In this digital age, reviews are critical.
People are more likely to listen to what others have to say about your business than anything else.
But you already knew that.
The real problem is getting more reviews.
The number one thing you can do to generate more reviews is simple: you have to ask!
We’ve regularly seen double the amount of reviews per week after cleaning companies implemented a simple system of reminding clients and asking for reviews.
That means a lot more of these:
We’re about to go over everything you need to know to make this work, including:
-How to make it as easy as possible for clients to leave reviews by creating a custom link that goes straight to your Google My Business listing.
-How to actually ask for the review and what to say.
-When to ask for the review.
But first, let’s clear one thing up.
Am I Allowed To Ask For Reviews?
You’re allowed to ask for reviews but according to Google guidelines, you’re not allowed to ask specifically for good reviews or offer an incentive for clients to leave reviews. However, reminding customers is 100% within the guidelines.
This post is focused on increasing your Google reviews but these strategies will work for other platforms too. I do want to point out though that when it comes to Yelp you’re not allowed to ask anyone for reviews. Ever!
Use A Custom Link To Make It Easy For Customers To Leave Reviews
Creating a custom URL can make it much easier for customers to review your business.
You can click this example to see how it works:
Pretty cool, right?
Here’s how you can make your own.
Here’s the URL that you’ll need to add your place ID onto:
And here’s the link to Bitly: https://bitly.com/
How To Ask For The Review
Most of the time, your best option is going to be email.
Your clients aren’t always home when the work is being done and if they are home they probably don’t want to be asked to review your business. However, if it comes up in conversation you shouldn’t hesitate to bring it up (more on this later).
Instead, you can send them an email using a template (see below) or set up automatic emails using MailChimp (which is free up to 2,000 subscribers).
If using email software makes you nervous, then don’t worry about it for now and come back to it later. Manual will work and the most important thing is that you do it!
Writing The Email
You want the email to be as customized as possible. People generally respond to people, not machines so the more you can make the email look natural the better.
Don’t overthink the writing but if you want a basic template you can use the one below:
Dear [customer/client’s name],
Thank you for choosing [your company name]! We really appreciate your business and we hope that you’re happy with the way your [home, business, etc] looks!
We would love if you could take the time to leave a review on Google. Your feedback will allow us to continue to improve and bring us closer to our goal of being the best residential cleaning service in [city].
To submit your review, simply click the link below and let us know what you think:
If we failed to deliver amazing service, we would love to know more and have the opportunity to fix it. Feel free to reply to this email with feedback on anything we could have done better and we will do whatever we can to make sure you’re completely satisfied with our service.
Thank you so much,
Why This Works
This email is simple and to the point. It also gives customers an easy way to give you negative feedback without breaking any of Google’s guidelines on review gating or selectively promoting positive reviews.
Feel free to adjust it so it matches your natural communication style.
Incentivizing Your Team To Ask For Reviews
While you can’t offer an incentive to the customer for leaving you a review you can offer incentives to your team. We’ve seen a lot of our cleaning partners successfully implement this strategy.
Here’s how it works
You offer a cash bonus anytime one of your employees gets a 5-star review with their name mentioned in it. You encourage your cleaning team to work this into the conversation with happy clients but be careful not to bother people with it.
This strategy works best if you’re consistently sending the same team to your clients or if it’s during a long deep cleaning. You want to make sure that whoever is doing the asking has actually had time to build a relationship with the client.
This is within Google guidelines and you can find confirmation of that here.
Why This Works
Your team works hard and your customers see that. When your team makes it clear that a positive review not only rewards the business but also the individual doing the work clients will want to write you a review.
This technique gives the client a free and easy way to tip out your team and can be one of the most powerful review strategies if you’re employees can work it into the conversation without being pushy.
When To Ask
We find that when it comes to residential cleaning services, the best time to ask for a review depends on the job.
For one time cleanings, you obviously should ask immediately after the job is done. We also find that the inventive method works really well for one time deep cleaning where there can sometimes be more communication between the client and the cleaner.
When it comes to bi-weekly or other regular cleanings, we find it’s best to ask after at least three cleanings have been done. After three cleanings, you’ve had time to form a relationship with the client and get used to their particular requests. At this point, they’ve likely formed a solid opinion of your service and would happy to leave a review.
If you found this guide helpful, then you may want to check out our brand new Facebook Group dedicated to growing, marketing and managing your house cleaning business.
Joining is free and you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/house.cleaning.pros