The service industry is a competitive marketplace. It takes more than skill and customer service to stand out from the competition. 

Having plenty of positive online reviews can be a great way to stand out from your competitors.

Let’s take a look at how online reviews drive business success, and how to ask your customers for a glowing review.

How Online Reviews Drive Business

“Getting more reviews has vaulted our web presence—more than larger businesses who are spending money on marketing. We’re not even the largest junk removal company in the area.”

Andrew Zell, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling Southeastern Wisconsin

Whether you booked a hotel or bought a new sweater online, you’ve probably looked at the online reviews before pulling out your credit card. And for good reasons.

Reviews show actual customer experiences of a product or service. When you see the positive feedback from customers like you, you feel more confident that the brand can solve your problem.

The same rings true for your home service business. Your online reviews have a major influence on your customer’s purchasing decisions.

A whopping 87% of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses. 52% of people admit poor online ratings would discourage them from using a small home service business.

Collecting reviews can help you build a reputation as a trustworthy business and attract new customers to your services.

Not convinced?

Making review requests part of your marketing strategy will also help improve your local SEO performance so you rank higher on search results.

When is the Best Time to Ask for a Review?

In most cases, it’s best to wait a few days after the job is complete before asking your customer for a review. This will give them some time to process the work that’s been done before they evaluate your services.

But that’s not set in stone. 

If they’re a repeat customer, and the opportunity comes up naturally in conversation, ask for the review.

Just make sure they’re happy first. Here are a few ways you can tell:

  • They share their appreciation at the end of the job
  • They request more work
  • They have completed a customer feedback survey
  • They share images and tag your business name on social media
  • They refer new customers to your service business

Asking for Reviews: First-Time Customers vs. Repeat Customers

When it’s time to request a review for your services, approach first-time customers and repeat customers differently. 

With returning customers, you’ve already built a foundation of trust. This is why they’ve requested your services again. Repeat customers will often be willing to provide a review at any time during or after the job.

New customers, on the other hand, still need a bit more convincing. While they may have read your glowing reviews, they aren’t ready to be advocates for your business until they experience your services firsthand. 

Wait until the job is complete and request feedback with a phone call or text before sending along the instructions to complete a review. This will help you ensure they’re completely satisfied before rating your business online.

Pro tip: Use your CRM to track all sent and completed review requests. This will make sure you avoid asking for reviews too frequently or asking customers who have already written a review for your business.

How to Ask for Customer Reviews

How to ask for a review in person

Without a computer screen or cell phone to hide behind, asking a customer for a review face-to-face can be intimidating. But if you find the right opportunity, requesting a review in person can feel natural and be extremely effective.

Rather than diving right into the request, let your customer prompt you with one of the following cues:

  • Thanking you for a job well done
  • Raving about your services, products, or team
  • Referring a family member or friend to your services

Then thank them for their feedback and ask them to leave a review on Google or Facebook. When they agree, send the link and instructions to their email to make the process easier.

If you can’t find a natural opportunity, try starting the conversation with open-ended questions. Consider asking, “how was your experience with our company?” or “would you use our services again?”

These questions are a great way to gain positive feedback from your customers and create opportunities to ask for an online review.

READ MORE: How to build a customer referral program that wins more clients

How to ask customers for reviews over the phone

A post-visit phone call can help you gather feedback on the finished job and identify happy customers. If they’re satisfied with your work, most customers will thank you for the great service right away.

Take this opportunity to ask customers if they’ll leave a Google review and mention you’ll send them a quick email with a link to your review page.

Pro tip: Send an email with instructions as soon as you get off the phone. Many customers will forget as soon as the call is over—don’t miss your chance to get that positive review.

Be mindful of the context of your phone calls. If your customer is calling you to fix a mistake, re-do a service, or complain about a crew member, it’s not the right moment to ask for a review.

How to ask for reviews via SMS

If your customer prefers to be contacted by text message, it’s often a sign they’re usually on the go or away from their desk.

Improve your response rate by sending an SMS review request instead. This lets your customer leave a quick review right from their mobile phone. 

How to ask for reviews via email

Email review requests give your customers the flexibility to complete the review immediately or save it for a later time.

When asking for reviews via email, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your email short
  • Include your branding
  • Personalize the email with your customer’s name or details about the service
  • Make the process as easy as possible for your customers
  • Follow up when your customers don’t respond for a while

Sending personalized emails

Sending personalized email requests can make your customers feel more appreciated and go a long way in fostering a lasting relationship. 

But be selective. You don’t have the time to send a personalized note to every customer. Stick to customers with jobs at higher price points, or who have already requested more work.

Sending email campaigns

Sending review requests by email campaigns is an effective and efficient way to get the job done. 

 Campaigns let you send your review emails to several customers at once.

Jump to: How to automate review requests

How to ask for reviews on your website

Your company website should make a great first impression. Including customer reviews or testimonials takes it up a notch by demonstrating you’re trustworthy and professional.

Here are a couple of ways to ask for reviews on your website:

  • Create a testimonial page

Adding a testimonials page to your website can be the encouragement potential customers need to give your services a try. Include direct links to your review sites (such as Google and Facebook) to encourage your customers to share their feedback.

How to ask for reviews testimonial page

  • Use “leave a review” CTAs throughout your website

Add a call to action (CTA) button on your website that asks customers to leave a review of your services. For the best results, include these CTAs on your most visited web pages, like your homepage, services, blog, and contact page.

How to ask for Google reviews

Reviews on your Google My Business page are arguably the most important of them all for many reasons.

Not only do they provide potential customers with the social proof they need to hire you for a job, but they also improve your SEO rankings. When you show up closer to the top of Google, it’s easier for local customers to find your business.

Facilitate the process by providing a direct link to your review page.

Here’s how:

From your computer

  1. Sign in to Google My Business
  2. In the left-hand menu click Home
  3. In the get more reviews section click ‘share review form’ and copy your Google review link

From your mobile device

  1. Open the Google My Business app
  2. Tap Customers, then Reviews
  3. In the top right corner, tap Share
  4. Copy your unique review URL to share via text message or email

How to ask for reviews on social media

If your customers spend time on social media websites, why not request a review on their favorite platforms?

From your business’s social media profile, use the SMS template or email template above to send your customers a private message. 

Collecting reviews on Facebook

With a massive 2.89 billion monthly active users, requesting Facebook reviews from customers can go a long way in building your social reputation. Send your customer a direct message on Facebook using the SMS template above to request a review. 

Limit your Facebook review requests to customers who have engaged with your brand on the platform. Perhaps they followed your Facebook page or commented on one of your business’s posts. Or maybe they posted an image of a completed job and tagged your business in it.

READ MORE: How to remove reviews from Facebook

Asking for Reviews on Specific Websites

Although most of your home service reviews will come from Google or Facebook, don’t overlook the many other review websites available to your business.

Thumbtack

If you use lead generation software like Thumbtack, requesting reviews directly from the platform can help you attract new customers to your service business.

Make it easier for your customers to write reviews by sharing your link in an email, on social media, or through a text message.

Angi (previously Angie’s List)

Attract more customers to your business profile by requesting reviews on Angi.

To give your business a boost, ask your Angi customers to visit your profile and leave a review once the job is complete. Or add your profile link when you send a review request via email or text.

Keep in mind that only Angi members can leave your business a review on the platform. If you try to request an Angi review from other customers, they may get annoyed when they’re prompted to register with the site.

HomeAdvisor

HomeAdvisor’s platform is designed to help homeowners make informed decisions on service providers. Collecting reviews on their platform is a big part of this process.

Copy your review link from your HomeAdvisor profile and paste it into any of the above templates to collect feedback stress-free.

READ MORE: Home Advisor vs. Angie’s List: which lead generation site is right for you?

Yelp

Although Yelp’s review policies strictly prohibit businesses from asking for reviews, there are a few ways to draw more eyes to your home service profile. 

Consider adding a Yelp badge on your website, sharing Yelp reviews on social media, or simply letting customers know you have a Yelp profile. The more visits your profile receives, the better your odds of someone leaving a review.

READ MORE: 12 examples of great responses to negative Yelp reviews

How to Automate Review Requests

Requesting reviews for your service business shouldn’t feel like a full-time job. 

Automating your customer review process can help grow your business without the countless hours of admin work.

With Jobber, there’s more than one way to make your review process easier.

Jobber’s automated follow-ups

Using automated follow-up emails and texts in Jobber is an easy way to check-in with customers after the job is done. It’s also a great opportunity to ask for them to leave a review of your services.

How to ask for reviews - Jobber follow-ups

It worked for Andrew Zell and Andy Wein of JDog Junk Removal & Hauling. They used this process to get over 500 5-star reviews and counting.

To turn on automatic follow-ups, visit the getting paid section of your Jobber account. Then edit the default message to include one of the above review templates.

Jobber’s Broadly integration

Broadly automatically sends review invites to your customers by text or email once a visit has been completed on a job. Use Broadly for free to automate your review requests after every job.

how to ask for a review Broadly integration

 

Jobber’s NiceJob integration

Send automated review requests via email or text message after a service is complete with Jobber’s NiceJob integration.

Once a job is closed, Jobber will transfer your customer’s contact information to NiceJob to be added to a review request email or SMS campaign.

how to ask for reviews NiceJob integration

Keep customers informed while you focus on the work

Send automated job updates and bring text messaging right into your CRM.

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What to Avoid When Requesting Reviews

When done right, asking for reviews can help your small business create a strong reputation and attract new customers. But to maximize the potential of your online reviews, here are a few things you should avoid:

  • Sticking to only one strategy

Different customers want to interact with your business in different ways. 

If they prefer to communicate through a text, choose SMS for your review requests. If they’re active on Facebook but take a while to respond to emails, give a Facebook message a shot.

Being flexible with your request strategy will lead to more positive reviews for your business.

  • Offering gifts or discounts

Consumers rely on a company’s reviews to provide honest feedback on their services or products. By offering incentives such as gifts or discounts in exchange for a review, you risk encouraging biased, inauthentic reviews.

Remember, many review sites—including Google and Yelp—have strict guidelines in place when it comes to incentivizing customers for reviews. You could face penalties or hefty fines for soliciting reviews.

Our recommendation: avoid offering gifts and discounts for reviews completely.

  • Asking an unhappy customer

If you expect a customer is unhappy with your crew or your services, their review may reflect that. 

Try sending a customer feedback survey instead. This will help you gather the information you need to identify what went wrong and repair the damage.

  • Forgetting to respond to reviews

When a customer takes the time to leave your business a review, good or bad, make sure to always respond.

If it’s a positive review, make them feel acknowledged by thanking them again for their business. It’s also a great opportunity to remind them you’re available for future services.

Knowing how to respond to a negative review can help rebuild the relationship. Be sympathetic to their frustration and ask to get in touch to talk about solutions.

This will show potential customers that you value all feedback, and are committed to providing top-notch customer service.

READ MORE: Can a company sue over a bad review?

Get More Reviews for your Home Service Business

At the end of the day, requesting reviews only works when your customer is happy. Focus on providing exceptional service to get more reviews for your business.

From professional quote templates to on-my-way text messages, Jobber offers all the features you need to impress your customers from day one.

Have customer info right when you need it

If a customer calls with any questions about their service, you’ll be ready with answers. Keep your customer info organized with Jobber.

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Originally published November 2019. Last updated on November 8th 2021.