By Drew Johnson

How can you get 90 percent of your clients to leave you online reviews?

If your business involves the restoration industry, then you probably already know how important it is for your business to have a strong online presence and easy ways for your customers to leave a review.

The difficulty lies in convincing your customers to leave a review because most of the time happy customers don’t bother. Recent surveys have found that nearly nine out of 10 consumers will read online reviews to determine the quality of your services. What they read will determine whether they choose you or your competition.

Not only is it difficult to get quality reviews from happy customers, but managing those reviews also takes time and effort. Some business owners don’t bother, trusting word of mouth to get the

job done. Currently, online visibility is everything. When you combine a well-crafted website with high-quality customer reviews, you’ll find that your online presence becomes a huge source for new leads.

Here are some tips for not only getting reviews, but also effectively managing them in a way that will work for your business.

How to get more online reviews

Having quality online reviews is one of the main factors by which Google My Business ranks its service pages. That means that the more (good, unique) reviews you have, the more people who are searching for your services will see your page. It’s a win-win! Of course, to get reviews, you must ask for them. Asking for reviews sounds simple, and it is.

The real trick to asking for reviews is knowing when to ask. In the restoration industry, there is often a very personal element involved as service technicians are going to be physically present in the home or business for the duration of the work.

These workers are your best point of contact with your customers and are often the most successful in requesting and receiving good reviews.

Train your service staff to approach your customers openly and honestly, and have them explain that a simple review can make a big difference to your business.

If necessary, your staff should be prepared to guide them through the review process. This approach only works if your service technicians feel confident about the process themselves, so make sure they have adequate training. Asking for reviews is the most important thing, because most of the time customers won’t review you unless you make the effort.

No matter what technique you incorporate, make asking for reviews an integral part of your process. Finding a routine that works and sticking to it will make the reviews pour in.

Here are three easy ways to get more reviews:

  • Call. This means calling the customer directly as a follow-up call once the job is over. Keep it friendly, but be prepared to answer questions and possibly guide your customer through the review process over the phone. If you miss your customer, call back, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Nobody wants to receive phone calls day in and day out, and a customer who feels harassed is not going to leave a favorable review.
  • Email. The second most effective way to get new reviews is to request them via follow-up email. Once your job is complete, it’s good practice to email your customers and make sure everything was done to their satisfaction. Waiting until after the job is done but taking the time to ensure customer satisfaction before asking, can lead to more positive reviews — not to mention giving you a chance to make your customers happy first. Don’t forget to include links to several review sites. This not only makes it easier for the customer to find you but also lets them choose their preferred social media outlet.
  • Apps. There’s an app for everything, and getting online reviews has never been easier. Review management apps can enable your onsite service technicians to request customer reviews with the swipe of a finger. This is a no-pressure way to ask for reviews, since your employee will only need the customer’s email and phone number. It allows you to email the customer later with your review request, guiding them through the process remotely, as not everyone is comfortable giving a review in front of the person who just provided a service. This method not only combines the first two to great effect but also alerts you to customer responses as well as tracking your employees’ performance.

Managing reviews

The best way to generate new leads from your online reviews is to respond to everything. It seems like a lot of work, but again, apps can make everything easier. Apps like 33 Reviews not only make it easy for your customers to leave reviews, but also can help you manage those reviews once you get them.

By now, it’s common knowledge that taking the high road when it comes to negative reviews can show potential new customers that you care about keeping your customers happy and providing quality service but that’s not all there is to it.

It’s surprising how many businesses overlook this one simple thing: You must respond to positive reviews, too! If your customers have taken the time to post a positive review or referral for your company, you can take the time to thank them for it. After all, it’s not only about how many reviews you can get, but also how gracefully you can handle the highs and lows that reviews can sometimes generate.

Play your cards right, and you will build a solid customer base that strengthens the good reputation of your business.

Drew Johnson is the co-founder and VP of Marketing of 33 Mile Radius, a lead generation company focused on home services. He has helped local businesses get found online since 2007. For more information, visit