You know you & your company do great work, but do potential customers know? If a consumer were to Google your business right now, what would they see? It’s important that you have the correct address information, the right phone number, & have a good website connected to your pages, but what about your reviews? If you only have a handful of reviews, especially if any were written by unhappy customers, you could be losing potential customers every day (plus you’re hurting your organic Google search, but more on that later!).

In 2020, 87% of consumers said they read reviews before purchasing a product or service from a business. Less than half said they would even consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars. Additionally, over 70% of consumers reported that they only read reviews written in the last 30 days. If your company has only a handful of reviews, your rating is below a 4 (because out of the 5 reviews two were unhappy 1-star customers), & you haven’t got a new review in 6 months, then you are likely bleeding new potential customers before they even make it to your website. This problem is further magnified when you consider that one of Google’s top metrics used when determining where a business appears on organic Google Search are the number & star ratings of their reviews. Your business is potentially not even appearing on the first page of Google results, which means it’s not being considered at all. Yikes! How can you turn this around? Is there any hope?

For such a widespread problem, facing thousands of businesses across the U.S., there are actually several low cost/free ways to address this issue. Certainly the simplest, though often overlooked, option is simply to ask customers to leave you a review. At the end of your installation, your visit, your phone call, etc., if you believe the customer has had a good experience, ask them if they would be willing to write you a review online. That’s it. Add it into your staff’s everyday script, and every day ask customers to leave reviews. Most people, if they are happy with your service, are happy to spend the 2-5 minutes it takes to write a review. 

However, you may not see your reviews spike simply by asking. Why is that? Well consumers are busy and taking the time to Google your business & write the review is rarely at the top of their priority list, let alone if they even remember you asked at all. However, if when you ask for the review, you send an email or text to the customer with a direct link shortly after, you have made it much easier, and therefore much more likely you will get that review. If you currently use a CRM (customer relationship management) software, many of them have built in capabilities to automate sending emails or texts. Taking the time to set the automation up will allow it to run on autopilot, and should lead to an uptick in your reviews. Anything you can do to make it easier for your customers, the more likely you are to see results.

Another tactic to consider is putting together an email campaign asking for reviews. This is especially relevant if you have been in business for some time, and have a good amount of satisfied customers who you did not ask for a review in the past. This can be a quick way to generate a large number of reviews quickly. However, be careful if offering any kind of incentive, as most of the online platforms look poorly on incentives, especially if specifically asking for a positive review, and can blacklist your company online as a result. When at all possible, let the quality of your work and the satisfaction of your customers be the only incentive.

By integrating the handful of tactics mentioned above, you should be well on your way to getting more reviews & improving your online presence.