My SMX West 2013 Presentation on Customer Reviews

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Today I had the honor of speaking on the “Local” panel at SMX West.

Just thought you might like to see the slides from my presentation on customer reviews – more specifically, how to get them using what I call the “zigzag” approach to requesting reviews.

Any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment!



  1. Great stuff Phil. Wish I was there to see you in action! I like this zig-zag approach. We should see about adding some additional options to the handout generator tool.

    • Hey Darren,

      Thanks for stopping by! I wish I could have seen your talk a few weeks ago – sounded awesome.

      Good call on the review handout generator (I was thinking exactly the same thing).

  2. Congrates Phil! me too, wish I could of been there to see it!

  3. Hey Phil. Thanks a lot for sharing your presentation – Wish I could have been there to see it. Alas, a bit far from me in merry England! Your presentation was excellent and the “zig-zag” approach sounds ideal for the tricky review situation at the moment. It’s certainly something I and others would benefit from if you, Darren&co tagged it onto the review generator. I’m looking at using your template to produce handouts for the UK review websites for my clients.

    • Hey Nick,

      Appreciate your stopping by! Yeah, it would have been even more of an epic chuckwagon ride for you than it was for me.

      I really look forward to hearing about how it works for your clients over there across the pond.

  4. This is a great layout for collecting reviews. Love the “circuit” thought and making it easy for the user to follow through on a review.

    What do you find generates the most reviews pdf, email, site or verbal?

    I’m working with a large eye care practice right now and there are multiple options (email, inhouse specifically) but I’d like to attack the best route to start.

    Thanks again, wish I could have seen it in person.

    P.S. MacGyver FTW!

    • Hey Mike, thanks for the feedback!

      I’m still figuring out myself what works best in terms of medium, but I’d probably go with PDF. Unless your clients can talk with their patients and have that close connection. But I think you guys will just have to test it out a bunch.

      MacGyver could use a fortune cookie wrapper 🙂

  5. No problem, Holly. Amen to all of this being tough to explain.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  6. I like the make more bullseyes approach. With some clients with over a 100 real filtered reviews it makes sense looking into other platforms. Just not sure of the value of them compared to Google and Yelp in terms of SEO and Branding combined.

    • I completely agree: Google+ and Yelp are the most important by far. It’s just that getting reviews on the other sites is a lot better than getting no reviews or a bunch of reviews that become filter bait. Plus, even though I consider CitySearch reviews a distant third, they really seem to have helped some of my clients.

      • Right we are on the same page Phil. My thinking is just if time and effort are limited witch will net better results (ranks + conversions) . Say you lead a client into a review building strategy for Google and Yelp netting you only 10% actual unfiltered vs 100% show up on other insider, Yp and citysearch which would you prefer? Of course it depends on the category. I’m thinking the only time it’s worth jumping into a new less valuable target is when a placement threshold has been passed in Google+ and Yelp. Bottom line though making it easier for customers to leave reviews is a linchpin.

        • Good points/questions, James. I don’t think either the “10% on Yelp and/or Google” or the “only have reviews on InsiderPages, CitySearch, and YP” are good strategies, but it should never a choice between one strategy or the other. The thing to do is go after a bunch of sites. My approach is pretty simple: get whatever you possibly can, and ask every customer. But yeah, as you say, the key thing is just to grease the skids for your customers.


  1. […] You are the master of that one Phil.  Just add a link to your how to get reviews infographic   The important thing to keep in mind is that your Apple Maps profile shows the most recent three […]

  2. […] shouldn’t focus solely on Google+Local.  You need reviews on a diversity of sites.  Give people options, and don’t push everyone toward the same […]

  3. […] a custom link (in case there’s a different site you want reviews on).  As I explained during my talk at SMX West, giving customers choices and not shoehorning them into one review site or another is the best way […]

  4. […] There’s nothing you can do to make more reviews stick.  What you heard is correct.  The best thing to do is to ask your customers up-front whether they’re already active on Yelp.  Yelp doesn’t want you even asking – let alone encouraging – customers for reviews.  So to the people you know to be active Yelpers, maybe you can suggest or intimate that you would not be entirely averse to their possibly considering posting a review   For everyone else, I suggest you follow my “zigzag” approach. […]

  5. […] advice?  Simple: this is the best time I can remember to encourage some of your customers to review you on Google Plus.  It’s only going to get more important to have […]

  6. […] next to the buttons.  GetFiveStars is doing an increasingly good job of applying what I call the “zigzag” technique of asking for reviews – that is, not pushing people toward any one review site, but directing them based on […]

  7. […] from Yelp in their business listings. Hurting for ways to ask for customer reviews? Here is a slide presentation from a recent conference that can […]

  8. […] site that accepts Facebook usernames.  Whatever you do, don’t push them toward Yelp; you need a different strategy […]

  9. […] 4:  It lets you offer customers choices of where to review you.  You want them to do what they find easiest.  That gives them more drive to review you – and fewer […]

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