Reviews have become a huge part of the online buying process. Whilst they can be subject to misuse and abuse, reviews are also one of the important things we consider when selecting a supplier or making a purchase.
And Google takes notice too – reviews are one of the many elements in the ranking algorithm that determine how high your website will rank in the search results.
For local businesses, your Google My Business listing is one of the key places where clients and prospects can read and leave reviews.
Follow a repeatable process to ask clients for feedback via Google reviews
If you provide a good service, people will generally be very happy to provide feedback online. But many of us find it difficult to ask for feedback or reviews. Because of this, it’s useful to build it in as a repeatable process to go through automatically at the appropriate point (or points) with each client.
Here’s what you need to do in 5 easy steps:
- Get the direct link to your Google My Business listing; instructions for this are here. It should look something like this: https://g.page/hexagon-webworks/review?gm. If you need help on finding your link, get in touch.
- Draft a template email requesting feedback (see our sample below and feel free to use/adapt).
- Decide at which point it makes sense to ask for feedback. Often this will be when you’ve finished a piece of work for a client, or just delivered a product or service. But consider other points too – perhaps when a client renews a recurring service, or recommends a friend to you.
- If you already have a documented process for project delivery/sign-off etc – great! Add ‘Send feedback request email’ to your process, and then it should become a lot easier to get that email sent out at the appropriate point. Make it personal if you can – thank the client for their recent custom/input on the project or follow up on a recent conversation you had.
- If the client takes the time to leave you feedback, thank them! If the client leaves you critical feedback, still thank them! Treat the latter as a learning opportunity – resist the temptation to take it personally (that’s invariably a downward spiral that doesn’t achieve much). Instead, pull out any nougats of opportunity for improvement and discard the rest.
Here is a basic email template you can use:
Subject: We'd love to hear your feedback! Message: Hi Jim, Many thanks for all your input on our recent project. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how well you think we’ve done. Good, bad, ugly — we’d like to hear. Leaving a review is quick and easy to do using the link(s) below. Leave Feedback [your review link] You will need a Google account to leave feedback; if you don’t have one & don’t want to sign up, we’d still love your feedback – please just reply to this email! Many thanks, Joe Bloggs
Some points to remember:
- Never pay for reviews or try to ‘game’ the system. It’s not honest and it will backfire on you eventually.
- Users will need a Google account (either a Gmail address, or an email registered with Google) to leave a review on your Google My Business listing. Give people the option to email you feedback if they don’t have a Google account – it’s still valuable!
- Be prepared to deal with negative reviews. How you respond to these says a lot about who you are as a business. Fraudulent negative reviews can be reported to Google and it should be possible to get these removed. But treat a genuine negative review as a learning experience. Get in touch if you need advice on dealing with a negative review.
Take things one step further with automation
It is possible to automate this process – imagine having a ‘Send Feedback Request’ button in your client database or CRM system, automatically firing off an email to the appropriate person.
Or for some businesses, it might be appropriate to send out an automated series of emails on project completion – covering next steps/support going forwards/feedback request.
Interested in automation? Get in touch to discuss ideas!