Episode #243: The Most Effective Ways to Get Google Reviews with Bob Sommers
On this episode of The Best Practices Show, Kirk talks with Bob Sommers, the ‘Likeability Guy’ and creator of the Five Star Review System. They begin by discussing the importance of Google reviews and why having the right mindset is essential to success.
Instead of going for volume, practices must pursue relationships and allow feedback to come naturally. The idea is to thank as many patients as possible, not flood their inbox with ineffective and unsolicited requests. Automation always leads to an abysmal response. When everyone understands the value of a review program, the Law of Likeability says that loyalty will inevitably be reinforced.
Customers may even be prompted to write reviews without being asked. By providing ‘lagniappe,’ or ‘a little extra,’ practices can build good will and create a pseudo-obligation in the customer’s mind. Email should be the priority. Texting is tied to busyness and customers won’t always come back to your message. Instead, use both strategies to increase your response rate in a positive way.
The single most important thing to do when asking for a review is to follow through immediately. Be clear in your intent, but approach it from an honest perspective. Tell the customer what the review means to you and thank them for their time.
Bad reviews are inevitable. The quality of your response reveals your character and the success of the interaction. Negative comments are often changed if approached with an appropriate lens. It’s important to understand the difference between platforms. Always evaluate your motivation. “When you understand a review strategy,” Bob says, “you cannot in good conscience go back to doing it the way you were.”
Personal requests are tied to exponential growth (13:17)
The right mindset means valuing relationships over volume (18:35)
Positivity creates loyalty through the Law of Likeability (21:28)
Sending an immediate request leads to a higher response rate (30:55)
“It’s not what you did, how you did it, it’s your character.” (53:15)
“If you don’t have a Google review mindset, and if you don’t have a strategy, you just have a tool that you don’t know how to use.”- Bob
“If you want the right mindset, here’s what you need to do. You need to go out and you need to write a 5-star Google review for a business you really like.”- Bob
“You’re reinforcing the positive behavior and you’re pushing gratitude out into the world.”- Kirk
“The goal should be ‘how many patients are we going to thank for writing Google reviews this week?’”- Bob
“There are probably 15 psychological principles that are going to allow you to get the highest percentage of your happy patients writing well-written, SEO-friendly, 5-star Google reviews because they want to.”- Bob
“There are things you can do to prompt people to want to write reviews prior to you asking them.”- Bob
“The atmosphere in the office is completely different when you do this from the perspective of the patient.”- Bob
“You’re not writing the response for the person that wrote the review, you’re writing the response to people who are reading your response. And what they’re looking for is your character.”- Bob
“If Google completely removed their reviews, they were gone, would you have said to yourself ‘I spent my time wisely pursuing Google reviews,’ or would you say to yourself ‘what a foolish waste of my time and money?’”- Bob
“This is not about getting a review, it’s about really creating something special here long term.”- Kirk
10:19-11:23- Why Google reviews are important
15:13-17:00- The value of keyword rich content
23:09-24:29- Having a Google review strategy
29:36-31:50- The most effective way to ask for a review
32:15-32:39- Taking the patient’s temperature
46:05-47:30- Rewarding the individual
51:15-54:30- How to get a bad review off Google
55:41-56:50- The worst thing you can do with Yelp
1:00:20-1:01:46- When reviews could disappear
1:03:38-1:05:34- Components of a good review system
Bio of guest
Bob Sommers is the creator of the Five Star Review System, a reputation management program that focuses on building relationships with clients in a natural way that organically leads to reviews and referrals. Prior to Five Star, Bob helped develop the largest customer service training company in the United States, earning the name the ‘Likeability Guy’ for his unmatched ability to combine customer service and sales.