If you’re in business and have never given online reviews much consideration, it’s definitely time to do so.

Generating positive client reviews on platforms such as Google and Facebook can have a major impact on your new client acquisition, with 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as if they were a personal recommendation!

With this astonishing statistic in mind, it’s definitely worth the investment of your time to ensure your businesses is generating regular and positive online reviews.  And doing it is not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. As long as you have happy customers with access to the internet, it can be as simple as a quick click and comment.

Now you might think that a happy client will always be inclined to leave your business a review without being prompted.  Unfortunately, this isn’t generally the case.  As a matter of fact, most clients don’t even think about leaving a review unless it’s to complain about something, and that’s definitely not the kind of review you want. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you regularly ask satisfied clients to post a review.

So, how do you get your clients to leave that review?  It’s pretty straightforward! All you have to do to entice happy clients to leave a positive review is to remove any awkward or time-consuming barriers they might encounter, and you can do this by providing the direct links required to the review site.   Once there, the rest flows naturally.

Facebook

One thing to consider before you get underway is that you need to have ‘Recommendations’ (the new and improved (?) version of Facebook Reviews) turned on in your Facebook business page.  If you’re not sure how to do this, here’s a handy tutorial provided by Facebook:  Facebook link

Google

You will also need to verify your business with Google so that your clients can leave a review for your business there. Follow the link to find out how to do that: Google link

Now that you’ve done these things, you’re all ready to collect loads of client-attracting online reviews that will help you grow your business. 

Let’s move on to how to ask your clients for a glowing review or recommendation.

Ask your happy clients to leave you a review/recommendation after their service.

There is never a better time to ask your clients to leave a review than just after she has had an exceptional treatment at your salon/spa.  You don’t even have to actually ask her yourself, but instead use a follow-up text message, including a link to your preferred review site.

A nice message along with a polite request that she leave a review if she was happy with her service should get things happening for you. Once you’ve gathered up reviews and recommendations from your existing clients, you can automate this request by adding the appropriate links in your New Client Welcome email.

Include permanent links to review sites in your email footer when you send out your salon newsletter.

This is a great way to keep the idea of leaving a review in front of your clients.  It just sits there on the bottom of all your emails, wagging its tail like a friendly Labrador waiting to get a good head rub.

Reward clients to tempt them to leave a review or recommendation.

You’ve probably heard about the ‘What’s In It For Me’ mindset.  Basically, before any of us do anything for anyone, we ask ourselves ‘What’s in it for me to do this’.  With that being the case (and it is) when your clients ask themselves this question, the answer should be, ‘I’ll get a reward’.

It’s easy to monitor and reward clients as you are generally notified if someone has left a review or recommendation.  You can then invite that client to come into your salon and pick up a small salon voucher as their reward.

What happens after you actually get a review or recommendation?

Considering that someone has taken time out of their busy day to leave a nice comment about your business, it’s only polite to respond with a ‘thank you’ and a short message.  This shows other review readers that you value your reviews and are listening to what people have to say about your business.  Reviews without a response look very sad and lonely indeed.

What happens if you get a negative review?

Don’t be fearful of a negative review here and there.  I doubt there is a single business that has never received a not-so-fantastic review from an irate customer at some point.  The way to deal with this kind of review is to treat it in the same way as you would a positive review.  Thank the reviewer and address the issue that has been mentioned.  Show you are more than willing to fix any problem mentioned and then do so.

Whatever you do, don’t start an argument online or try to make excuses.  This does not look good and other readers will see you as not being customer service oriented. Simply show you are happy and willing to make things right for the client with the complaint.

Research shows that 95% of customers who have a complaint that is dealt with well will go on to become loyal fans of your business and will even refer other customers to you.

There you have it.  Getting reviews is much simpler than you probably thought it was going to be.  The secret to success is to make it easy for clients by providing them with the direct links to the places where you want your reviews to show up and many will happily leave you a glowing review that will help you gain many more new clients for your salon or spa.

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