Ways To Generate Positive Client Reviews & Social Proof In Your Services (Even If Reviews Are A No-No In Your Industry)
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: don’t underestimate the power of reviews especially in today’s climate. In 2020 it has become abundantly clear that we live in a “cancel culture” that thrives off the power of negative word of mouth. What clients have to say about your products and services matter more than ever. Unlike the past, reviews are not just for cell phones or washing machines any longer. Today, we have a ton of options from Google My Business to Glassdoor to Amazon and lots in between to choose from.
Why so many options? Because people want to know which products or services are worth their time and investment. Reviews give consumers a dose of trust and understanding for the value of a product, regardless of whether you’re talking about a vacuum or a counseling session. In truth, for the industries is that a well-written review is often just what a new client needs to encourage them to say yes. Unfortunately, a bad review can do just the opposite.
In this modern age, it is important to pay attention to reviews even if you’re not actually seeking or requesting reviews from clients.
Why is this so important? Admittedly, it may seem odd to trust a stranger’s experience with a business through a review. But the truth is, often that’s all a client has to go on. A sound review system is critical to help even the playing field so clients find the right service to fit what they need. Now before you sign off of this article because you’re worried you’re not able to get reviews, perhaps you’re not thinking about the big picture.
Therapists, coaches, healers, ministers, course providers, teachers, business coaches, and other service providers can get reviews across their line of products. So while some industries prevent the seeking of reviews for ethical reasons, such as therapy sessions, you can ask for reviews for your workshops, courses, products, training, events, and more. To create a competitive edge between you and your peers, it’s important that you have reviews for whatever products you can. (More on the ethics of reviews for counselors and therapists here.)
The mindset shift for many is to simply open your eyes to the broad landscape of opportunities in front of you. When you think of it that way, helping professions from doctors to psychologists to coaching can all greatly benefit from reviews. Perhaps even more important is that you can get into this ahead of your peers. Just as we’re seeing a huge surge in “teletherapy” which was never the case before COVID-19, we’re also seeing service provides coming out in droves looking for a competitive advantage over their peers.
Client reviews are one critical way to move your business ahead.
So why does it matter? Think about Amazon for a moment. Every product listed has “verified reviews” available. This means people just like me and you purchased that item and then felt compelled to tell the world what they thought. When we look into a product, the reviews are often the best place to learn how the product worked in real life. Was it sized the way it’s listed? Did the hotel room really have that “great view”? Did the product really reduce wrinkles? Or teach someone how to play the ukelele?
There’s very little that’s new about this model, it’s merely opening up across more industries than ever before. And, it works. Clients are more inclined to trust a stranger’s review as opposed to what the business has to say about itself. Unlike businesses, clients have no ulterior motives in sharing their experiences. They are not trying to sell you on anything. They just want to share what happened.
This is why it is imperative that you try to get as many positive reviews. Good reviews convince people that your products and services are worthwhile, so they’ll be willing to purchase them. Think about it, the best-selling products and services tend to have many good reviews. This makes clients associate reviews with the effectiveness of the product or service.
Every business owner knows the way to generate consistent sales is by cultivating a loyal client base. Good reviews are stepping stones to gain potential clients. With more clients come more revenue and more exposure for your brand. So do not forget the importance of encouraging clients to post good reviews.
They also know they have to ask for reviews. Generating more client reviews is an action step on your part. To get more of them, you have to take the lead in asking for them. Why? Well, sometimes, people don’t leave reviews because it’s unclear that it’s an option. Other times, the link to leave the review never crossed their path. Adding to your followup marketing a simple sentence or two that asks for a review is an easy way to start this process that adds up over time.
Ideally, you want the review process to feel like a natural ending to your work together. With a little planning, you can take out the awkward “request at the end” and make it a cohesive experience so leaving you a positive review is a “given” for your clients.
And as they say, great endings come from great beginnings.
Here are 6 ways you can easily get great reviews from your raving fans and happy clients:
Make it an unforgettable experience.
Most people don’t write reviews unless the experience was incredible or disastrous. The extremeness on both sides of the spectrum, make a client want to share their experience. If you want people to leave you good reviews do more than the bare minimum. Make the experience memorable for your client by having great customer service and packaging. An average experience is not hated or loved, so there’s not enough strong feeling tied to it to make a client want to comment or review on the experience.
You lead people into a great experience with you by giving great value throughout the experience with your product. In other words, you want to really deliver on the product purchased. If you sense (or you have been told) that your course, workshop, ebook, etc are lacking in some way, this is an area to correct so you create the experience that delights customers. Rarely does a poor product simply get better without work. Decide for yourself if it’s faster to fix an old product or create something new, but either way, focus your energy on satisfying your customers. That’s the first step in creating an unforgettable experience that leads to great reviews from clients.
Explain to your clients why you want reviews.
As previously stated clients, don’t always inherently see the value in leaving reviews. It takes time from their day and without a reason, they get nothing out of it. To bridge that gap, you should tell them how a review will greatly benefit your business. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to help you out, especially if they support what you do. Giving them an explanation of why you want a review, is more likely to get them to write one.
Offer clients a discount code for reviews.
Nothing encourages clients to leave a good review more than savings. Letting them know that they stand to save, will be a great incentive to leave their feedback. What’s easier than saying what you think about some you love and getting a deal? This can be in the form of a discount on their next purchase, a free gift as a “thank you”, and sometimes with you one-on-one.
Include a request for a review with your services or products.
Make it easy on folks by asking them as part of your campaign. Most digital products have a sequence of emails that are sent automatically as the product is delivered. Include in this sequence (perhaps a day or so after delivery) a stand-alone email asking them for feedback and for a review. Include the correct link to get to your Google My Business, Amazon, Yelp, Facebook, or other review sites so they don’t have to do any work other than click and write.
By making it easy for the client, you up the chances they will share something important with new prospects.
Give your clients some of the love too…
If you have a large following, use it to your advantage. Inform your clients that if they leave good reviews they can be featured in a social media post. Every client won’t see the value in this, but clients looking to build their network and following will appreciate it. This is especially helpful for people who are peers looking to leverage their association with you by sharing your connection. It also works for people who want to share proof of their training or other “skill-building” they are doing to improve their own business.
Looking for ways to support your clients in their work is a generosity people love. It’s also very uncommon in today’s stressed out world for people to take a moment and say, “thanks, now how can I support you?” You would be incredibly surprised how far that kind of generosity goes.
So do client reviews help? Absolutely?
Can client reviews help traditional therapy, coaching, or service-oriented businesses? Even those with ethical restrictions? ABSOLUTELY.
But, to benefit from them, you have to think outside of the box so you can leverage the right parts of your business to get the reviews you’re seeking.
Just remember, that when you encourage clients to leave reviews, you can’t make them say anything. If they had a negative experience with you, it’s in their full right to express that through the review. Although all the reviews won’t be positive, it’s important to take the negatives as constructive criticism to help improve your business. Negative reviews can be eye-opening to improve the quality of your products and align your work more closely with what clients really need.
Need help with reviews, developing products, or understanding the big picture of how your business needs to grow during COVID and beyond? We can help. Reach out to our team for a private consultation about these topics and more.