The vast majority of business owners feel pretty embarrassed about just coming out and asking customers for reviews, especially if you run a brick-and-mortar business where you actually meet the customers in person. You don’t want to impose or seem like a shill and it often feels just a little to close to asking for tips, something most businesses just don’t do. On the other hand, being friendly, attentive, and offering high-quality services just doesn’t do the trick. Customers have a great time but forget to review, leaving your local reputation glowing but your online reputation dead as a doornail.

So how do you get over that feeling of embarrassment and make a good impression on your customers while asking for reviews? The answer lies in the conventional wisdom “Honesty is the Best Policy”. All you need to do is take on a positive attitude about reviews, then simply be honest with your customers. They’re more likely to be charmed by your personal and non-corporate response and more likely to leave you a friendly humanized review. Not sure where to start? Try one of these three approaches.

“We Love Reviews!”

Do you get excited every time a customer leaves feedback or writes an online review? If so, then you have an ideal mindset for convincing your customers to leave more reviews. Most of all, customers want to be heard and have their opinions valued. The more enthusiastic you are about feedback, the more your customers will want to leave you reviews to make you happy and then share in that happiness.

When talking to your customers or sending follow up emails, use that enthusiasm. Let them know how much you not only appreciate but are genuinely interested in what reviews have to say and are eager to see more. Back this up by featuring your favorite recent reviews on your webpage and social media, which rewards customers for reviewing by highlighting their work.

“The Internet Told Me To”

If you’re particularly bashful about reviews, and especially if you’re not that savvy with the online scene, don’t be shy about letting your customers know this. When chatting about service satisfaction, mention that you’re trying to build business and an article on the internet told you that more online reviews would do the trick. Ask if they would be willing to help out by sharing their experiences online because the internet suggested it.

To start with, even if it’s true, suggesting that you’re doing something because the internet told you to is inherently hilarious. This gets your customers chuckling right off the bat. If you also emphasize a lack of tech-savvy, this puts the customers in the position of authority as experts in online reviewing. They become the experts in the exchange on reviews and can feel smart while doing you a favor.

“Help Us Beat the Pants Off the Competition!”

If your real motivation for collecting reviews is to compete with another business or every other business in your industry, don’t forget that customers have always enjoyed a fighting spirit in a company. Don’t hide your competitiveness, emphasize it. Even if you don’t name a specific competitor, make your attitude about reviews something like a high school football game or a competitive charity drive. One way to make it fun to ask customers for reviews is to make a big-number goal like five hundred reviews, then ask customers to contribute to the count.

This makes it easier to talk about reviews because you’re not asking for tips, you’re asking customers to join your relay race where each reviewer takes the baton for a few strides. They get a chance to join your very positive team while you create an enthusiastic attitude which will result in more enthusiastic reviews.

Asking for reviews can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be embarrassing. Simply by being honest about your motivations, you can build a more genuine relationship with your audience and create an amusing way to talk about reviews that actually relates to the overall goals of your company, not just page position and lead conversion.

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