I found a great article from MarketingLand.com about how to make sure you get more testimonials and quality reviews of your home improvement services.
Well, the article applies to any small business, but works well for you home pros, as well. In fact, having great online reviews is probably more important for your company. Homeowners need to see that others have trusted you before they pick up that phone to call. They eat some bad sushi and they won’t be going back to that restaurant… but if they get a bad contractor and it could cost them thousands.
So, here’s the main part of the article. Head on over to their site to read the rest:
Tips For Asking For Customer Reviews
You’ll need to develop the process you’ll use to ask for reviews, and it will surely evolve over time. Here are some tips:
• Make it simple. Make sure it is easy, simple and fast for customers to provide a review. Ideally, go through the steps of submitting a review yourself, or even better, do it with a key customer and document the process thoroughly (ideally with screen shots) so you understand the process. Then, you’ll be prepared for questions from customers as they are entering a review. You might even give clients detailed instructions on how to use each review site (however, the processes often change).
• Find the best review sites for you and your industry. Search on your company and product names with and without adding “reviews” to the search to find most of the public reviews you already have. If you have some bad reviews appearing in the search results, decide if you should respond publicly. Search on some of your important non-brand keywords and scan the results for reviews. Search on the company and product names of your industry leaders and some of the ones at the top of the search results, and you may uncover more review sites where your own company name hasn’t appeared — yet.
• Focus on one or two review websites at a time. It’ll make the effort simpler and much less time consuming for you and your people. You can rotate which ones you focus on over time.
• About Google Reviews: If you have a local focus, you’ll certainly want some good reviews on Google Maps (Google+ Local). Google requires a Google Account in order to post a review. Not everyone will have a Google Account, and those who don’t may not want to spend the time to set one up just to submit a review. So, have an alternative review site for them that is easier to post reviews on. Also look for happy customers who have a Google email account (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) since you’ll know they have a Google Account.
• Get them started right away if you can. We have one client, a dental practice, which has a PC in their waiting room. They walk happy clients right up to it and get them started on a review.
• Business cards with review sites. Some businesses hand out a business card with the URL or simple instructions for an important review site listed on it.
• Hand out directions. Some businesses hand out a sheet with simple directions to get them started at a review site or two.
• Add a request to an email. Add a message to an email you send out to clients about some other topic. For example, there’s a cooking class in Tuscany that we took while there. After you attend the class they send out a message with some free recipes. At the end of the message they add, “Last pleasure to ask… can you write a review on TripAdvisor about our Tuscan cooking class?” Because of all the good reviews they have, they were ranked as one of the top things to do in their city on TripAdvisor.
• Create a webpage. Create a page on your website with links to your profiles on Google, Yelp, etc. If you decide to make this page public, add a note asking people to write a review.
• Get reviews over time. It’s best to get reviews in a natural progression over time, so don’t ask all you clients to do this at the same time.