Here’s the situation: You have a brick and mortar business. Your business has an online presence. You know that many current customers and future prospects do research online before making a purchase. They look for specifications, sizes, colors, warranties, prices, availability, hours, and location.

Then they read reviews. Positive reviews and a high average rating mean more chances to keep current customers and convert new ones. So, how do you get these ratings? How do you request more feedback? Specifically, how can you make it easy for customers to rate your business and leave you a review?

Marketers have long known that a customer must be exposed to a message seven times before it takes hold—this is called the rule of seven. You’ll most likely have to ask for reviews several times during your customer’s visit. Make it easy for the customer to leave you one. It’s important to mention that you want their review before the person leaves the store. Once they’re out the door, your chances of getting that review drop to around zero.

1. Post signs in areas where your customers linger.

Ask for feedback in several places where you know customers are sure to “hear” you! Put signs in dressing rooms and on restroom doors. Have a request on menus and on tabletops. Check out locations should also have signs and a supply of cards customers can pick up with a link to review your business.

To further encourage them, tell your customers how you will use their feedback. If you make changes based on customer reviews, give examples. Publish social media updates about specific things you’ve done after hearing from customers, such as adding an often-requested product to store shelves. Bonus: Post photos!

2. Collect emails and follow up.

A key part of the perfect customer experience is direct personalized follow up with customers. Emails are excellent vehicles for this.

At checkout, customer service, the returns desk or all three, ask for an email address so you can send the request for a review electronically. It saves paper and might be a preferred way for many customers to give input. This does risk a lower participation rate, so be sure to monitor your results.

3. Have salespeople ask for a review at checkout.

It’s time for a visit from our dear friend, repetition. You have signs. They can be missed. You have cards conveniently located with a link customers can go to. They can be overlooked. Flyers are ignored or used as scrap paper. The point is, those efforts are all passive. But a direct request is hard to ignore, especially if you’re specific.

For example, your staff can say, “I’m so glad you found what you were looking for. We are always trying to improve, so we’d love it if you would write us a review. There’s a link on your receipt that takes you right to our Google My Business profile. It takes sixty seconds. Thank you!”

Word the requests for reviews with open-ended questions or statements. Avoid “Would you like to write us a review?” More often than not, a simple “No” will be the answer.

4. Display third party review platform signs.

On your front door, hang window signs featuring the logos of third party review platforms. “Find Us On Yelp” or “Find Us On Trip Advisor” window clings, for example, let customers know where they can learn more about your business, leave you a review and read what previous customers have said about you.

5. Celebrate the five-star reviews you’ve already received.

Google offers a free service called #SmallThanks to help brick and mortar businesses get more reviews. Sign up on Google My Business so you can get your free ready-made poster, stickers, and table tent that feature five-star reviews from your real customers.

Start Today

Try one of these tips or try all five. What matters is that you get started, whether you’re emailing every customer after a transaction or getting your free Google Reviews poster. When you’re proactive about asking customers for a review, they feel heard, and they keep coming back. Then they send their friends! So don’t wait for your competitors to get more reviews than you. If you get just five new reviews, you’re that much more likely to be the store new customers choose to visit.