Reviews are one of the most effective ways to generate more leads. Unfortunately, the key to getting more reviews isn’t just asking, it’s knowing where to ask your customers to leave a review. We take a look at the best places to ask customers for reviews and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Ask Customers to Leave You a Review on These Sites
While you don’t need to use all of these sites, using several of them increases your chances of getting reviews from your customers.
- Google My Business – The most popular search engine, it provides high visibility and is easy for customers to use.
- Facebook – The biggest social network, most customers have an account and it’s easy for them to use.
- Your Website – If you aren’t posting reviews to your website, now is the time to start.
- Bing Places – Bing is growing in popularity and searches, so you should start building up your review count now.
- Yahoo! Local Listings – Not quite as popular as it once was, but still a major contender for customer reviews.
- Better Business Bureau – An older review site that is still well regarded by many customers.
- YP.com – Another older review site that may still be worth using with some customers.
- Yelp – It can be a bit of a hassle on the contractor side, but it’s well-known and easy for customers to use.
- Niche Contractor Sites – From Angie’s List to Restoration Local, the contractor-focused sites are smaller but reviews go a long way.
How Reviews Generate More Leads
It may sound strange, but reviews can actually help generate more leads for your business. Remember, a lead is another way of saying an opportunity for a job. The more reviews you have, the great the chance they will contact you.
Most customers will turn to some resource when they need a contractor. Typically that is a search engine like Bing or Google, but it could also be a site like Facebook, Yelp or the Better Business Bureau.
Having more reviews will increase your visibility and build trust with your customers. Plus, more reviews may improve your placement in the results too. Obviously, the majority of those reviews should be positive, but a few negative ones are helpful too.
Most review sites will calculate your overall review rating, typically shown as a number of stars. Most sites allow customers to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 stars, with 5 being the best. Occasionally, a site may choose a different symbol or number. These stars will draw the attention of your customers, making it more likely they will contact you. Regardless of the site, you should shoot for a least a 4-star rating average rating. If possible, a 4.5- to 4.8-star rating is ideal.
Customers often worry about getting a bad deal or being taken advantage of by contractors. Reviews are a simple trust signal that helps alleviate those concerns. The more reviews and the more stars, the better the chances for good services. The majority of the reviews should be positive, however, a few negative reviews are good too. As long as the good outnumber the bad, they validate that the other reviews are real.
Many sites allow customers to sort results, but the default view is usually the highest rating to the lowest. The closer you are to the top, the more likely a customer will contact you. Some sites may also take into consideration the number of reviews as well. In that case, a company with a 4.6-star average and 350 reviews would appear above one with a 4.9-star average but only 100 reviews. That’s just one more reason to ask for more reviews.
Important Steps to Take Before Asking For Reviews
Whether you are just starting to ask customers for reviews or you’ve been doing it for years, review this checklist before you ask your next customer for a review.
1. Claim Your Business Listing
You should claim your business listing on every one of the review sites we’ve listed below. This will help ensure you are notified when a customer leaves a review.
2. Update Your Information
Add as much information as possible your listing. Double check that your phone number and email address are correct. This way potential customers reading your reviews can reach you. If possible, include your company description, logo, and photos of your truck and recent jobs. A description and photos help increase your visibility.
3. Read Your Existing Reviews
Take a minute to read the reviews you already have and respond to your customers. While you can’t fix mistakes from a few years ago, you can follow up with customers from the last few months. Remember to respond to your new reviews moving forward, too. This shows you are engaged with your customers and value their honest opinion.
4. Note the Number and Star-Rates
Take a look at how many reviews you have and what your current star-rating is for each site. While you should use several different review sites, you also need to manage the number and rating of reviews. If you have a low rating on one site, focus there for the next few weeks. If you have a high star rating but just a few reviews, try to get customers to leave a review there.
The Best Sites to Use When Asking Customers for Reviews
1. Google My Business
Google does require users to log in, which is a small hurdle. However, virtually everyone has a Google account already and they are probably logged in constantly. For this reason, Google My Business is probably the easiest site for your customers to leave a review on. However, Google My Business is more of a business term, so you should ask your customers just to leave you a review on your Google listing. Whenever possible, send them a direct link to your listing to make it as easy as possible.
After Facebook, the next easiest place for customers to leave a review is on Facebook. As with Google, most customers will have a Facebook account and are always logged in. Similarly to Google, leaving a review on Facebook is also very easy. When you ask them for a review, make sure you send them the link to your business page on Facebook so your customer goes to the right page.
3. Your Website
This may be surprising, but you need to include reviews on your website too. There are several different options for including reviews on your website, so talk with your hosting company or web developer for more details. Whichever you choose, make sure there is a visible rating, like a number of stars. You could even just ask your customers to send their review to you as an email or text message. If you go this route, avoid the urge to edit these reviews and post them as provided. Also, send your customer a link to their review so they can see it in print. This helps build trust and ensures you aren’t trying to alter their review. That trust factor is the biggest advantage of including reviews on your website, but they can also help your SEO efforts to a lesser degree.
4. Bing Places
Bing continues to grow in market share, so you may also consider claiming your business listing on Bing Places. Customers can log in using their Microsoft, Outlook, Live, MSN, or Hotmail accounts, which makes it easy for them to leave a review on Bing Places. One advantage of asking for reviews on Bing is that they can improve your organic search ranking within the Bing search engine. They also make your organic or paid listing in Bing search results stand out from the competition.
5. Yahoo! Local Listings
Although Yahoo isn’t the industry leader it once was, it’s still a very popular search engine and news portal. Plus, many people still use Yahoo Mail as their primary email accounts. This makes logging in easy for many of your customers. It’s worth asking customers to leave reviews on your Local Listings page if you are already running marketing campaigns or ads through Yahoo or if the customer doesn’t have a Google or Facebook account.
6. Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau has been around for years, tracking ratings and business reviews long before the internet. While it’s not the most popular site for reviews, it is still a site to consider. The interface isn’t as slick or intuitive as other review platforms, but some customers swear by it. When asking customers for reviews, it’s a credible option to consider, especially if customers are leery of sites like Google and Facebook.
The YellowPages, or YP.com, continues to draw a moderate amount of traffic and it’s worth considering when asking customers for reviews. It does require users to register for an account, but they are free and quick to set up. You may want to ask customers to leave reviews on YP.com if you are already active on that service, running ads or doing other marketing campaigns.
Yelp is a very popular review site, especially for restaurants, but it’s drawn criticism for its review practices over the years. In some cases, Yelp attempts to blackmail you into paying to avoid negative reviews. It’s still one of the major review sites, so it’s worth considering. Customers may have an account already and can sign up for free in just a few seconds.
9. Niche Contractor Sites
HomeAdvisor and Angie’s Lists are the most well-known niche sites for contractors, but there are many others to consider as well. Some others to consider are Best Pick Report, GuildQuality, Houzz, NextDoor, Pouch, Restoration Local, and Thumbtack. Each site caters to a slightly different group of services, but most of them work very similarly. They usually require users to register, but it typically takes only a few seconds to get set up. Before you start asking for reviews on these sites, make sure you claim your business listing or add your company to the site.
Asking Your Customer to Leave a Review
When you ask your customer for a review, talk with them about the sites they use. They are much more likely to follow through if they can leave a review on a site they are comfortable using.
Start with Google and Facebook, then work down from there. If the customer hired you through a service like Nextdoor or Thumbtack, suggest those first. If they came through a lead generation service or another marketing channel, it may be best to have them leave a review directly on your website.
Send them an email or text message thanking them again for their business. Remind them about leaving the review and include a link directly to your profile on their chosen review platform. If they don’t leave a review in a week, send them a reminder message.
Need Help Getting More Reviews?
With our review acquisition app Acquirly, we make asking for and getting more reviews easy. Just enter your customer’s email and phone number and the app does the rest. We’re so sure you’ll get more positive reviews that we’re offering a 30-day free trial.
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