In this 5-minute read:
- Claim your Google My Business listing
- Respond to reviews
- Ways to encourage more online reviews
- Don’t incentivize reviews
- Try reputation management software
Online reviews are crucial in today’s digital world. They are a huge conversion factor for new customers because they help to set you apart from your competition. Even bad reviews can help you convert more customers to your salon—depending on how you handle them.
Getting new reviews doesn’t always come easy though. Even though some bad reviews can be good, you don’t want those to be all you get, and happy customers just don’t think to leave reviews as often. So, what can a salon owner do to get a good review?
Let’s take a look.
Claim your Google My Business listing
You can’t get Google reviews without a Google business listing. It’s also going to be difficult to get new customers without a Google business listing, so this should be an important first step in any business’s digital marketing strategy.
If you’re not sure where to get started, check out how to claim your Google business listing.
Once you have a Google My Business listing for your hair or nail salon and have full access to it, you can then receive and respond to customer reviews.
Respond to reviews
Another important step into getting more reviews and converting new customers is responding to your reviews. This is especially crucial for a business that helps its customers to look and feel better about themselves, whether that’s a barbershop, nail salon, or all-in-one beauty salon. You don’t need bad reviews going without responses. You should always respond to a review within a day or two of receiving it, so make sure your notifications are turned on.
When you get a good review, leave a personalized thank you message for the customer that left it. This will help them feel appreciated and more likely to come back as well as show future customers how friendly and responsive you are.
When you do get a negative review or two (and you will), it’s just as important—if not more so—to respond to them. Let’s say a customer leaves a review about a hairstylist royally messing up their new look. This is your chance to respond and invite them to come back to get it fixed on the house or try to smooth the problem over another way.
Leaving a professional and friendly response on a negative review helps you look good and shows that you’re willing to resolve issues if they come up. Also, Womply’s research shows that businesses that respond to reviews regularly see up to a 49% increase in their annual revenue!
Encourage customers to leave reviews
Okay, here’s the step that shows you how to actively acquire new reviews for your hair or nail salon. Now that you have your listing set up and you’re in the habit of responding to your reviews, it’s time to ask for more. Here are a few ways that we’ve found impactful.
- Ask for reviews
Not always the most effective, but asking for reviews is still a good way to get reviews on Google. Invite your customers to leave you a review on Google when they are grinning from ear to ear and in love with their new look. This plants a seed in their mind and the next time they’re on Google, they might just take you up on that ask.
Never ask for a “good” or “positive” review, though. Just let customers know you value their feedback.
- Strategically place “Rate us on Google” signs in your salon
Add a visual reminder that your salon is on Google and that you’d love for your customers to leave reviews and engage with you online. A sign on the way out the door or on the mirrors at each booth are a good place for these.
- Send links to customers
Many salons interact with their customers via text or some other messaging platform. Take advantage of that relationship and use it to ask your customers to leave a review for your salon. This invite should come from their stylist or nail tech and should be appropriately timed.
Similar to asking for reviews in person, you want to time the invitation at the opportune moment for your customer, like shortly after they leave their most recent appointment.
You can include a short link that directs the customer directly to your Google reviews. Many reputation management solutions offer review invitation features that are well worth considering, too.
Should I offer rewards or buy positive reviews?
Never buy reviews or offer incentives for customer reviews. For example, offering to put a customer into a raffle or giving them a gift card for leaving you a good review on Google is a bad business practice.
The reason for this, other than it being against Google policies, is that it discredits all of your positive reviews, even if they weren’t all bribed. If people learn that you “paid” customers for reviews, then how can they trust that those are real experiences?
Also, if Google does get wind that you’re using these “black hat” practices to get your reviews, they can penalize you by deleting your reviews or removing your salon from its search engine entirely.
The best way to get reviews is to provide excellent customer service and to encourage your customers to leave reviews in the ways that we mentioned earlier.
Try reputation management software
If you’ve tried some of our aforementioned strategies for acquiring Google reviews but are still having trouble getting them to flow in, you may want to consider giving reputation management software a shot.
Most reputation management solutions come with the feature of being able to invite customers to leave reviews from a simple platform. Some have the capability to sift out the negative experiences from the good ones so that you are only sending customers with positive experiences to Google. Then you have the opportunity to salvage the relationship with those who left negative feedback in private.
Womply offers reputation management services that help small businesses manage their reviews and increase customer retention. Click here for our free demo.