Getting Reviews Best Practices
Getting reviews, even if you ask, is difficult.
Remember the best way is slow and steady. Review sites do not want a bunch of reviews flowing in over a very short time. If you get 3 reviews a year at Google, in 5 years you will have 15 reviews. Significantly more than your competitors but not enough to raise flags at Google. This is just an example and it really depends on you industry, how many customers you serve and how many email address;s you acquire. If your industry has a very low “natural review rate” and you don’t want to go blazing past that,
Here are some thoughts about how to understand the review landscape and improve your review rate for your business. If you have any questions or concerns about this you should speak with your success manager. Reviews really do vary from industry to industry.
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1- 100 emails sent that on average 9.5% of customers leave feedback and about 1% leave reviews. Our case studies for this scenario have been in the garage door industry so it really does vary from company to company. Some companies may have better results!
There are a lot of reasons for this but the main one is that roughly 80% of users have never left a review or do so very rarely and have no interest in leaving a review.
And for those customers that do want to leave a review some companies make it very hard to leave a review. For example Google requires that the user have a G+ account, Yelp will not show a review from someone that hasn’t already left 10 reviews.
Of those consumers that do leave reviews, they have a lot of different preferences where they will leave a review.
2- It is a numbers game. the more customers in your database and the more times you ask them, the more likely you are to get an actual review.
3- You have what appears to be three locations. One with 300, one with ~roughly 1200 and one with ~900 current emails. All other things being equal you will get about 8-9 reviews each for the larger locations and 3 for the smaller location until you add more emails or do some of the things suggested below.
4- Things are never equal and averages can be deceiving.
5- We find that asking for a review at Yelp is difficult because Yelp will allow so few reviews through. I can explain to you a more custom way to get reviews at Yelp but there is little benefit to asking for Yelp reviews via our system. Yelp only shows reviews from those reviewers that have left at least 10 reviews on Yelp in the past. By my calculations that is less than 1/4 of 1% of your customers and maybe less.
6- Pople like choice but not too much choice. You are best off limiting it to 2 or 3 choices. Google, Facebook and one other that is important to you. You can always ask for reviews at different sites down the road if you get enough at those 3
7- We find a huge correlation between NPS and review rate. We see two or three times the number of reviews left when a company is in the high 80s or low 90s. People are more willing to speak out. NPS score is the best predictor of review success.
8- We also see that business clients are more likely to do reviews than consumers. We think that is because businesses understand the need for testimonials better than consumers and if they like you are more willing to take a minute or two on your behalf.
9- Stopping negative reviews. Until your processes and procedures and client interactions allow you to score higher on the NPS score, Pivot’s systems most valuable function is short stopping unhappy customers that might leave you a scathing review online. Fixing those problems you discover quickly is the best insurance against getting a bad review. Once you have fixed it you can manually re-ask them for feedback and a review.
10- Resending emails after 30-60 days. Pivot Five Stars only sends two emails automatically. We do allow for a manual resend to your clients. We find that even on the third email the response rate is about the same. Thus it makes sense to wait about 30-60 days and then resend an email to anyone that didn’t reply to an earlier email. Email open rates stay about the same on the first, second and third emails. We will be adding this feature but for now I recommend you “re-ask” manually. We are glad to help in anyway we can with this.
11- Email open rates run in the 35-50% range. That means that a large percentage of your customers never even open you email asking for feedback. We also recommend that you give out your shortened URL in your other correspondence, at the front counter or one printed materials etc…
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Remember the best way is slow and steady.
None of the review sites want a bunch of reviews flowing in over a very short time. This is a 3 or 5 year play. If you get 3 reviews a year at Google, in 5 years you will have 15 reviews. Significantly more than your competitors but not enough to raise flags at Google. Especially if your industry has a very low “natural review rate”.