How to ask for positive online reviews

January 21, 2014 -  By

In the January 2014 issue of Landscape Management, landscape contractor Jim Lewis wrote about how companies can manage their online reputations. Here, he specifically addresses asking customers for positive reviews.

What’s the best way to get a positive review from a client? Ask for it after the job is finished, right after a customer has given you a big compliment.

This is your prime opportunity to leverage their enthusiasm. My reply would be, “Well, thank you. You’ve been great to work with, as well. It’s been a pleasure. If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would you mind putting those words in writing so we can use the review for other prospective clients? I can send you a link later to a website where we could use a few more reviews.”

Of course, the client is going to say yes. Next, I reiterate the importance of this action by saying, “Great. I really appreciate that. We survive off of the online reviews we get from clients like you. That’s our main source of new leads.”

Then I follow up later and direct them right to the site, like Yelp Citysearch or others, where I’d like a positive review the most.

When clients email you with praise, that’s another prime opportunity to follow up with a link to the review site of your choice.

I’ve also had good success with mass emails asking for reviews. My company will set up a list with email addresses only of customers I’m certain are really happy with our work, and I’ll send an email explaining I’m looking for online reviews and offer an incentive, such as a drawing for an iPad or tickets to a popular sporting event. For every online review a customer places, he or she is entered into the drawing. Sometimes people need a little motivation to really take time out of their day to leave a review for you. This effort costs us a few hundred dollars, which is money well spent. We’ll get more than 20 online reviews.

 

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About the Author:

Lewis is president of Lewis Landscape Services, a $3 million design/build, maintenance and irrigation firm in Beaverton, Ore.

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