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The Art and Science of Asking for Online Reviews

(Note: Monitoring your business’s online reputation is a requirement for success in the digital age. Try our free Review Scan now for an instant reputation report on your business.)

Posted On: August 7, 2018

Bad reviews = disaster. Not enough reviews = catastrophe. Every home improvement business today needs LOTS of positive online reviews. Learn the best ways to ask for reviews and the pitfalls of certain approaches.

Your business needs online reviews. It’s as simple as that. Your window and door business will be reviewed on online platforms no matter what you do. You can love it (as some do) or hate it (as many more do), but it’s a reality. So you need to embrace the system and use it to your advantage.

In truth, online reviews can greatly benefit your business—as long as you’re paying close attention to your online reputation and actively working to generate five-star (or at least four-star) reviews. They help you appear in the powerful Google 3-Pack. They help your organic search ranking. They help consumers decide to choose you over your competitors.

In today’s world, they’re the lifeblood of local business.

But what are the best ways to solicit reviews? Let’s go over a few.

Ask directly in person: This is one of the best ways. Train your employees to actively request reviews from customers who indicate they’re very satisfied. They can even hand out cards with links to review your company.

This works even better when you follow up right away with an email that includes a clickable link.The more time that passes, the less likely you are to get a review from a satisfied customer, so strike while the iron is hot.

The only downside is that you might get a negative review, which is why it’s important that you and your staff get a feel for the customer’s satisfaction first.

Send personalized emails: This option generates some of the very best reviews. If you email the customer and include some facts very specific to that job, the customer will be impressed and feel special. This also makes it easy to include a direct link to your review page.

There are a couple of potential downsides. For one, this approach can be time-consuming, because you’re not just creating a boilerplate message and mass emailing it. However, it’s worth the time if you’re greatly in need of five-star reviews ASAP.

Another concern is that Yelp specifically prohibits asking for reviews, so you don’t want to take this approach (or to create a mass email inquiry) for Yelp.

Create a “review us page” on your site: This can be quite effective, because you can include several different platforms (such as Google, Facebook and Angie’s List) on the page, giving your W&D business a better “spread” of reviews across platforms. That alone is quite beneficial. It also makes it easier for customers to review you where they feel most comfortable doing so.

One sort-of downside is that many customers will be visiting your site before they use your services, when you really want them visiting afterward. However, you can pull them back with a follow-up email, which you should be doing anyway.

Note: In the email, you can offer a discount for future services—provide a link to a promo code they can only get at your site. However, never directly offer a discount in exchange for a review. That’s a huge no-no on all review sites. You have to keep those aspects clearly separated.

(Note: Monitoring your business’s online reputation is a requirement for success in the digital age. Try our free Review Scan now for an instant reputation report on your business.)

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