How To Ask For a Review From Customers: The Complete Guide
Reviews are powerful tools that influence opinions and can have a significant impact on business success. Asking for reviews can be an integral part of your organization's customer service and marketing efforts. Positive reviews have a host of benefits that impact everything from customer satisfaction to sales conversions.
In this article, we explore what reviews are, why they're important, their benefits, when to ask for a review and the methods you can use. We also provide seven effective steps on how to ask for a review from customers.
What is a review?
Reviews are a form of customer feedback where customers evaluate a business, product or service based on their experience while purchasing and using the product or service.
Most customer reviews are displayed online on company websites, social media or dedicated review platforms.
Why are reviews important?
Reviews are important as what customers say about your business often carries more weight with potential clients than what you say. Online reviews are perceived as trustworthy and can influence potential customers as much as a personal recommendation would.
Reviews are an incredibly useful tool for both consumers and businesses. Consumers get insights from previous buyers that help them form opinions about a product. For businesses, positive reviews boost reputation, while negative reviews provide feedback on areas that need improvement.
Reviews build trust, and potential customers often decide whether or not to use a service or make a purchase based on reviews. Businesses with poor review profiles could be losing new leads without knowing it.
The benefits of asking for a review
Reviews are impactful and getting more reviews for your business is straightforward. You just have to ask. Satisfied customers often don't think to leave a review unless asked to do so.
Asking customers for a review provides several benefits, including:
Enhanced reputation: Positive customer reviews create powerful social proof that inspires confidence and helps enhance reputation.
Increased ratings: Asking your satisfied customers for reviews tends to produce higher ratings than if reviews are unprompted.
Stronger customer relationships: Proactively asking for reviews strengthens customer relationships and converts your satisfied customers into effective brand promoters.
Opportunities for improvement: Negative reviews provide insights into areas that need improvement to optimize your customer's experience.
Higher search engine ranking: The number of reviews, ratings and review text all factor into online search rankings. Increased, up-to-date reviews will help you rank higher in Google search results.
Improved conversion rates: Customer reviews are considered trustworthy and can increase sales conversion rates. Proof that others have been satisfied with your product or service often inspires customers to complete their purchase and spend more.
Social media marketing assets: Positive reviews can be incorporated into a marketing strategy and are particularly effective when used with social media.
When to ask for a review?
The key to getting great reviews is to ask your customers at the right time, especially if they are happy as a result of something you have done. Asking for a review as soon as possible after finishing a transaction or conversation ensures your business is still fresh in their minds.
Below are some ideal moments to ask for reviews:
When a customer returns to makes a repeat purchase
When you are checking in with a customer
When product delivery is complete
When you complete a project
At the end of a conversation
After a sales transaction
When you have done something to make the client happy
How to ask for a review from customers
To begin asking for reviews from customers, follow these steps:
1. Know your goals
The first step in asking for a review is knowing what you want to achieve. Do you want to get feedback on customer service, build your reputation or increase your search rankings? Identifying your goals will help guide you when deciding who to ask for reviews, how to ask them and what method or platform to use. You also need to decide if you want customers to review the product they purchased or your business as a whole.
2. Decide who you are going to ask for a review
It is seldom a good idea to send out a review request to all your customers simultaneously. To get a better response, carefully select which clients to ask for a review and stagger your review requests.
Asking your happy, satisfied clients for a review will reduce the risk of getting poor reviews. Good ways to find these clients are to ask your employees, check your clients' sales history, and monitor who is saying positive things about your business on social media. It is better to ask less satisfied clients for feedback first before asking them for a review.
3. Choose which method to use
There are several ways to ask for reviews, and the most effective method and platform will differ from business to business. It is a good idea to experiment with a few methods to find which work best for your business.
The method you choose will vary depending on who you are asking for a review. Your most satisfied clients could be approached in person, while email, SMS, social media or point of sale may be effective methods for other customers.
4. Decide on your approach
What approach you choose and how you initiate the request for a review are very important and impact the response rate. There are numerous ways to ask for reviews, and doing so appropriately is a skill. Using questions when asking for reviews is effective, and there are various ways to use them for example:
Where can we improve?
What can we do to earn a five-star review from you?
Would you be willing to write a review for us?
We wanted to thank you for visiting our store. How was your experience with us?
What are the best/worst things about working with us?
If you are not sure what wording to use when asking for a review, there are numerous templates available online for countless scenarios.
5. Request reviews
Now that you are clear on why, who and how to ask for reviews, it is time to launch your review request campaign. Having a few review request strategies running simultaneously will ensure a steady stream of up-to-date reviews.
6. Respond to reviews promptly
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, helps to build relationships with your customers. Use your response to acknowledge and express appreciation while at the same time creating engagement and activity, which Google takes into account for rankings.
Negative reviews need a prompt response to let the customer know you are working to resolve their issues. A delayed response could lead to an unhappy client who will no longer do business with you.
7. Experiment, measure and adjust accordingly
Once you have launched your campaign and asked for reviews, you cannot sit back and relax. Experiment with different approaches and methods, monitor the results and adjust to improve response rates and quality of feedback. Your customers' interactions with your business will vary over time, and you may need to adapt how you ask for reviews to ensure regular, up-to-date reviews.
Ways to ask for a review from customers
There are several ways to ask for reviews, and modern technology makes it easier than ever before. Here are some commonly used methods to consider:
Asking for a review in person is considered the most effective method of asking for a review. It is ideal for business owners who have strong relationships and regularly interact with their customers. You don't have to wait for a customer to come to you with praise to ask for a review, although this would be a good opportunity. You can strike up a conversation by asking a question about their experience with your business. Then, based on their reply, decide if it's an appropriate time to ask for a review.
You: Hi, [Customer's name], it's great to see you again. Did you find everything you were looking for today?
Customer: For sure, thank you for providing such great service!
You: Thanks for the feedback. If you have a minute while you're here, I was hoping you could do me a favor. We're trying to get some more reviews on our page—It would be awesome if you could share what you just said in a quick review. Just put this link in your smartphone or search for our page. We'd really appreciate it!
Businesses frequently use email campaigns to ask for reviews as they are effective and easy to scale. There are numerous email templates available online that can be adapted and personalized to suit your requirements. Emails sent shortly after a transaction are the most effective, but you can also send automated emails to all your top clients to measure customer satisfaction.
Dear [customer's first name],
Thank you for shopping with [business name] recently – we hope you were happy with your order.
We'd love to know how you found the experience of using [business name] and would like to invite you to rate us on [review site]. It will only take a minute and will be invaluable to us. [Button with link here]
Thank you so much,
[Your name, title and business]
Over the phone
If your business offers telephonic customer support, you should have frequent opportunities to ask customers for reviews over the phone. Customers with complicated problems that take time to resolve may not be the best to ask. However, if you have successfully helped a customer and they express gratitude. It is the perfect opportunity. Asking them for a review could make them feel valued and appreciated.
I'm glad we were able to help you today. We appreciate your business and would be extremely grateful if you shared this experience on [review site]. Reviews from existing customers make others more comfortable knowing they'll get the support they need should an issue arise.
If you send customers a review request via SMS, there's a good chance they'll click on the link. Text messages are known to have a high opening rate and give you easy, instant access to your customers. Keep SMS review requests short and simple to achieve high response rates.
Example: Hi [Customer's first name], thank you for doing business with us. Do you have a minute to leave a review on [review site] about your experience with us? Just click here: [review website profile link]. Thanks for your help!
Using social media
Social media is powerful with exceptional reach and is an effective way to ask for reviews. If you have active social media profiles and customers regularly engage with you, they are very likely to leave a review when asked. However, be cautious when asking for reviews using social media, as negative reviews will spread as quickly, if not faster, than positive reviews.
Through your website
Most businesses benefit from having a review or testimonial page on their website. It is one of the first pages prospective clients visit when they are considering doing business with you. Include a call to action in various places on your website that takes customers to a dedicated landing page to collect reviews.
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