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When should I ask for a Review or Referral?


July 16, 2019 / fbcadmin

Kerrie Sheaves
Foundational Business Consulting

When Should I Ask For A Review or Referral?

I get asked this question a lot by all types of businesses, from plumbers & lawyers to product retailers. And there’s a simple answer to this question which I believe gets over complicated and confused with ‘How to ask for the review or referral’.

Once you know when to ask, how to ask becomes a very natural process for any business.

The secret is to ask for reviews or referrals at the Highest Point of Perceived Value.


What’s the Highest Point of Perceived Value?

It’s the moment that your customer says “WOW”. It’s not after you bill them. That’s too late, they’re on to solving the next problem, and your amazing service has already begun to fade in their minds.

We’ve created the diagram below to help you think about when to nurture your customers along the sales and service delivery process. It can also help you determine when to ask for that review or referral.


Why Should I Ask For A Review or Referral?

A recent Forbes Magazine article analysed surveys about the power of online reviews for business. These surveys help us to understand the impact of reviews on your business’s reputation. They also tell us important information about buyer behaviour.

The studies showed that 86% or more of customers read online reviews of businesses. Customers also read an average of 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.

86% – That’s huge! – Which means having a good, systematized review strategy can seriously influence your businesses growth.

  • 40% of consumers will only take into account reviews written in the last 2 weeks.
  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars in its rating.
  • 91% of people aged 18-34 will trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.
  • 89% of consumers read a business’ response to reviews.


Getting reviews and referrals from your customers can be hard work. So asking for them at the right time in your customers life-cycle will help to make the job easier.

Your strategy should also consider who is most likely to feel comfortable giving you an online review versus a personal referral or recommendation. Stats show that 80% of 18-34 year old’s have written online reviews, compared to 41% of people over 55 years.

So, what do these stats mean for your business?

  1. You need fresh reviews every week.  That means coming up with a good simple plan to ask for the review at the right time. Try to make it super easy for your customer to do the review. For example, send them links to the review page, and some clues or prompt questions on what you’d like them to say about your business. Make them feel confident and relaxed in completing the process.
  2. Use the right medium to get your reviews. If you’re asking customers to fill out a written survey form at the end of the job, how will you translate this into online reviews and testimonials? If you’re using this method, make sure you have a checkbox to gain the customers permission to use this feedback as a testimonial on your website.
  3. Use the right review sites for your business.  If you’re a professional you may need more LinkedIn reviews, rather than Facebook. But if you’re a local trade service you’ll need a strong Facebook review process, and possibly a trade directory review process. If you’re a restaurant, venue or ecommerce retailer you’ll need Amazon, Menulog, Yelp and other channels like Tripadvisor. Do your research and see where people are searching for your type of business and make sure you have a review presence.
  4. What if your customers don’t give written reviews or testimonials (and many don’t for policy or personal reasons)? Then create a referral strategy that encourages the customer to introduce you warmly to someone else that you want to connect with.
  5. You need a process for viewing and responding to all reviews and comments on your online review pages. This includes the good reviews and the negative ones. People need to see you communicating positively with your customers. They also need to see you handling things in a mature and professional way when things don’t go right.


Need some help working on your review and referral strategy? Give us a call 1300 765 249 (1300 SML BIZ)


Call us to find out more today!


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