Do you wish you could capture the joy and excitement your customers feel when they leave your classes, but don't know where to start when it comes to collecting reviews? Customer reviews are one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolkit. Power Reviews surveyed 6,500 customers to understand the importance of customer reviews. They found that over 99.9% of consumers read reviews, at least sometimes, when shopping online. Likewise, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when deciding what to purchase.
Parents want to trust that they’re registering their children for reputable and highly rated activities. These numbers show that customer reviews are no longer a marketing “nice-to-have” but now a “marketing must.”
At Sawyer, we work with thousands of education businesses to manage, grow, and scale their companies, providing them with powerful tools and access to our marketplace where parents can review classes and providers. These reviews have a direct impact on bookings. In fact, Power Reviews also found that 86% of online shoppers say they won’t make a purchase without reading reviews first. However, we recognize the review collection process can be daunting! In this article, we will teach you how to ask customers for reviews so that you can increase enrollment in your classes and activities.
How to ask customers for reviews
- Customer reviews: Best practices for success
- How to ask for a review
- Great review examples
- Asking for a review template
Customer reviews: Best practices for success
Now that you know how important customer reviews are, you need to learn some best practices so that you are able to collect effective reviews.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
Think customers don’t want to leave reviews? Think again! The 2019 Bright Local online review trend report found that 76% of people who were asked to leave a review did so. But it is important to make leaving a review as simple as possible. Make sure to direct people to a dedicated space for reviews, which you can easily do via Sawyer’s marketplace.
Diversify your platforms
Since reviews are so important to consumer buying decisions, you need to make sure that each place where they might encounter your business has reviews. ReviewTrackers found that in 2020 Google accounted for 73% of all online reviews, with Yelp at 6% and Facebook at 3%. If you have a Facebook business page, Google business page, Yelp profile, and Sawyer account, you will need to have reviews on each of those platforms. For 3 years in a row, Bright Local trend reports found that customers read an average of 10 reviews before deciding to make a purchase.
Continually ask for and receive reviews
Recency is one of the most important factors for customers who are looking at online reviews. According to Search Engine Journal, 85% of customers feel that reviews that are older than 3 months are not relevant anymore. That means you need to keep asking for reviews consistently!
Don’t censor your reviews
A study done by Stackla found that 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they will support. That is why user-generated content and honest reviews are so important. In fact, Power Reviews found that 46% of shoppers are suspicious of products with an average star rating of 5.
Respond to all reviews
In a Harvard Business Review article written by 2 marketing and business professors, they report that replying to customer reviews actually increases ratings. While their study was done with hotels, the results are universal. They found that hotels who responded to negative reviews received 12% more reviews and a marginal increase in their rating. The reasoning? "If the consumer notices a manager responding to past reviews, they might decide not to leave a trivial or unsubstantiated negative review, to avoid a potentially uncomfortable online interaction with the manager." You should also take the time to respond to positive reviews, even if it is just to say thank you, because it is a great way to make someone feel good for helping you out. Responding to reviews demonstrates to your current and potential customers that you are committed to receiving feedback, listening to your customers, and consistently improving your business.
How to ask for reviews
Now that you're familiar with the importance of reviews, it is time to learn how to ask for reviews so that you can reap the benefits.
Ask in person
If you teach in-person classes or activities, we highly recommend asking parents to leave a review when they arrive to drop off or pick up their child. If you can provide them with a quick link that takes them right to your Google, Facebook, or Sawyer page, then they can leave the review before they even walk out of the building. Face-to-face requests are 34x more effective than digital asks, according to research done by 2 researchers and reported in the Harvard Business Review.
Ask immediately after a positive experience
If you do not have the ability to ask parents in person, then we recommend asking for reviews over email immediately after a class has finished. Ideally, their child will be gushing about your activity when they receive a request to write a review. Hopefully, the connection will be made and they will be more than willing to share their child’s joy with others. If you are making requests via email, send them a dedicated link directly to the review space so that they can write the review as easily as possible.
Be honest in your ask
If you have a personal relationship with your customers, then take an honest and transparent approach when you ask for reviews. Let them know how reviews can help your business grow by helping prospective families get an inside look at your classes and activities. Your customers will feel special that they were asked and excited that they can help you.
Great review examples
What do effective reviews look like? Here are some great review examples so you know what to strive for when you ask for reviews on Google, Facebook, and Sawyer.
Review example #1
Why is this a great review?
This review for Sawyer provider Mr. Dave Music is informative and positive. Parents are looking to see exactly how a child will benefit from the class and this review does a great job of sharing that knowledge. Plus, at the end of the statement, the reviewer says that they have already signed up for another class, which is a great recommendation for prospective families.
Review example #2
Why is this a great review?
Similarly, this review for Sawyer provider Computer Kids Club is a great example of a positive review because it is specific and tells a story. It is helpful for parents who might be in a similar situation to know that this program was good for a 6 year old who usually loses interest in online classes. The best part of this review, though, is the response from the provider. Responding to positive reviews is just as important as responding to negative ones. It helps parents know you are interested in feedback, willing to interact with customers, and professional. Plus, the provider’s response is personalized, so parents know that the provider pays attention to each student.
Review example #3
Why is this a great review?
We’re including this example because it has a great response from Sawyer provider Freshmade. The provider thanks the parent for their review first and then directs their attention to the improvement requested. They validate the parent’s concern, then they offer a solution so that the parent and student can have a better experience next time. When responding to a negative review, always thank the reviewer, give them validation, and then provide a fix.
Asking for a review template
Ready to ask for reviews from your customers? Here is a template you can use when asking for a review over email.
Subject line: Help us grow by providing feedback!
Dear [Customer name],
We have had so much fun teaching [Child’s name] in our class. We hope they have been enjoying it, too!
We wanted to reach out because we are constantly trying to create the best possible experience for our students and families. We would love it if you could take a minute to review our class on [review platform + link] so we can see what we are doing well and what you would like to see improved. This also helps prospective families learn about our business so that we can continue to grow.
We appreciate your business and support!
With the above best practices, examples, and templates, you should feel confident asking customers for reviews so that you can increase enrollments and grow your business. If you are looking for guidance on class management, scheduling, and marketing your children’s activity and education business, Sawyer can help. Schedule a demo to learn more about how our platform works.