How to Encourage Clients to Leave Feedback and Strengthen Your Online Reputation

Showcasing the opinions of past or current clients is a great marketing tool to bring in even more prospective business. When people see what type of experience others had at your business, it either encourages or discourages them to also patron your practice.

Managing your online reputation gives small businesses the opportunity to receive more publicity and gain new clients.

Online reviews are useful because they help prospects search for local businesses that are trustworthy and can deliver the best products along with great customer service.

A whopping 90% of online users make the decision to purchase from a business based on the opinions and experiences of others.

As a small business owner, you should be making an effort to motivate your clients to leave reviews on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook.

If you would like to increase your online visibility, here is how you can encourage feedback from your clients and influence potential customers to use your products and services.

5 Ways to Encourage Clients to Leave Feedback

Ask Them

We know, we know. This seems like the most OBVIOUS way to encourage reviews but it’s true. Many customers have no problem leaving a review when asked to do it.

Whether it’s just giving your business five stars or leaving a very detailed telling of their experience, you and your staff should be reaching out to them to gently prompt their feedback.

Email Your Clients

Whether it’s a new client or one that has frequented your business for years, you should be emailing them to ask about their experience with your practice and staff.

If you have a customer’s email address, set up an automated message that is sent out to them after they’ve visited your office or have made a purchase.

When it’s a new client, the email should say something along the lines of “Thank you so much for choosing [name of your business]. We would love to hear about your experience with us. Please do not hesitate to rate us and leave a review!”

This marketing tactic let’s first-time clients know that you care about their satisfaction with your service and product. It can also help to increase customer retention because they see that you value their opinions on what they liked and things that they were not satisfied with.

Shooting a client a quick email to ask for feedback or one that includes a simple survey doesn’t have to be a heavy workload either. There are services that you can use that will do the work for you and reach out to all your clients!

Social Media

If you use social media as a way to interact with your clients (if not, you should be) then it’s important that you also utilize it to ask for feedback.

You can directly engage with clients to see what they like or dislike about your practice and ask for suggestions on some things they think you may need to improve on.

You can even have some fun with this and use the poll feature on either Twitter or Instagram to ask your followers to vote on their favorite products or what they like best about your business.

Interacting with clients through social channels is also a great way to attract the attention of prospective customers. When a client’s friends, family, and followers see how great it was doing business with you, they’ll be interested in doing the same!

Publicize Your Reviews

Displaying your reviews on one of the pages on your website lets people know how open and trustworthy you are. It shows that you have nothing to hide and respect the opinions of your customers.

When you’re a local business owner, a negative review can really impact your online and in-person reputation. But, it’s important that you also let prospects see those as well.
This is your opportunity to show how great your customer service skills are. If someone leaves a negative review, reach out to them as soon as possible.  
Offline, ask what they were dissatisfied with and how they think you can improve in order for them to come for a second visit or make another purchase. Once you’ve touched base, respond to the review left so that prospective clients see that you have addressed the client’s concerns.

The initial review may not be as good, but responding to them shows that you genuinely care about your customer’s experience and that will encourage others to come to your business.

Offer Incentives

Offering your clients incentives here and there is one of the best ways to encourage them to leave a review.

I mean, who doesn’t love free or discounted stuff? You can motivate your clients to leave reviews by doing things such as offering a percentage off their next visit or purchase.
But it’s important that you’re careful with incentivizing them and don’t actually PAY for the reviews. Most sites will flag or penalize you for this tactic because it’s dishonest.

You want your reviews to be authentic and come from real people with real experiences and offering incentives is a great way to generate more customer feedback.

Let’s Review

So, we’ve gone over five ways that you can encourage online reviews and ratings, which are:

  1. Ask them
  2. Email your clients
  3. Use social media
  4. Publicize your reviews
  5. Offer incentives

Now, it’s your time to use these tips to receive more reviews and build up your online reputation. Potential clients want to see and hear the perspective of those who have used you before so they know what to expect.

Remember, people are very trusting of the online reviews they read, so just provide the best possible service for them so that the reviews will motivate them to come to you as well.

Need more help with managing client relationships, check out these other available resources

Email Marketing Best Practices
How to Improve Client Retention
6 Do’s and Don’ts for Video Testimonials
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