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Social Verification and Your Business

Are you using the power of social verification for your business? You need 5 Star Reviews! You know those little logos and certificates and badges people put on their websites? From the BBB®, Angie’s List®, etc. Those are called trust elements, and people do consider them! They have always served as a valuable form of 3rd party verification. However, more and more there is another kind of 3rd party verification that people are weighting even more – social verification (i.e. how many reviews and stars you have).

Talk about low hanging fruit! If your business doesn’t have good reviews and a lot of them make this a priority. In my experience there are thresholds: 5 reviews, double digits, 30 reviews, 100 reviews, four digits, etc. I have had clients who’s silent phone start ringing with 5 reviews and then an increase in business when they got to double digits, and so forth. So how do you get them?

By asking! You know you have a few raving fans (I hope so). If you are just starting and have very few reviews, set a review threshold goal. List some of your customers that you know would give a great review, and that would’t mind hearing from you, and give them a ring.

“Hello,[Mr. Jones], this is [your name] with [you business name], how are you today? I wanted to ask you for a personal favor [not my company, but me personally], online reviews make a big difference in business these days, and I was wondering if you would be willing to help me out by giving me a 5 Star [not just a review, but a 5 Star review] review on [Google, Facebook, Angie’s list, etc]. It would mean a lot to me, and I would be happy to show you how to do it [also important! – then silence… wait for their response].”

– “Oh you don’t have a Google account? Let me help you set one up!”

– “I understand you are in a rush. Could I send you an email with some instructions on how to leave a review?”

– “If it would make it easier, I can show you how to do it right here on this computer, or on your phone.”

So to review (no pun intended): delight the customer, ask for the review personally, ask for 5 stars specifically, remove the obstacles to make it easy.

Who to ask, don’t ask anyone who might not give you that great review. If you deal with customers face to face ask at the end of a service encounter it could go like this. “Mrs. So and So, Have I taken good care of you today?” If yes and you know they are happy, ask for the review! If you are a business owner and you have front line service people dealing with your customers, Consider giving your employees a small bonus. For example, service techs, CSRs, waitresses/waiters, etc. $5-$10 for a 5 Star review where they are mentioned by name. This may be a small price to pay to help them “buy into” getting reviews. Make it a contest! A long weekend getaway with paid time off for the employee who gets the most reviews each quarter. Be creative and get those stars!

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