The Guardian

Knowing when to ask your customer for a review, or even how, can be a tricky business. If using a third party specialist like Reevoo is not an option then it comes down to being forthright and confident enough to just ask. Something that culturally we are not entirely comfortable with, says Lucy Hall, who runs an independent web design agency specialising in small businesses.

“It could be a British thing, but I do feel awkward asking for testimonials and then promoting them on Facebook and Twitter, even though I do it all the time. We just aren’t used to blowing our own trumpet and telling everyone how wonderful we are. But I do it because I know how much it works.

“The best time to ask is right after finishing their website. I use Freeindex. I simply send them a link to my page asking they would like to write a testimonial, I then promote it via my blog and social media channels. I now have over 80 testimonials on Freeindex and I am frequently told that we won the businesses based on the number of positive reviews written about us online.”

Yet despite the obvious advantages, some small business owners are scared by the impact that a negative review can have, if they provide people with a platform to do so. But with so much potential to increase business out there the answer is to simply ensure that you have an effective strategy in place for dealing with them.