If you run your own business, client reviews are a must. Clients today are clever and do their research – they will look you up online and read reviews before they consider booking with you.

In fact, in a 2014 survey by BrightLocal, they said 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Capturing client reviews needs to be a top priority in building your brand and your marketing strategy. Reviews are what build your reputation as a professional, build trust and confidence for potential clients, and provide you with important client feedback. If you don’t have client reviews on your profile, you have alienated 88% of clients who rely on these reviews to make a decision.

Here are two simple ways to encourage clients to leave reviews.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK IN PERSON

  • Most of the stylists we speak to about getting reviews consistently say, if your client liked her service and you ask nicely, she will be more than happy to do it!
  • The most effective way to capture a review is to ask your clients in person. They’re in the chair, they just hung out with you for an hour or more and you made them feel great. JUST ASK! That’s the BEST TIME. Let’s be honest, it’s easier to ignore your email than an in-person request.
  • Bring up reviews early on in the appointment so it is fresh in their mind. Remind them that your goal is to make them feel amazing and you’re going to do everything in your power to earn a five-star review from them.
  • Appointment management apps like StyleSeat make it easy for clients to pay and leave a review after each service (just like uber). If clients are logged into their account, they go to “My Appointments”, click on their appointment with you, and leave a star rating and written review. These reviews are posted directly to your profile for all potential clients to see.

ASK IN AN EMAIL

  • Identify past clients who never reviewed you and send them a personal email with instructions.
  • Make it easy – send sample content that they can edit or tweak as they wish.
  • If you miss your chance to ask for a review in person, StyleSeat automatically sends clients an email that prompts them to leave a review after the appointment.
  • Don’t try to offer incentives or gifts to get reviews, it’s a turnoff to clients. However, after a loyal client leaves a review, feel free to show them your appreciation with an upgraded service.

Pro Tip:

  1. Don’t stress if your reviews aren’t “5 star.”  Potential clients are skeptical of profiles that only display perfect reviews. As long as most of your reviews are positive, a few extra critical ones sprinkled in will only make your reviews more trustworthy.
  2. If you’ve never asked for reviews in the past, start by asking your most loyal clients. They are the easiest to talk to, already love you and will happily write a great review.
  3. Make it a habit to ask all new clients for a review after their service. Use your “client notes” feature to keep track of clients who have already left you a review and make sure to show them your appreciation.

Learn how StyleSeat makes it easy for clients to leave reviews here.

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