Reviews and referrals should be an integral part of any business owner’s marketing strategy. A recent study shows that 85% of consumers take online reviews as seriously as they do personal recommendations. When it comes to referrals, research shows that more than 70% of US consumers trust recommendations from friends and family.

Use these two powerful marketing tools in the best way possible in order to attract more clients. Reviews and referrals take some work to get, but when properly implemented, the results that they bring are well worth effort. Here are some guidelines on how to ask for reviews and referrals.

Ask in Person

When it comes to asking for reviews and referrals, doing it person is the best way. However, make sure you read the mood of your customers to gauge their satisfaction with your services before you ask.

Home service businesses involve a lot of customer interaction, so you’re in a good position to ask directly. Check in with your client for feedback on the job’s progress — this can help you meet or exceed their expectations.

Gently encourage satisfied customers to talk to their families and colleagues about your work. By taking the step to request for referrals, you inspire them to go out of their way to get word to people who could be in need of your services.

Wait until the job is closed to make this request so as not to appear over eager or too “salesy.” After it’s done, ask them if they’ll be okay with penning a short testimonial that you can use on your website or newsletter.

Ask via Email

While in-person is best, email is a good option as well. Make sure the request is as natural as possible. Here are some pointers:

Personalize: Address your request to your client directly, reference something from the job you recently completed. Sign it from you personally. It would be even better if it’s coming from someone who worked on the client’s job.

Gently ask for a testimonial: Thank the client for doing business with you, and ask them something like “Would you mind sharing a short testimonial that we can use on our website?”

Make referrals easy: Send a specific template to the client that they can copy and paste to send to their family and friends. This should feature an incentive to nudge them into taking the step, like a discount for both the customer and the referred person. Remember to keep it short.

Send a survey: You can also get a lot of feedback from all of your clients by using a tool like SurveyMonkey. It’s a good way to gauge how your business is doing as a whole. If a lot of people report the same issues or problems, you’ll know what to change going forward.

Incentivize Employees

Encourage your employees to get testimonials and referrals from the clients they work with by offering them bonuses or perks. Not only will they try to get you more business, but they’ll probably improve their own customer service and quality of work!

Reviews and referrals are some of the most powerful marketing tools for your home service business. Consumers rely heavily on word of mouth and online platforms to be convinced about a product or service.