As a local business, it's still really important to have a strong online presence. Many people look for local businesses online, or use the internet to research a business they're thinking about using.
So local businesses turn to apps like Chalkboard to help them collect more reviews, and manage the reviews they get.
Chalkboard works by guiding the customer to leave a review after being sent a one-time text message (SMS). So the first step is for the local business to ask a happy customer if they're willing to leave a review.
Asking for a review can feel a little strange at first, but it's extremely effective at improving a local businesses online ratings.
Here are some tips on how to ask for reviews with Chalkboard:
- Ask when they're most delighted with your product or service. The best time to ask is always when the customer is happiest. After a great haircut, or straight after a speedy vehicle service, or after an emergency plumbing job is done and dusted. The customer wants to repay your efforts, and will be willing to help.
- Keep it simple. Practice how you'll ask the customer, but keep it short and to the point. It's important to explain what you'll do with the phone number (see tip about privacy below).
- Tell the customer why you're asking. Be honest with the customer. As a local business, online reviews are really important to help spread the word. Let them know how grateful you'd be if they would write a review.
- Reassure the customer about privacy. Only a single text message is sent, and they won't receive any follow up messages or spam. The phone number is used only for the purpose of sending the text message to help guide them to writing a review. The review itself is on the sites they're already familiar with, Facebook or Google. So they won't need to sign up for a new account anywhere.
- Let them know it's no-obligation. They don't need to commit to leaving a review, they can decide later. As long as they have the text message, they can choose whether or not to leave a review in their own time.
- Avoid incentives. Be careful not to incentivise the customer. This is against the terms and conditions of sites like Facebook and Google, and may get your page, account, or listing suspended.
The best way to get going with review requests, is to make your first request and receive your first extra review (a review you wouldn't have got otherwise). It feels great, and it's brilliant for your business.
If you haven't already, download the Chalkboard app, connect to Facebook or Google, and click Request review on the menu. Chalkboard is free to download and use.