The client is uncomfortable about going on the record
Ask if they would be willing to provide an anonymous review, but don’t continue to push if they don’t seem comfortable with that either. No review is worth sacrificing a relationship over.
You’re in a large group, or with multiple clients
Having other people in the room can lead to awkward situations where the client might feel pressured into saying yes, or where you come off as desperate for asking. Make it a personal, one-on-one request.
Your client is in a hurry
Nothing good comes from soliciting a review from a client in a rush. Instead, consider your client’s weekly routine — try to catch them in moments where they’re comfortable and have time to give you the review you deserve.