7 Ways to Get Your Clients to Write Reviews

As a provider of outsourced bookkeeping services, you are essentially selling trust, the corollary being that you must give your customers a reason to trust you. But, it’s not enough to simply say, “Hey, we do quality work, trust us!” A potential client has no reason to trust your word. What they will trust is the word of your past and existing clients because their experience validates the trust you are selling.

How important are customer reviews to potential clients? Very. According to this infographic, up to 90 percent of potential clients read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

This leads us, inevitably, to the next question: How do you get your clients to write customer reviews?

My company, Legacy Advantage, has been very successful at getting our clients to post reviews on Google, Yelp and ProAdvisor®. As a result, we are now one of the highest reviewed outsourced bookkeeping services in Vancouver.

Here are our top 7 tips for securing online reviews:

1. Ask. Many bookkeepers and accountants are just afraid to ask for reviews. Don't be. Your clients will be happy to give you a review.

2. Make it easy. In your email request, make sure to include the link to the review site so that they don't have figure out where or how to do this for you.

3. Double dip. There are so many review sites out there (Google, Yelp, Facebook, ProAdvisor and more) that you might as well ask your clients to post on two sites. I wouldn't recommend asking for more than two. That makes the task bigger, and it sounds suspiciously spammy.

4. Offer to reciprocate. If you use your client's services, ask if you can give them a review as well. This makes your request for a review a win-win – everyone gets something in the exchange. Be sure to ask them where they’d like you to post the review, as there may be sites specific to their industry.

Here's an example of a message that I send to my clients – feel free to use it!

Hi [insert client name],

We're trying to improve our web rankings and I'm wondering if I could ask you a favor? Would you please write us a review on Google?

[insert Google link]

While you're at it, could you copy and paste your review to the ProAdvisor site? ProAdvisor is like the Google for accountants, and I would really appreciate it. 

[insert ProAdvisor link]

Also, I really like your services. Are there any sites where I could post a review for you? Let me know.

Thanks!

5. Engage clients who’ve already reviewed you. If a client happens to have given you a review without prompting, go ahead and ask them if they could copy and paste their review to another site such as Yelp or ProAdvisor. You can say something like:

Hi [insert client name],

Thanks so much for giving us an awesome review on Facebook. We really appreciate your support. I'm wondering if you could possibly copy and paste this review to our Google page as well?

[insert Google link]

[copy and paste the text of their previous review here in order to make it easy for them]

Are there any sites where I could post a review for you? Let me know.

Thanks!

6. Follow up. Your clients are busy people. They forget. Follow up two or three times on your initial request, leaving a week or two between each follow up. I find people usually post reviews after the second or third follow up. A thank-you note once they’ve posted the review doesn’t hurt either.

7. Be persistent and consistent. I’ve set a recurring reminder for myself every Saturday morning to ask a client for a review and/or follow up on requests sent. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, once a week isn’t overwhelming. Secondly, it’s much easier to follow up than sending a mass email to your entire client base. Lastly, review sites often flag service providers that get a high volume of reviews all at once. I know someone who asked 20 of his clients to review on Yelp in the same week. Yelp ended up removing all 20 reviews and freezing his account.

Have your own tips on how to encourage clients to review your services? I’d love to hear about them; send me an email.