whirLocal is a great tool to proactively ask for and gather reviews from your customer. This is what makes the whole system work, so it is critical to proactively ask for reviews consistently with every customer.
There are many ways to ask for reviews … but the bottom line is that you have to ask! Remember, your review engine is located at username.whirlocal.com (substitute your username).
Our goal is for you to gather your first 10 reviews in the first 30 days!
When you ask for a review, there are some ways to position yourself when you ask to be able to generate the maximum number of positive reviews.
For example, we recommend you say something like this;
“Mr./Ms. Customer (or patient-for the doctors among us) … we really value your opinion about our services, and we know there are others that would value your opinion as well. Would you mind writing a short review of our services and tell us what you love about us? We love the feedback and it helps us generate more business, so we’d sure appreciate your help”
Notice a couple of things about the statement above:
- you are stating that you value their opinion and playing to their ego that others would value their feedback as well
- you mention a short review to keep it simple
- you ask them to tell you what they love about you, positioning the review as positive
- you again tell them that you value their feedback
- you tap into most people’s feeling of generosity by asking for their help
This is the mindset of what you want to say. Of course you can say whatever you want when you ask for reviews, but this is a general structure that we have found works well.
Here are several ways you can use your “Ask” statement to generate reviews:
1. Review Ignitor Cards: You can order these from thirdRiver Marketing and gives you something that you can hand out when asking for a review. These cards are very effectivive and point your customers to your review engine either by URL or by using a QR code, which they can scan with their mobile device.
You can hand out these cards in multiple ways:
- After an appointment or service call
- Set them in the reception area to hand to clients
- At networking events
- For restaurants, set them on your tables or include them in with the check
- Be creative …
Here is an example of a review ignitor card:
2. Email: There are a number of ways to use email to ask for a review.
- You can send a personal email to past customers and ask them for a review
- Email newsletter: If you have an email newsletter you could easily include a section in your newsletter (the more times you include it, the better) asking for a review and pointing them to your review engine
- Email after purchase: send them an email shortly after purchase while the experience is fresh in their minds
3. “Ask for Reviews” form in your admin dashboard.
Available for our premium members, the “Ask for Reviews” form is a great tool built right into your admin dashboard.
There are several reasons why this is an extremely valuable tool:
- It is simple and easy to use, right from within your admin dashboard
- It allows you to direct people to your whirLocal review engine, or alternatively send them to your Google+Local or Yelp listing (others available upon request). When using one of the alternate sites like Google+Local (Google Places), it will provide both a link to the 3rd party review site as well as a link to your whirLocal review engine if they don’t have an account at that site.
- When you click submit, it will automatically send an email to them.
When would you want to send them to Google+Local or Yelp?
Getting reviews on sites like Google+Local and Yelp can potentially improve your search engine rankings. If you don’t have many reviews on these sites, or you have several negative reviews, directing them to leave a review on one of those sites can be a good strategy to build up on your reputation on these very visible listings for your business. However, it does have some real challenges as well to be aware of.
- To leave a review on Google+Local, a user must have BOTH a Google account (i.e. gmail, youtube, etc) plus a Google+ account. Many people do not have one, let alone both. Plus, Google posts an ominous message when they are writing a review that basically states that their name will forever be associated with the review for the entire world to see. Many people get spooked when they see this message and won’t want to leave a review
- Yelp also requires an account, and is famous for filtering reviews (not showing them) using a filtering algorithm. It can be a good thing, but it can also be very frustrating that legitimate reviews get filtered. Unless the reviewer is a very active Yelper, it is unlikely that the review will actually show up in your list of reviews (non-filtered).
- By directing them to Google+Local or Yelp, you don’t have the powerful built-in social sharing tools that come with whirLocal, as well as many other features that we provide with our whirLocal review engine.
- You also don’t have the ability to moderate the review before it goes live. If you strive to provide great customer service at all times, this isn’t a big deal.
We love this tool though and find that it provides a very simple way to ask for reviews, and gives the user a default fallback link to your whirLocal review engine when they don’t have an account at Google+Local or Yelp.
4. Ask for reviews on your social media sites like Facebook
You can easily post an “ask” message on your social media sites. Mix it up and ask in different ways.
5. Have an internal contest!
Have a contest in your organization and see who can get the most reviews over a period of time. Come up with a great prize to make it worth their time and effort.
6. Ask for reviews on your web site
Ask your webmaster to add a link on your primary web site to your review engine … and ask for the review!
Again, there are lots of ways to ask … be creative, sincere, and consistent … and you will generate reviews.