Ask for Reviews

This week's focus comes with a short story.

Recently I was in need of a mechanic to fix my brakes. I already received a quote from someone, but felt it was high. So, I shopped around. Where did I go? The almighty Google. And what was the first result that displayed? Yelp listings.

Being newer to my local area and not knowing many businesses, I trust the reviews I find on Yelp. I first checked the mechanics Yelp page and noticed good reviews, but they were all from 2013 or earlier. I was hesitant because of this, but I still called.

Fast-forward, and I had one of the best car experiences and I'm so thankful I went to them. They even saved me $1,000! In the shop, I told them they needed more recent reviews because everything I saw was older. This started a conversation about the eight reviews he had from this year. They were hidden on Yelp and could be found at the bottom of the page under the not-so-appealing title, "8 other reviews that are not recommended."

These were great AND current reviews, but Yelp decided they were not helpful, so they chose to not display them. This week's focus isn't on how frustrated we can be with Yelp, as I've heard from several retailers who have had similar issues.

This week's focus is on asking for the review.

When I was at the mechanic, I brought up his Yelp page, not him. That doesn't mean he wasn't going to, I might have just beaten him to the punch. But what if he didn't say anything? There wasn't any signage that I could see that asked me to leave a review. There wasn't an easy way for me to leave a compliment or a recommendation.

Customers trust peer recommendations and they are the number one reason we buy from someone. We buy from people we know, like, and trust, and we gain trust when we hear about a positive experience.

Here are some great stats about word-of-mouth marketing in an infographic by Lithium.

This is an area where independent retailers can gain an edge over their competition by offering outstanding and specialized service. The key to making this successful and working for your business is consistency, and asking for the review.

You must ask. Train your staff to ask. Create in-store signage that asks. Include buttons on your website that ask. Post on social media outlets and within emails, asking for that review and/or recommendation.

Here's a few examples of signage that asks for customers to review the business:

qr code review sign

Another QR Code Example showcasing all the places their customers can review them on:

qr code review sign

QR Code example including a Text option:

qr code and text to review

Example of asking for a review from your website, linking to your online review platforms and social media sites:

ask for reviews on your website

Now, it's your turn. Create a list of the places you can ask customers to review you on, and don't forget local directories, too.

Then, assign someone (it might be you) to gather the needed items to implement, like in-store signage, the links to your online review profiles (like Facebook, Yelp, Angie's List, Houzz, Google+, etc.), QR codes, copy for your website, etc. Make sure staff asks customers to review while they're working with them or at the cash register.

Finally, stay on top of your reviews. If you receive negative feedback, respond accordingly (and professionally!) If you found this tip helpful, or other tips in the past, I'd love for you to review me!

See what I did there? I asked for the review!

You can do so on my Facebook page by leaving a comment directly on the page.

I'd love to see the signs you create to ask for reviews, so feel free to share photos with me on Facebook.