According to Review Trackers, four out of five people read online reviews before booking a service.
In the same study, they found that 79% do so to determine if the service is any good, while an impressive 53% read reviews to make sure they don’t get ripped off.
Having positive reviews on your website is essential to your online success. Yet, how do you ask for a review? Is there a secret technique that you need to master?
Our ultimate guide will show you how to ask for a review and even explain why it matters for your business bookings!
Benefits of Proactively Collecting Customer Reviews
An online review is a fantastic way to create some buzz for your service. They can help fence-sitters and doubters book your services.
This is because online reviews provide social proof that lets visitors know you’re the real deal.
At Book Like A Boss (or BLAB), we’ve seen that reviews can dramatically boost online bookings when you use them on your booking page.
Here are some of our favorite reasons you need to ask for reviews.
Boosts Your Reputation
When you have plenty of 5-star reviews from happy customers, it shows the world how fantastic your business is.
High ratings will boost your reputation and inspire potential shoppers to commit. When they buy your services, your sales will get a nice boost, and you’ll end up making more money.
Gets You Higher Ratings
If you ask for reviews from your most loyal customers, chances are they will be happy to leave you one and score you highly. By proactively asking for reviews, you can build up a profile of 5-star ratings that demonstrate how great your service is.
In sharp contrast, 1-star ratings often come from unprompted reviews when some element of customer service has fallen short. If you leave things unresolved, it can lead to a customer leaving a poor rating online.
Unfortunately, these poor-quality reviews can drag down your overall rating. So, it’s best to be as proactive as possible when collecting reviews for your business.
Strengthens Customer Relationships
It’s not just fence-sitters that’ll be inspired to book your services when they see your excellent online reviews.
A business activates its brand ambassadors when it reaches out to satisfied customers, asking them for reviews. Your happy, satisfied customers will become your best vocal promoters.
A clever boss will use these word-of-mouth catalysts to spread the good word about your company.
Few advertising mediums are as powerful as word of mouth, and asking for an online review will give you free advertising!
Improves Your SEO
Since Google and other search engines use reviews as a signal to rank search results on the search engine results pages (SERPs), it’s essential to get as many reviews as possible.
When you have several positive reviews on your Google My Business (GMB) profile, this tells the search engine that people see your business as trustworthy. In turn, it bumps your profile up on the SERPs to become more visible, potentially increasing the traffic to your website.
From there, all you have to do is convert those visitors into paying customers when they land on your excellent booking page.
Reviews are Evergreen
Unlike Tweets and Facebook posts, reviews have a long shelf life.
Epipheo reports that the average tweet has a lifespan of 18 minutes. A Facebook post has a lifespan of only 5 hours, as 75% of its engagements occur during this time.
In sharp contrast, a review on Google Business, Yelp, or Tripadvisor can last for as long as 3 months or more.
So, what a customer said about your business on Yelp two weeks ago carries far more weight than what a customer said two days ago on Twitter.
Since these reviews have such an excellent lifespan, it’s also easier to include them in your marketing efforts.
How to Ask for a Review (With Examples!)
Now that you’ve seen why it’s essential to ask for reviews and how they can help boost your business, it’s time to learn how to approach your customers online.
Asking for Reviews via Email
Asking for reviews via email is a solid business tactic. Not only is email an excellent communication channel, but Backlinko reports 91% of consumers open their emails daily.
OptinMonster found that 58% of people check their email before doing anything else online.
When you include the link to the review platform in your email, you can make it even easier for a customer to leave a sparkling review.
Here are our top three ways of asking for a review via email.
Write an Email Blast
The first email tactic is known as an Email Blast. Simply put, you’ll email all the customers on your customer list. If you feel that it’s too broad, you can segment your contact list or send emails as you see fit.
Your goal with this email is to keep it short and sweet. Typically, a 1 to 10 rating scale along with a bit of copy is enough!
Here’s an example that you may use to ask for reviews via email:
Hi there [first name]!
Thank you so much for being a loyal customer and booking our services over the years. We hope that we always carry out our service to your satisfaction and welcome any feedback you have to offer.
Would you consider posting an online review for our business? Your review helps us to reach other people who need our services. It also supports potential buyers in making confident purchasing decisions.
The process won’t take more than a minute to complete. You can submit your feedback by clicking on *this link* and following the prompts.
Thank you for your time and continued support.
Write a Personal Email
When you tailor emails to speak directly to individuals, the likelihood of them opening your messages and submitting a response increases. According to Hubspot’s State of Marketing report, 78% of marketers have improved email engagement after personalizing their messaging.
Of particular importance to get right is your email subject line. Readers are 26% more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines.
To help boost the probability of getting eyes on your review request, here’s a template you can use.
Subject line: John, thanks for being our biggest supporter.
I’m pleased to see that you recently booked our service. I hope we lived up to your expectations - let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help?
If you were happy with our service, I would appreciate it if you would leave us an online review. Your review will help us to reach more great people, just like you, who need our service. It’ll also help our company grow, and provide us with valuable feedback about our offering.
It won’t take a minute to leave your feedback. Just click on *this link and follow the simple prompts.
Feel free to contact me personally if I can help in any way.
You should send this personal email to customers you’d like to build long-lasting relationships with. You could also send it to a loyal customer that’s done a great deal of business with you.
Write an Organization-wide Email
Don’t be afraid to include your employees in your review-gaining efforts! Let your staff know how essential customer reviews are. Let them know reviews contribute to the company’s growth.
Now, ask your staff to ask their customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders for reviews. Here’s a simple, to-the-point email that you can send to your team.
We’ve recently realized that online reviews are a significant driving factor in our business. The more reviews we get, the better our company will perform.
So, we want everyone to ask their customers, suppliers, and stakeholders to leave online reviews. This ongoing effort will ensure that we can continue growing and being successful.
Let’s try our best!
We appreciate any help you can provide.
The more reviews you can earn, the better your overall rating. It’ll also be easier to provide essential social proof to turn visitors into paying customers.
Asking for Reviews via SMS
If you’re using an incredible booking platform like BLAB, you’ll have some juicy contact numbers in an accessible database! Yes, it’s one of those fancy BLAB features we love!
You can use these contact numbers to ask for reviews via SMS.
Mobile Squared reports that 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes. People also open 98% of text messages compared to opening 40% to 50% of emails.
So, when you send a customer a review request via SMS, there’s a better chance that they’ll click that link and leave a review in a matter of minutes.
Unfortunately, it's tricky to write the perfect review request with limited characters available. Here are two SMS templates that you can use.
Hey [First Name]! Thank you for visiting [Business Name]! Help us best serve you and others by clicking on this link [review link] to answer 1 question about your experience. Thanks!
Hello [First Name], your opinion matters! Could you take a minute to leave feedback on your interaction with [Business Name]? This link will take you to a quick survey. We appreciate your help!
Asking for Reviews via a Landing Page
WordStream reports that most businesses benefit from having dedicated testimonials or review pages on their websites. These pages should be readily accessible from the main navigation. They tell prospective customers about your business and why it’s so awesome.
To help those fence-sitters turn into paying customers, have a dedicated landing page that shows off all of your fantastic reviews, compliments, and testimonials.
When designing a dedicated landing page for your reviews, it would be best to follow these guidelines:
- Always use quality photos and videos on your testimonial pages.
- Ensure that your customers look good!
- Let visitors sort or filter the testimonials according to product, category, or industry.
- Try out different formats. Facebook posts, reviews, and even Tweets can be great social proof that your business knows what it’s doing.
- Make it easy for customers to submit reviews online.
How Not to Ask for a Review
While we encourage you to be passionate and unafraid of asking for reviews, there’s a right way and a wrong way of doing it.
Here are some things that you should avoid.
Don’t Use Gifts or Discounts
Never, under any circumstances, offer a discount or a gift for a review.
First, this is against the terms and conditions of most review platforms, like Google and Yelp. If caught, these companies will severely penalize you.
Second, it often leads to a high volume of 5-star reviews, with no accompanying explanation.
Remember, a review needs to have some text to help customers decide whether your service is any good. A blank, 5-star rating means less than a 1-star rating with an explanation and can eventually hurt your reputation.
Don’t Buy Reviews
Another tactic to avoid is buying reviews. Don’t offer anything in exchange for a review.
Not only is this against the terms and conditions of review platforms, but you may also end up with unexplained 5-star ratings that mean nothing to potential customers.
You’ll only end up wasting your money.
Don’t Be Apologetic
Far too many companies view asking for reviews as begging.
People will leave a review. Since they love being heard and having a voice that matters, they won’t mind.
When a company approaches a customer with confidence, the customer will have more faith and trust in the business. So, when asking for a review, be confident and proud of the excellent service you’re providing!
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Many companies ask for reviews. They get the reviews and then never respond or acknowledge them. There’s a lot of value to be found in following up!
First, you acknowledge and express thanks to the customer for taking the time to leave the review. By doing this, you’ll encourage others to leave reviews as well. So, you end up getting more reviews faster.
Second, responding to reviews will help build your customer relationships and improve customer service. It also shows everyone how attentive your business is to the needs of its customers.
Use Your Reviews to Increase Web Conversions
Now we’re boiling down to the crux of it.
What’s the point in having thousands of excellent reviews and getting more without using them correctly? How do you use your reviews to increase your website conversions?
At BLAB, we’ve learned a secret trick that can improve your conversions, making it easier to secure bookings and land-paying customers!
Here’s what we suggest you do with your booking page and those excellent reviews.
Show Off Reviews in Style
BLAB allows you to use various media, from picture-perfect images to YouTube videos and more. When designing your booking page, include as many high-quality images and videos as possible.
Include testimonials and images to show visitors how your services have improved your customers’ lives.
Keep Your Reviews Updated and Relevant
Don’t be afraid to update your reviews frequently. When your reviews are relevant and updated, they carry more weight for potential customers.
Use Numbers and Facts
Our last piece of essential advice is to include facts and figures. The more, the better.
Don’t just tell people how fantastic your services are. Use your booking page to show them how your service has improved customers’ lives. For example, a personal trainer could say:
I’ve helped 331 happy customers become healthy and fit in just 7 weeks!
Or a language teacher could say:
Timothy mastered Russian in 3 weeks!
Your booking page is so much more than just a booking page. It’s your ever-online brand ambassador. Use it to teach visitors about your business, show off relevant testimonials and convert those visitors into paying customers.
We’ve shown you some truly clever ways to ask for reviews. We even told you why they matter for your business bookings.
Your best strategy is to use several of these tactics at once. By doing that, you’ll find out which one works the best for your specific business.
- Reviews are never selfish.
- Always be genuine and polite. Never force reviews from customers.
- Make leaving reviews easy!
- Respond to all of your reviews: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A steady stream of excellent reviews will make it easier for customers to book your service. Ultimately, you’ll improve your reputation and make money like a boss!
Grab this free trial of Book Like A Boss, and use your booking page to show potential customers they can trust your service.