Getting reviews from parents is really easy and can provide powerful content to help potential customers make positive decisions about your child care center. The number and quality of online reviews of your center has become increasingly important in search engine rankings. This means one important place to direct people to give you online reviews is Google Places, as it influences your rankings in Google’s search results.

A lot of good reviews also add to the perceived quality of your business. People first look at the number of reviews about your center and make a judgment about your business. Only after this crucial first judgment will they then decide to read the content of the reviews to make a choice. If you don’t have enough reviews online, your child care center may never be given a chance.

There are two keys to getting reviews:

1. ASK
2. MAKE IT SIMPLE

The first and most important step: ASK.

When customers are happy, they are generally quite willing to make some effort to do a review, but first you need to take the first step and ask them to do it.

When a parent says they are happy about your center or program, all you or your staff have to say is something like “I’m glad you are happy, would you do me a favor and write us an online review? We have some easy ways for you do this.”

You may need to use incentives with your staff in order to get them to ask for the reviews. You could offer $1 per review received, or a fun bonus (such as a party) for everyone if a room gets 10 reviews.

The first key to getting reviews is to ask; the second is to make it easy for people. Even though they are happy with your business, they are busy and most likely won’t go through too many steps to review you.

Ideally, you want people to review you directly online. This makes the process quicker and easier for you. Some ideas to help get reviews online:

•    Have a QR code visible in convenient locations around your center that take parents to your Google Places review section. QR codes can be read by smart phones and makes it easy for a parent with a smart phone to complete a review online. You could have a sign where parents check in saying “Happy with us? Use your smartphone to read this code and write us a review.” You could also have these QR codes in the rooms and teach the staff to offer this as an option when asking for reviews (better yet, print it on the back of your testimonial cards.)
•    Have a computer in a good location with desktop bookmarks taking people to review sites. If you use a program to log children in and out, you could set this up so you can direct a parent to quickly do a review if they say something positive about your program. You can also use an old computer for this task, set in a corner somewhere.
•    Include links to review sites in any online communications you have with your parents. Online newsletters or emails work great for this.
•    Print up a flyer and send it home showing how to give an online review.
•    All of these methods can be especially powerful if you are having a special event. It can be a part of the event to give a review. Make it easy and fun!

Don‘t forget about parents who have left your center on good terms, as well as prospective parents. Just because they are not there now is no reason for you to not get a review. Sometimes these can be some of the most powerful reviews you can get.

Finally have fun with it. If you are doing a great job, which I assume you are, parent will be more than happy to give you reviews. Enjoy the process and it will be even better.

Remember – ask and make it simple! Many times all it takes to get reviews is to have an easy way for a parent to review you and to just ask them to do it!

 

Did you find this post helpful? It’s an excerpt from Devin Murray’s new book – Child Care Marketing Online. For more great, instructive ways to get your child care center noticed online, check it out at: Child Care Marketing Online at Amazon