7 Steps to Rave Reviews That Lead to New Clients
You need to display rave reviews from customers on your website.
As social beings, people look to other people for clues and guidance on what to think about something they’re unfamiliar with.
Thinking that “rave review” means quoting a random “Awesome!” with five stars following it.
In terms of your website and work you provide for your clients, that’s the worst kind of review you can have.
Why? Because it’s non-descript, generic, and doesn’t help me (or any other of your prospective customers) understand anything about why I should choose you or your business.
In one word: Unconvincing.
Here’s a little test you can do right now in your mind. Think of a review site you regularly use of have used in the past. Something like: Amazon reviews, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.
When was the one-word “Superb!” review the one that convinced you to try the restaurant, buy the book, or watch the movie?
What your prospective clients (and all review-reading clients on the web) really want to know is:
- why do people who’ve worked with you think you’re awesome and
- who are these people who think you’re so awesome? (Mothers don’t count for this one)
Rave Reviews for websites look A LOT different than what most people think.
Mission: Get True Rave Reviews from past clients in 7 easy steps
So how can you get real rave reviews from past clients that help convince prospective clients to pick you for their next project? And what do those rave reviews look like?
Let’s dig right in:
1. Ask for the review.
Many professionals we speak to tend to think that if they woo the customer, the review will come on its own. That may be true is some cases but not always. Because, life. People get busy, distracted, and have their own priorities.
So the first and most important step to a rave review is asking for one. At the close of a client contract or product purchase, send an email to the customer that clearly and specifically asks for a review.
Better yet, don’t just ask for the review in email, but have a link to a neat, branded, and super-awesome review form. (See next step!)
2. Don’t Ask Just for a Review
Sending an email to a customer saying,
“Hey Name, would you mind giving me a review for my website?”
will elicit the sort of “Awesome!” response you really want to avoid.
Instead, send an email saying with specific review instructions and a link to a review form (you can use google forms to easily do this) where you can collect all the necessary and awesome information you need for a truly stellar review!
I hope you enjoyed our collaboration as much as I did!
I was wondering if you’d take just 3 minutes to write a quick review for me and give me some feedback?
I’d really like to know what worked best for you and where I can improve as a professional!
Just click the link below to fill in the form and you’re all set!
I really value your opinion, Name, and look forward to what you have to say!
Thanks in advance,
Now you’re all set up and ready to receive those awesome reviews!
3. Guide the Reviewer
You’re looking for words and reasons and experiences that will help other people decide that you’re the best person to do the job for them, too.
And so you need to encourage your customers to share the reasons they liked working with you and to share the particulars of their experience.
The best way to do this is to include specific questions in your review form that guide the customer towards the desired response.
NEVER say, “please write your review in the box below.”
Instead, try these questions:
- How was your experience working with me? What did you think of our collaboration? (Encourage general positive review framework)
- What specifically did you like best about our work together? What was your favorite aspect of working with me? (Get them to dig deeper for those unique gems that will help others see you more clearly as a professional)
- Would you recommend my services to others? Why? 🙂 (Get them to use the language they would use to sing your praises to a friend)
You can already see how these questions would get customers to elaborate more on their “Awesome!” And elaboration is exactly what we want.
BUT… Reviews aren’t just about the good stuff!
4. Ask for Constructive Feedback
Why? Because you want to improve as a professional. Whether that’s in the actual work you do or in the way you service your clients.
Asking customers how you can serve them better will also help better serve not only those customers but also every new customer that walks through your virtual door.
So don’t be afraid to ask the question:
How could I improve my work or service in the future?
This question can sometimes elicit your most enthusiastic reviews as overjoyed customers may say:
“Nothing! Everything was perfect! I loved how organized you were with project tasks and timelines, how you delivered everything on time, always asked for my contribution, and how thoughtfully you considered all our feedback!”
Now that’s a great review to have with reasons and particulars all rolled into one. And all because you dared ask how you could improve!
5. Ask Permission to Use Review with Name and Title
Always include a check box at the bottom of your list for clients to consent to the use of their words on your website. And include space for customers to write their name and position/profession as they would like it to appear there.
6. Ask for a Headshot
Like, “oh hey, this is a real person. Who owns (or works at) such and such company. And look, she kinda looks like my friend Jen.”
But again, you can’t just use your customers’ photos you find on the web (even if it’s on the client’s own website) without explicit permission. Plus, you don’t want to have to scour the web for a good headshot of them.
Include a place in your review form where the client can upload their own picture or give you a link to a published picture you can use on your website. Add a checkbox asking for explicit permission to use the photo on your website. Because you can never be too cautious with consent.
7. State Intend to Edit
You should NEVER, of course, edit reviews to misrepresent client experiences.
Hint: If someone were to say you’re NOT awesome (which no one would ever say of course), you couldn’t edit that to say SO awesome!!!
But you’ll often want to use just one or two powerful sentences from each review (that don’t just repeat the same things that everyone else on your website has already said).
You may also want to correct spelling or grammar errors before posting a review on your website.
Light editing for separating out the important messages in a gushing review and smoothing out any minor typos is acceptable. But you need to let your customers know about the possibility of editing their words beforehand.
And that makes for a rave review!
You have customers’ genuine feelings about the experience of working with you, the particular aspects of your collaboration they loved, and the reasons they would recommend you to friends.
You even have (private) feedback for improvement (or perhaps your most enthusiastic review yet).
And you have consent to use your client’s name, position, photo, and to edit the review as needed (without changing its meaning).
Rave Review ready to post and convince new clients of your awesomeness!