leadjoint

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Wondering if anybody here has any good strategies to increase the number of customer reviews on Google/Yelp, etc. Many of the clients I work with are happy with just their phone ringing with little to no work on gathering client details like phone number or email (to reach out to).

What strategies do you use?
 
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In my experience at least, review building is something that's impossible to do without some pretty intimate cooperation from the client. The right time to ask for a review even is dictated by the processes the business has in place, and there's a lot of options depending on what works for the business owner/sales staff. If it's blue collar without a lot of tech in between the customer and the owner, you could even give them an easy way to verbally direct someone to leave a review. For example, after asking for feedback, if the customer's happy, you say something like 'we're glad to hear that, and we'd really appreciate it if you take a few minutes to write that down so other people can find us too. Just go on our website, scroll to the bottom, and look for the 'leave a review' link up top' or something like that.

You can either have that website link just forward to a pleper Google review, or Yelp, or whatever else you want. obviously if you do interact through email or whatever else, it's easy to send a link that way too. You get the idea.

I hear you though, it can be tough with certain clients and industries, and that's why it's important to find options that they'll actually use. All the tools in the world won't work if the client never makes it a part of the business.
 
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Here are a few options:

1. Review Blast
Take the clients customer email list (if they have one!!!) and load it into an email marketing platform of your choice. Send an email newsletter and make sure to prominently place your Google+ buttons/badges, ask for "Feedback" on their experience, or simply let them know that "You are on Google+"...

Asking for reviews is another topic entirely.. so in your email newsletter, choose whatever terminology you feel comfortable with.

2. Email Signature Links
Throw a little snippet of text at the end of the clients email signature that says "Leave us feedback on Google+". As they work with customers and vendors, the reviews will eventually trickle in. This is a long term play.

3. Point of Sale
Let it be known that your business is on Google+ and that customer feedback is crucial to maximizing customer satisfaction.

Here is Google's official advice on this topic: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3474122?hl=en

-Chris
 
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Great question! I think James and Chris both addressed some key points for review acquisition.

I agree with James that you need to work with the client, because their customer service will have a huge impact on whether people leave positive reviews or not.

The key is to make sure that the client, or their employees are asking for the review (which can be uncomfortable for some people, but necessary.)

As Chris mentioned, there are various touch points that provide the opportunity to ask for the review.

The Grade.us platform uses a few different tools to get customers into the review funnel. We use email drip campaigns, SMS/text messages, printed business cards with a link to a personalized landing page which guides customers to specific online review sites like Google, Yelp, or any niche site. We also have a kiosk mode for tablets that many businesses will keep at the front desk/cashier and have the customers input their own information.

One important part of the strategy would be to separate the request for feedback and a review. Since they typically serve two different purposes, having two call to actions (or even asking them to copy and paste their feedback on the review site) limits conversions. I recommend keeping it as streamlined as possible.

If you have any other specific details about your clients (industry, brick and mortar store make up, how many employees), it will help provide more insights for review acquisition.

Hope that helps!
 

alakov

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Great topic! I've been trying a few things and non of them seem to be working well with Google Reviews. On email blasts we get only 1% of customers to leave a review (with Click ration at about 15%). I've tried landing pages, direct links, leaflets, in-copy step-by-step guides on how to leave a review... nothing really works for me.

For our industry (auto dealers), I see that incentives could work quite well. Some other dealers give customers a discount/gift card for a review. Our dealers don't want to do that.

@Garrett with the in-store kiosks, don't you run into problem with the reviews coming from the same IP? Google doesn't filter them out?
 

Tim Colling

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I've finally had a bit of success with review solicitation by using an approach that works for clients in my industry and by using a tool that helps with the process.

The tool that I have been using with decent success for several months is Grade.us, and it is working well for my firm. There are other tools to consider, too, and we did so before choosing grade.us. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The main thing is, choose a tool and then use it well.

The approach that has been working well for us has been to make the review requests "personal", from someone that the client's customer knows. That was advice that we received from Jon at grade.us, and it has turned out to be very helpful. When I read "email blast" earlier in this thread, I have to say that I had a pretty negative reaction to that. An "email" blast sounds, at least, like it's pretty impersonal, or at least like it might appear to be that way. Just saying.

ALL OF THIS depends on getting at least one bit of cooperation from our client: we HAVE to get a list of names and email addresses to which to send the review requests. That is still the biggest "blocking" factor that we run into.
 

alakov

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The email customization is not an issue. MetaTags for FNAME LNAME, plus name of the Sale Rep in the FROM field, and his/her picture in the body. Open and Click rates are just great.

Based on the Click Rate to Completion Rate ration I find that the biggest issue is the process. Many get frustrated if they dont know how to leave a google review. Especially if they dont have a google account.

Using same email copy we get dozens of reviews every month for another industry-related review platform.
 

theitsage

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As a one-man business (doing mac repair), I have a fairly unique insights on what works best for me in getting reviews on Yelp and GMB.

1. Be really good at what you do. This will naturally get you positive reviews that won't be filtered and contain lots of good keywords.

2. There's a honey moon period of about 5 days from when work was done to ask for reviews. Ask in person, then follow up with an email in 3 days.

3. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to write reviews for your business listings. Gmail email addresses are a given for GMB. For Yelp, you'll have to look up whether they already have a Yelp account.

I don't recommend email blasts due to the impersonal nature of it. Even if you get reviews from eblasts, they're likely to be filtered and not as trust worthy to consumers. You want to build a gradual and consistent collection of reviews.
 

NovaEra

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Follow up! I think the biggest factor in getting client reviews is showing that you care about their experience. I've had experiences where clients didn't have the time to follow up with their customers so I took it upon myself to give them a call back and ask how their experience was, then just send them over a quick email and let them know that you appreciate their business and would like them to fill out a quick review (provide the link) about their experience.

If you're going to offer an incentive, lets say a discount for future business, do NOT send them something saying "hey, fill this out for a discount" or anything around those lines. Send them the discount in the original follow up email saying something around the lines of:

"Here's a quick thank you bonus for choosing to do business with us. We appreciate you as a client etc our business thrives on reviews and we would greatly appreciate a quick input on your experience (PROVIDE THE LINK)..etc thank you"

You'd be surprised how many more people will respond just by following up with them.
 
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