Current thinking says that it is extremely important to get positive online feedback in the local listing directories, on your Google Places Page and on your website.
However, when I tell my clients that they need to ask for reviews, the majority will become very sheepish and try to sidestep the issue. The plain fact is that the British don’t like asking to be recommended in that way. It’s not good form. They’re quite happy for customers to talk amongst themselves and say good things but they don’t want to put themselves in the physical situation of having to ask for a testimonial.
In the past, one of the most common ways of getting feedback from a customer was to offer some form of incentive. Just as opt-ins on websites try to solicit email addresses for a database give the chance to download a free report or gift, the advice was to offer a discount off their next treatment or job in return for a review. However, some of the local listing directories, rather naturally, looked askance at such behaviour and, indeed, Yelp’s algorithm seemed to be weighted towards negative testimonials as a result.
So, in an attempt to circumvent the problem, some companies were formed which ran special lotteries on behalf of businesses – when a job was completed, the business handed the customer a branded postcard which allowed them to leave some feedback and then post the card back to the hosting company’s central base where it would be entered into a draw and reviewers stood a chance of winning a prize. The review was then posted onto a variety of local listing directories by the hosting company.