You did it! Your customer just left your front door with a smile on their face, you have more money in your pocket, and life is good.
What’s next? Well, you should ask your new happy customer to leave an online review for your business.
For some, the idea of asking a customer to leave a review feels awkward and pushy. After you’ve satisfied them with your service, the last thing you want to do is ruin it with a favor for your business.
The thing is, as long as you’ve given your customers what they wanted – and even gone above and beyond their expectations – they’re going to be more than happy to tell their friends and family about your business.
But we get it; asking your customers for online reviews can feel scary. So how do you actually pop the question without seeming totally cheesy?
After you’ve made your customer happy, their reaction will be to thank you for your services. They may even tell you about how you’ve solved their problems or made a difference in their lives somehow.
You’ll be standing in your shop and getting their feedback face-to-face. This is the perfect time to say:
“Thank you so much for your feedback. Would you mind going online and repeating that on our Google page? It would mean so much to us and it would help others find us to solve their problems.”
If you can, bring up previous examples of times reviews brought people to your business. People love hearing stories like this and are more likely to support a small, local business however they can – especially when it doesn’t cost them any money to do so!
At this point, your customers will more than likely say, “yes, of course – I’d love to help you out.” This is when you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, ideally even before they leave your store and life gets in the way.
Offer to send them a link right on the spot using our free mobile app or by sending them a text message.
At this point, they may say they don’t have time now but will do so as soon as they get home. Having that link easily accessible will make them much more likely to follow through with that promise.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a retail store, had an employee ask you to leave a review, and had them say, “If you mention me in the review, I’ll look good to my boss!”
This strategy works particularly well if your employees spend a large amount of high-quality time with your customers as they help them solve their challenges. At the end of the engagement, your customer may feel connected to your employee and willing to help them out.
So, when your employee asks them for a review – and mentions it will help them in their career somehow – your customer is much more likely to actually follow through.
While we don’t recommend incentivizing customer reviews (sites like Google and Yelp even forbid this practice), incentivizing your employees gives them a reason to help you grow your online presence.
Incentives can vary from a posting on the backroom wall when a good review comes in (mentioning the employee’s name), a small gift card for a cup of coffee, or even a bonus.
Nothing feels worse than being treated like a number. As people, we crave connections and conversations. That’s why many of us have a favorite bartender or barista.
Those who make a real effort to listen, solve a problem when applicable (even if it’s just serving a great latte), and treat others with kindness are the ones who create lifelong customers.
Then, when it comes to making the ask, it becomes much easier because it’s just like asking a friend for a favor. When people are treated with respect and care, they’re much more likely to help out however they can.
Whether you’re asking in person, over the phone, or in an email, find a way to make the ask as personal as possible. Use their first name, bring up an especially positive part of the experience, and make the conversation more than just about getting that review.
Remember there’s a person on the other end of the line and their lives are just as busy, chaotic, and complicated as your own. Create that connection and then reach out to make the ask.
Part of the reason why asking your customers for online reviews may feel awkward is your mindset. In your mind – and in the customer’s mind – the online review is solely beneficial to you and your business.
While this is partially true, there is so much more to it. Online reviews don’t just help your business succeed, but they also:
As you’re making the ask, don’t think about how it’s going to help your business. Instead, put an emphasis on how it helps your customer and people like them. This gets your customer thinking about how they can do their part to make a difference in their community by supporting a local business.We’ve found that small businesses don’t like asking for reviews because it can often feel awkward, pushy, and time-consuming.
With our app, it’s easy to send a link to the review right on the spot, even if you operate in multiple locations. Once your employees have downloaded it, they can send a custom link to your customers’ phones within seconds of completing their transaction.
Not only does this give you a better chance of getting that Google review even before they leave, but you will also be able to capitalize on the personal connection that your employees have established with the customer.