#BeTactical: The Positive Review Request: Are you asking your customers to leave positive reviews?

Are You Leaving That Positive Review to Chance?

#BeTactical: Having a number of positive reviews won’t prevent a negative one, but it will minimize their impact.  

In The Negative Review Reaction we suggested requesting a positive review from satisfied customers and clients.

#BeTactical: The Positive Review Request: Are you asking your customers to leave positive reviews?

When we work with a client on reputation management we always perform a simple evaluation.  We’re looking for two things: reviews received and responses.  Both tell us plenty. The latter – We look to see IF you responded and HOW you responded.  EVERY review needs to be addressed.  Negative ones to work toward a resolution (again, see The Negative Review Reaction) and for positive reviews – if your client took the time to write one, the least you can do is take the time to acknowledge it!  The former – if you’re not getting reviews, you’re missing an important reputation building and marketing piece.

#BeTactical: EVERY review received requires a response. Negative ones to resolve, positive reviews to acknowledge & say ‘Thank You’.   

Most business owners understand they need to ask for reviews and do ask for them.  The issue for many – even though they ask they do not receive them.  Why?  It’s comes down to HOW they ask.

Asking For That Positive Review

While many will take it upon themselves to write reviews after a purchase, people are more apt to write negative ones before positive ones.

Why you need to ask for a positive review: Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences.

So how do you get those positive reviews?

  • Make it easy.  This is a big one.  It’s another reason you need to ask more than once, especially if the first time is as they’re leaving your store.  Assuming they remember to write the review, they now have to ‘work’; get online, find your site, figure out where to leave the review and still write it.  We’re sure at one point or another you’ve had the best intentions to express your love for that awesome shop then realize you had no desire to go ‘through the trouble’ of doing it.
    • Send that follow-up email with links to a few of your reviews sites.  Just be sure to embed the link.  Long URL strings, even shortened ones in our opinion, just look unprofessional.
    • Add a QR code or two on the customer’s receipt or the follow-up card.
    • Excellent use of a QR code on a purchase receipt asking for a positive review; #BeTactical
    • Add written directions to walk your client through placing the review.

#BeTactical: The Positive Reviews Request - South Tacoma Honda does a great job using this postcard. They ask for reviews, provide choices and directions; Tactical Social Media in the Greater Seattle Area

  • Provide Options.  This is up there with making it easy.  Some love Yelp and use it to find everything.  Others prefer Google.  If you ask for a recommendation on Yelp and your client doesn’t use it, chances are you won’t get their review.  Providing choices means a greater likelihood your receive reviews.  It also increases the odds reviews will be spread out across several sites.  While five positive reviews on Facebook would be great, someone searching for you on Google or Yelp won’t see them.  Better to spread the wealth.
  • Ask more than once and in more than one way.  It’s great that you asked for the review at the end of the sale, even before the customer left your shop (and you’d better be doing this!) but you know as well as I do that by the time your client got home, they’ve forgotten!  They had stops to make, dinner to prepare – something came up and they just plain forgot.  Been there, done that!
    • Send a follow-up email.  Make it sincere, make it personal.  Provide some helpful advice if appropriate and offer your support if it should ever be need.  Add your request for their review with links.    Make sure the email is timed properly.  Too soon can be seen as annoying and waiting too long means the client may be too far removed from the buying experience.
    • Send a personalized card using snail mail.  Emails get overlooked and deleted.  A card has several advantages.  It’s personal.  It takes time to address, write and mail a card.  It gets noticed.  These days a thank you card is unique.  When was the last time you received one?  It’s tangible.  People have a much harder time ‘deleting’ something physical.  Done right, cards get noticed AND saved!

Author’s note:  I’ll always recommend sending handwritten thank you notes.  Services like Send Out Cards are great for bulk campaigns – holiday cards and routine follow ups – and even for individual cards to stay connected, but they’re still computer generated.   While they can be personalized with respect to content and signatures, a hand addressed and stamped envelope carries more ‘punch’ and less likely to be mistaken for junk mail.  For that initial ‘Thank you’, take the time to build / grow that relationship.

One final note.  We highly recommend against using any site for syndicating reviews.  We were approached about this practice recently as a way to get review visible on several sites when the reviewer only writes one.  While tempting, we find the practice unethical.  The reviewer didn’t chose to add their comment on those sites and re-posting without permission is not a good practice.  From a consumer standpoint, if we do some research and read reviews on several sites having duplicate copy, it will come across as spam, not an authentic review.  Beyond this, syndication is duplication of content.  It will catch Google’s eye and your site is likely to take a big SEO hit.

The Takeaway

#BeTactical: Ask for reviews more than once, provide choices & make it easy to leave them.  Have a plan in place to monitor for reviews, responding when they’re received. 

Your Turn

Are you leaving positive reviews to chance?  Do you have a plan to request them?

I’d love your hear your thoughts.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you need help creating a plan to request positive reviews, monitoring for online reviews, or how to respond to reviews,  contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Tacoma or South Sound Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

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3 replies
  1. John Locke
    John Locke says:

    Hi Robert. Another great article. It is very important to give people options for reviewing your business and hitting them up at the right time. Ideally, we are researching where the customers may have an account, and presenting that as an option. Sending them a request when they are at the peak of happiness about the project also helps. Wait too long, and the enthusiasm fades, ask too quickly and you seem rushed and impatient.

    It looks like you can have a landing page with review options, and though I’ve seen this before, this is a great reminder of something I should probably add to my own site.

    Reviews are a huge part of Local SEO, and every business should have a plan for collecting and responding to them.

    • Robert Nissenbaum
      Robert Nissenbaum says:

      Thank you John. Having previously owned a local retail business I know first hand about the review value for purchases. The Local SEO value of them was new to me.

      I think the biggest thing that I see is businesses NOT having a way to monitor them or who simply don’t respond.



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