A lot of businesses don’t have a review generation strategy in place. This is unfortunate because online reviews offer many benefits. They help shape consumer decisions, strengthen a brand’s presence and support its efforts at reputation management. Reviews contribute to your bottom line by attracting more customers, expanding your audience and increasing conversions.
However, not even the most loyal customer can be depended on to take the initiative and write a glowing testimonial about your product or service. You need to request reviews. More than that, you need to be creative and strategic with how you request reviews. So, if you’re wondering how to ask customers for reviews efficiently and effectively, read on for the answers.
If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Cliff: The Power of Social Influence
For better or worse, we care about what others do. So when confronted with an unfamiliar situation, the average person would look to another for clues on how to behave. For instance, on your first day at work, you probably felt like everyone else knew what to do, so you watched others, looking for hints.
Psychology calls this phenomenon “social proof” or “social influence.” Apart from being a fascinating example of human behavior, a person’s natural inclination to listen to and model themselves after others can be leveraged for marketing applications.
In marketing, social proof comes in many forms, such as celebrity endorsements, social media shares and certifications or accreditations from reputable institutions. However, arguably the most impactful are reviews from real customers. Knowing that other people trust a brand goes a long way toward convincing a potential customer that your business is reputable and your product or service is worth paying for.
While the average person might not jump off a cliff if all of their friends did, they’re more likely to purchase a pair of shoes or subscribe to a service if they see that their peers are doing the same and are happy about their choice.
Why You Should Ask for Reviews
As suggested by the “social proof” mental model, reviews help influence consumer decisions. According to Trustpilot, nine out of 10 consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, while BrightLocal found that 79 percent of shoppers trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Another great reason to request Google reviews and other online feedback is that they strengthen a company’s credibility. This is why review generation is an important part of reputation management. Reviews tell potential customers that your company is trustworthy and that your products and services will address their pain points. They also provide insights on how seriously you take customer service and how dedicated you are to ensuring their satisfaction.
Additionally, how you address negative reviews says a lot about your company. In a survey by BrightLocal, 89 percent of respondents were likely to use a business that replies to all of its reviews.
However, not many people know that reviews are also helpful from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint. For example, reviews are mentioned frequently in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to gauge a site’s reputation and credibility. In addition, reviews are considered one of Google’s 200+ ranking factors, or the factors that influence placement in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is a compelling reason for your business to ask for Google reviews because the higher you are in the SERPs, the more visible your business is and the more traffic and leads you attract.
These reviews or reputation management reviews must be authentic. Consumers dislike fraudulent reviews, and many believe they can spot one. For this reason, you should avoid soliciting fake reviews from your staff. Instead, either request reviews from clients or hire experts, such as reputation management consultants, to streamline the process of asking for reviews from customers who have transacted with your business.
Another advantage of reviews is the data they provide. They contain valuable insights into a business and its products or services that might have otherwise been missed or disregarded as unimportant. For instance, a company that sells smartphones might not know that their manuals don’t make sense until they see complaints on review websites.
Information gleaned from reputation management reviews can also help guide businesses in product development. They can serve as sources of inspiration for new features or improvements to existing offerings.
Now that we’ve established the importance of feedback to your business, the next step is to learn how to ask for customer reviews compellingly. However, this isn’t an easy task because your average consumer is constantly time-crunched. In fact, 36.7 percent of respondents to a 2019 Numerator survey stated that they eat out because they’re too busy to cook. So if your customer is too busy to prepare a meal, how could you get them to set aside a few minutes to write a review?
Review Generation 101: How To Ask Customers for Reviews
It doesn’t do any good to assume that your customers are likely to write feedback just because they liked your product, service or how you do business, especially if they’re busy. Often, they need a little push in the right direction.
To get reviews, you need to ask for reviews. Here are a few ways you can go about it.
In Person at Point of Sale
Businesses sometimes use this approach with physical locations, such as brick-and-mortar stores, medical practices and salons. You, or your staff, can strike up a conversation with a customer while they’re checking out and ask for a review. Keep a stack of business cards with your social media handles and landing page to make it easier for them to find you online. Better yet, utilize QR codes so they won’t have to waste precious seconds typing in your website URL.
Store events are also great venues to talk to your customers, strengthen your relationships with them and of course, ask them for reviews.
However, this approach is not ideal if you have a large volume of customers, as it would take up too much of your and your staff’s time. Also, monitoring and tracking reviews and social mentions are challenging tasks, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
Email Requests and Surveys
Sending an email request for a review is one of the easiest, most efficient ways to get feedback from past customers. Another plus is that if your customers opt to receive emails from your brand, you could tie your review requests in with a recent purchase. Despite being an automated process, this adds an extra level of personalization to your request. Most importantly, a review from a “verified buyer” is seen as authentic and trustworthy.
However, the average consumer receives a lot of emails, so to make sure yours doesn’t get lost in their inbox, or worse, the spam folder, give your request template some thought.
Use a catchy, personalized subject line: According to Experian, personalized emails have a 37 percent higher open rate than those that aren’t.
To make the recipient feel the email is tailored for them, use their first name or, as previously mentioned, tie in your feedback request with the customer’s transaction history.
Requests Through SMS Blasts
Research suggests that, no matter how busy we are, we always find time to check our mobile phones. In fact, according to a survey by tech care company Asurion, the average American checks their phone 96 times a day.
Use this knowledge to your advantage by sending your feedback requests through SMS. A text message is harder to ignore than an email: About 90 percent of people read a text within three minutes of receipt.
Like emails, use templates to make review requests faster and more efficient. You could also include a link to review in your messages. According to Pew Research, more than 90 percent of Internet users worldwide go online using their mobile phones.
How To Ask for Customer Reviews: Best Practices
Assure Customers It Won’t Take Long
Even the most loyal customer would be discouraged from writing a review if it seems like it would take a long time. So make sure your customers know from the get-go that leaving feedback is quick and easy. Use language such as:
“If you have a minute, we’d love to know your thoughts about our product.”
“Help customers like you find the right product by writing a short review.”
“Please take 5 minutes to leave a review and let us know how we’re doing.”
When you request reviews, it also helps to make customers feel special and that their opinions matter.
“Your feedback means a lot to us. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please take a minute or two to leave a review.”
Keep Your Promise to Keep It Short
When you request Google reviews, keep your pitch short; your customers are too busy to read a wall of text. Instead, make sure your copy is short, clear and compelling. Also, don’t forget to stick to your branding guidelines in terms of tone and wording. It always pays to be friendly and polite whenever you request reviews from clients.
Here’s an excellent example from Airbnb.
Make It Easy
If your goal is to generate reviews, don’t just tell your customers to go to your Yelp profile or social media channels. Instead, link to your review profiles on your email. Which ones you should include in your email request depends on where you need feedback the most.
Ask for Google reviews if you need some for your Google Business Profile listing, or request feedback for your profile on Amazon, TripAdvisor, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or wherever you need to beef up your ratings. However, don’t add too many links. Research suggests that too many options can disrupt the decision-making process.
Include links. If you’re sending your request via email, include bright, hard-to-miss buttons that, when clicked, lead to your profiles on review sites.
Offering the Best Reputation Management Services for Review Generation
Getting time-crunched customers to leave reviews can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the resources to develop and implement a review generation strategy in-house. To streamline the process and get more reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other review websites, turn to the experts at Rize Reviews.
We work hard to provide our clients with the best reputation management services possible. These include top-notch review generation solutions designed to increase customer trust and boost conversions.
Whether they need to generate reviews for a specific product or employee, ask for Google reviews from verified customers, or ask for reviews to be showcased on their websites, businesses can get the help they need from Rize Reviews. Unlike other online reputation management companies, Rize Reviews offers an all-in-one solution.
“We are fully managed, month-to-month subscriptions,” states Rize Reviews’ Senior Reputation Manager, Tim Clarke. “We have unique features like review response writing with a real writer, video testimonials and SMS 2-way messaging.”
Not only does our reputation management tool make it easy for both business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) businesses to request reviews from clients, but it also helps them:
⦁ Get valuable customer insights
⦁ Boost local search rankings
⦁ Solidify digital footprint and strengthen brand reputation
⦁ Improve customer experience
Our reputation management consultants work with businesses to create and launch email and SMS drip campaigns to generate reviews over time. We personalize messages to align with your brand voice, incorporating compelling calls to action. Our reputation management tool also allows you to keep track of the performance of your email and SMS review campaigns, so you can easily adjust your strategy when needed.
With our help, you won’t have to worry about how to ask customers for reviews or respond to them. Instead, reach out to Rize Reviews today at 866.325.0303 to learn what sets us apart from other online reputation management companies and how we are the most qualified to help you get more reviews for your business.