Brush Up On: Getting and Managing Online Reviews

Thinking about online reviews.
2022-01-21

If you're looking to get more bookings for your beauty business, one of the most important things you need to make sure you're managing well is your reputation. Whether you're a salon or a freelance beauty therapist, research has shown that one of the top factors that customers look for when choosing a beauty professional is what other people think of them, including reading online reviews carefully.

In this article, we've compiled some common questions that come up regarding reviews, and our advice on how to manage them. If you do these things well, you can create an amazing reputation online so that it's a no-brainer for people to pick you for their next beauty appointment.

Where do my customers look for reviews of beauty professionals? 

In the UK and Europe, the main places that people look for reviews for beauty services are Google, Facebook and Treatwell (which is mainly for salon reviews versus freelance beauty therapists). All of these platforms provide you guidance on how to set up your reviews (follow the links for details!). At minimum, we suggest that you set up Google and Facebook reviews for your beauty business, so that people searching online can find you easily and see what others are saying. This might take a few days to get right, but it's worth the setup time in the long run!

How do I encourage people to leave me a review? 

Once your reviews are set up, the next step is to encourage people to leave them, especially good ones. This is the hardest part - most people tend to leave reviews proactively if they have a complaint, which can feel unfair, especially when 9 out of 10 of your clients leave happy!

Because of this, it's extra important that you take steps to make sure that the happy clients leaving you after your appointment are encouraged to share their good experience.  Here's how to do it in an easy way for your customer:

  • Firstly, ask! If your client has had a good experience, at the end of the booking, don't be afraid to simply ask them to leave a review. Chances are they'll be more than happy to support you and your business if they're happy.
  • Follow up - have a templated email and Whatsapp message ready - Even if you ask, most people will start getting lost in their own busy days the minute they walk out your door. This is why the follow up step is the most important, so do send them an email (or Whatsapp or SMS, as you prefer) to remind them. In these messages, make sure that customers know exactly how to leave a review. Google, Facebook and Treatwell should all make it fairly easy for you to do this, by providing you with a link to share with your clients. All you need to do is pop that link into the message
  • Don't be afraid to send even more reminders - if they don't post right away, we recommend reminding them 1-2 more times. Again, most people are well intentioned, but get busy with their daily lives. Make sure to send these reminders within 2 weeks of the treatment, so that it is still fresh in their minds.
  • Make things automated - with so much simple software available nowadays, the good news is you don't have to do this all manually each time you have an appointment. Make sure to explore how you can set things up automatically. For example, if you're sending an email after each appointment, most booking software providers should have some kind of automated email that you can pop your review link into.
  • Give your customers a little something extra for reviewing - another idea to get more reviews is to offer your clients a voucher or a small gift if they leave a review (though keep in mind, your customers are still entitled to leave you a bad review if they want to). We recommend only doing this for your first few reviews to get them going, as it can be costly and also time consuming to manage.
  • Set goals for yourself - You might be fired up about getting online reviews today, but in the busy day-to-day of your bookings and treatments, you might stop keeping track. We recommend making sure that you send a review message after every appointment, and set goals for how many reviews you want to make sure you have in a week or a month. If you find that you're not meeting your goals, it might be time to investigate why, and change some of the tactics that you're using.

What should I do if I get a bad review? 

Firstly, take a deep breath. We know that bad reviews can be incredibly disheartening, especially when you're a sole beauty business owner or freelancer that works extremely hard to make sure clients have a good service. However, it's inevitable that you can't please everyone. Start by knowing that, and try to remove any emotions from the review at hand.

In most cases, it's best not to take any further action for a bad review, beyond taking the feedback for next time. In some cases however, if you feel that a review is particularly unfair, you are absolutely within your right to comment publicly, which most of these platforms allow. When doing so, it's imperative that you are polite, clear and short - remember that other potential customers will be reading the conversation as well.

What should I do if I get a good review? 

Most people tend to over-focus on the bad reviews, and forget to celebrate their good ones! Whenever you get a nice review, you can thank the commenter publicly, if you have the time. You should definitely also share the review on social media or on your website, to encourage even more happy customers to book with you.

One more note on reviews: it's important to be willing to take feedback when you receive it. While it's true that getting reviews can help you build up an online reputation that'll help you get bookings, actually, reviews are also a great opportunity to learn what you're doing well, how you can improve and ultimately make your overall business better.

Finally, to get lots of reviews, you of course need to start with lots of bookings! If you're looking to boost your bookings, check out our guide on the best booking platforms in the UK where you can list your services (and we have one especially for wedding bookings as well!)