What customers say about your work is powerful; 85 percent of hires on Thumbtack go to pros with one or more review. In fact, professionals with at least one review get hired 70 percent more than pros without reviews.
In other words, it’s a great idea to ask your customers to post a review on your profile. If they’re delighted with your work, they’ll be more than happy to do it—and the sooner you get reviews, the faster your business grows.
We talked to dozens of Top Pros on Thumbtack to learn their tips for getting great reviews from customers. Here are their top 5:
Tip #1: Make Reviews a Priority from Day One
It takes a little time and effort to build your reviews on Thumbtack, but it’s significantly harder to get hired without them. Top Pros know to use their past work to their advantage by tapping into what previous clients have said about them.
“Looking back, I wish I’d known I could use past reviews from clients that weren’t from Thumbtack. When clients are spending thousands of dollars they want to make sure they’re hiring the right person,” explains Mark Spinelli, a chef from Rochester, New York.
You can receive up to 10 reviews from outside of Thumbtack by sending previous clients a custom link to your profile. This is especially important when you’re just getting started. Reviews, even those that aren’t marked “Verified,” provide customers a credible account of your work from the moment you send your first quote.
Shane Wolcansek, a plumber from Boiling Springs, South Carolina made lining up reviews a top priority when joining Thumbtack. “I felt it was important to establish credibility as quickly as possible since there is a monetary investment when reaching out to potential customers.”
Tip #2: Make Sure You’re Marked As Hired
Once a customer has agreed to work with you, ask that they mark you as hired on Thumbtack.
That way, Thumbtack sends a message prompting them to leave you a review. It’s an easy way to record your jobs, and it takes a lot of the work of asking for reviews off your shoulders.
As Chris Grimes, a painter from Rialto, California explains, “I started asking clients to make sure they mark me as hired on Thumbtack. This way they get a message asking to write me a review, and most of the time they will. I lost a lot of business in my first year because I wasn’t as concerned with getting reviews even though people were happy with my work.”
Washington-based personal trainer Christopher Doran took it a step further to sync the message with his training schedule. “When you mark yourself as hired, the client gets asked for a review right away. I set it so my clients don’t get notified for two weeks, after we’ve had four or five trainings together.”
Tip #3: Plant the Seed
It’s easy to slip off your customer’s radar, especially once your project has been checked off of their list. Rather than reaching out after the fact, connect with your customer while your project is still fresh in their mind—in what San Francisco-based bartender Ian McCarthy calls the “post-event glow.”
As Garrett Hurlbutt of A Perfect Finish painting in Littleton, Colorado explains, “I’ll say, ‘If you think we’ve done a job worthy of a positive review, it would mean a lot if you’d be willing to drop a quick note on Thumbtack.’ ”
Jonathan Johnson, owner of Snap Seat Photo Booths in Hartford, Connecticut asks for reviews as he’s finishing up the job—and he’s specific when he does. “After an awesome event I will go out of my way to ask for a review. But when I do, I’m clear. I ask, ‘Would you feel comfortable leaving a five star review for me?’ ”
Tip #4: Follow Up
If leaving a review slips your customer’s mind, don’t hesitate to reach out after a few days. Give your customer a polite nudge; odds are they’ll be more than happy to follow through.
Personal trainer Jennifer Kasmer, of Everlasting Changes in Charlotte, North Carolina, has made reviews an important part of her follow-up strategy. “Everybody that trains with us gets a follow-up email. We ask them to share what they liked about our service and what sets us apart from other trainers. We include the direct link to where they can write their review to make it quick and easy for them.”
When it comes to asking customers for a review, all Top Pros agree: always include your review link. And feel free to put it in a template—the link never changes or expires.
Tip #5: Bad Reviews Happen
Don’t be discouraged by the occasional negative review. Our research shows that reviews that are not all 5 star are more credible with consumers—it’s the overall tone of the comments that counts.
Thumbtack also allows you to respond to what your customers say, so make sure to follow-up. Thank customers who write good reviews and find a positive way to address those who don’t. Potential customers like knowing how you will respond when something goes less than perfectly.
The good news is that if you’re doing good work the bulk of your reviews will reflect it, and good reviews really matter.
Painter Chris Grimes advises that you ask for reviews after each and every job, and Tonja Scott, a home organizer in Washington, D.C., agrees, “Most of my quotes would not have materialized without the positive reviews I’ve received throughout the years.”
“Make sure all of your customers leave reviews,” cautions Megan Aro, a personal trainer from Los Angeles. “People won’t always pick the cheapest quote. Reviews help them see your value.”