One of the easiest ways to start getting reviews is to ask your customers to review your company, ideally as soon after the experience as possible. There are many ways to do this. For example, you could remind customers as they’re checking out that you’re on Google, Facebook... or put a statement such as “share your experience with us” on your receipts and invoices.

Some companies already use customer satisfaction survey cards to find out how they’re doing. These cards are generally used for internal purposes. However, you could just as easily print up “Leave a Review” cards and collect testimonials for use on your website and other marketing materials.

An Online Review FormAnother option is to collect reviews directly on your own website by directing customers to an online form. These options put you in control over reviews, too. You can then address negative reviews immediately before they get published. NOTE: The law requires that you publish all reviews: filtering negative reviews is against consumer protection laws!

Other options include:

Sending Email and SMS messages to customers along with a link to your review site asking them to leave a review
Including a link to your review site on your actual website
Business cards with instructions specifically for soliciting reviews
• Send a postcard with a link to your review site
• Incorporate reviews into customer satisfaction surveys
Ask for a review in the office (you can even hand customers an iPad and ask them to post a review right then and there)

No matter where you direct your customers to post reviews, it’s smart to give them a little guidance. No, you’re not going to tell them what to write nor are you going to bribe your customers or reward them in some way for a review as it is against the law!

Reviews are only valuable if they’re authentic and real. You’re simply going to tell them the basic formula to follow. This formula is super simple, and it converts. Ask your customers to tell others the following four bits of information:

• Their name
• Their location
The benefits they experienced
Why they recommend you

That’s it. These four ingredients are easy to remember and explain when asking for a review; they’re easy for customers to follow; and the resulting reviews are among the most powerful available. Not only do they convert really well, they’re automatically optimized for search engines due to the specific nature of your customers’ responses.

If you will be printing your own review cards or publishing an online form, it’s even easier because you can simply create the collection form around these four ingredients.

Review Page integrated to a Business Website
By making it easy for your customers to leave reviews, you will get more reviews than if you wait passively for them to get around to it. Gathering reviews directly from your customers allows you greater leverage over the process as well.

The next challenge involves what to do with all of those wonderful 5-star reviews you’ve gathered. They’re all authentic reviews from real customers, and they include the four most essential ingredients in an SEO-friendly, highly converting testimonial. You have the proof that you have a 5-star reputation; now it’s time to market it.