Have you been wondering how to get your customers to leave reviews? Many business owners struggle with how to ask for a review from customers. If you’re having difficulty with this, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, there’s no standard template for how to encourage customers to write reviews that you can follow. However, this type of engagement with your customer is easier to initiate if you’ve satisfied them with your service and left them delighted with your brand.
You need to create a strategy for collecting customer reviews. This includes implementing a system that uses tools to make it easier to convince your customer to leave a review and that helps you identify the right time to ask them for this favor.
Customer reviews have a significant impact on your brand and your business. This public feedback on your products and services coming from your existing customers can be the reason you acquire new customers or why your customer base is dwindling. Most reviews include a description of the experience a customer had with your company and a star rating. The average online customer highly values each of these elements of the review. Studies show 72 percent of consumers will only take action after reading a positive review. It’s evident, without a robust online customer review strategy in place, your business is losing out on valuable customer feedback and possibly revenue opportunities, too.
Some business owners are searching for how to ask for reviews because they haven’t been successful in their attempts to encourage customers to write reviews. Does this sound familiar? Do you need expert advice on how to get customers to leave reviews? Well, you’re in luck.
This blog compiles the best tips from the top influencers in digital marketing on how to ask for a review from customers. These are practical steps you can take to help you successfully encourage your customers to write a review after interacting with your business.
Why Your Business Needs Customer Reviews
Your customer reviews are often the social proof a consumer needs to decide if your company is a good fit for them and their needs. However, there are many less obvious — but highly beneficial — reasons to ask your customers to leave a review.
Here’s what you need to know about customer reviews:
1. Influential in Purchasing Decisions
Customer reviews are a crucial part of the consumer’s decision-making process. The average consumer spends about 13 minutes reading through reviews. They believe this information helps them ascertain if there’s any risk in transacting with your business and if your products and services are of high quality. In those 13 minutes, your customer reviews hold all the power and make or break a possible sale.
2. Great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine algorithms prioritize pages with fresh content; customer reviews are considered content. A steady influx of sales is an opportunity to garner new customer reviews. Having recent and fresh reviews about your company on both your website and other review platforms will contribute to better rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and help consumers find your brand online.
3. Identifies Room for Improvement
A focus group discussion costs about $5,000 per group. Its goal is to identify areas in your operation, your customer service or your value proposition that needs to be improved. However, for more in-depth customer insights at a far lesser cost, turn to customer reviews. Customer reviews touch on the overall experience a person had with your company. To understand if your customer service is excellent and service delivery on point, you need to figure out how to get customer reviews.
4. Helps Build Trust With Your Consumer
Having little to no reviews is a red flag for any consumer considering your business. The average consumer reads 10 reviews before trusting a brand. While there isn’t a fixed number of reviews brands should have, the primary consideration for businesses must be the balance between quantity and quality.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Asking For Reviews
Business owners tend to overlook the ethical parameters when learning how to ask for reviews, mostly because they’re unaware of these restrictions. However, Google and other search engines have strict limitations on how to get customer reviews.
Some practices that can get you penalized on Google:
1. Paying for Reviews
Getting reviews in exchange for monetary compensation is illegal. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) bans this specific practice to protect consumers. This applies to search engines and all third-party review sites.
2. Asking Employees To Leave A Review
This practice falls under Google’s conflict of interest guidelines. Reviews coming from employees and friends are seen as biased and can be flagged as fake reviews. It’s safest to stick to genuine reviews from customers with no ties to your business.
The rules against review spamming include posting duplicate content and creating reviews for one place from multiple accounts. This might not entirely be in your control, so when it happens, be sure to identify and flag users guilty of this.
Have A System In Place For Collecting Reviews
It’s essential to have a set process for collecting reviews to make it easier for you. Every person on your team must know how to ask for a review from customers. Every team member should follow the same process with the same messaging.
Conventional customer review strategies include email drip campaigns and SMS. Here are some tips on making your system more effective:
1. Make It Simple
In your communications, tell them exactly how long it’ll take to leave a review. Your consumers will appreciate that you value their time. One best practice is asking for a short, 30-second review, then asking them for a longer one down the line.
2. Offer Incentives
It’s tough asking people for their time, but a promotion or two can help. However, be aware of what you’re asking and who you’re asking it from. Offering incentives for leaving a review is only OK when you are blatantly requesting unbiased reviews from an unlimited audience. Never manipulate the system by offering incentives in exchange for specifically positive reviews.
The digital marketing space allows for all your strategies to be automated. With the right online reputation management software, you can create customer review generation funnels for each of your goals. It’s essential to keep your system human despite the automation — consumers can usually spot a bot, so instead opt for a human response that’s engaging. If you don’t have the manpower then reach out to review management professionals who can assist.
How To Ask For A Review With The Right Timing
In business (and often in our personal lives), timing is everything. Here are some of the best times to ask your customers for reviews:
1. Catch Them In Person
If your business has a brick-and-mortar store or you meet your customers in person, take the opportunity to ask for a review while you’re in their presence. It would be best to have a tablet with the review site ready for your customer to make the experience as quick, convenient and easy as possible. This is a surefire way to get a review immediately, as it’s highly unlikely your customers will refuse.
2. Ask Right After Your Service is Done
It’s always a relief for your customer when you’ve provided them with a job well done. It’s a good idea to ask for a review at the completion of your services or once you have delivered your products to them. Besides being in a good mood, you catch them when your service quality is still fresh and they’ve enjoyed a positive interaction with your business. The reviews they leave would likely be positive and extensive.
3. Give Them Time To Try Your Product
Timing differs from business to business. In some instances, your customer needs to experience your product before offering a review. Or they need to enjoy the end result of your services before providing their perspective and opinion of your company. These are important factors to account for when establishing how to ask for a review from customers. For example, a customer forming an opinion about a skincare solution takes more time (a few days perhaps), whereas customers can form their opinion on the new kitchen knife they bought immediately after use. Make sure your customer has enough time to make an informed review before asking.
How To Encourage Customers To Write Reviews That Help You
Unhappy customers are likely to leave negative reviews about their bad experiences in the hopes of being heard and sometimes as an effort to get compensation. Whereas happy customers often don’t even think about leaving a review. It’s important to bear in mind that negative reviews can be beneficial to you, even though they may be difficult to read and receive. Studies show that 85 percent of consumers look for negative reviews. It helps them anticipate problems and makes the reviews seem less fake. What’s more, if you are responsive to your negative reviews by acknowledging the issues, offering a positive response and communicating further with the unhappy customer, your prospects will be impressed and remain interested in your company.
Negative reviews aren’t bad, but it’s still the positive reviews that really boost your business’s appeal online. Here is some practical advice on how to get customer reviews that are positive:
1. Ask When You Know They’re Happy
Asking for a positive review is best when you’ve just received a casual compliment from your customer. You know they’re happy with your service so it’s easy to ask them to help you out with a review. When you ask after the fact, it can feel like you’re asking them to go out of their way and they may not feel like they have time or interest in trying to remember how they felt about the service they received.
2. Personalize the Request
You can personalize your approach by using their names in your email campaigns and sending a direct video request. When your customers feel you’re going the extra mile for a review, it’ll encourage them to oblige. Telling your customers why you need the reviews also goes a long way — you make your customer feel needed and appreciated.
3. Turn Negative Reviews Around
One negative review can scare away 22 percent of potential customers. However, seeing a response from your business may lessen the impact. Responding to your negative reviews shows customers that you care about their experience and it leaves a good impression.
How To Get Customer Reviews Without Asking Directly
These best practices encourage more engagement from your customers in the future. You can create constant conversations directly with your customers and you can indirectly impress your prospects. The more reviews you have the easier it is to ensure that leaving reviews is standard practice by all customers.
Here are some ways on how to encourage customers to write reviews without asking:
1. Provide Multiple Opportunities
You can display a sign in your physical store or offices with a QR code leading to the review site. You can add a link to leave a review in your email signature (this is subtle yet very effective). You can also include the links in your digital receipts or have a review widget on your site.
2. Reply To Almost Every Customer Review
Consumers need to know your brand cares about their experience through responses to reviews. In fact, 89 percent read your answers to customer reviews. Enlist the help of review response services to ensure your responses are humanized and thoughtful, showing your customers you care.
3. Maintain A Great Overall Reputation
Today’s businesses are fortunate to have access to modern online reputation management tools to make the job easier. Your business attracts more customers and more reviews with a great brand image and solid reputation. Get notified every time your brand is mentioned online with review monitoring services.
How To Ask For A Review From Your Particular Customers
Studies show that 70 percent of consumers will leave reviews if you just ask. But what we’ve learned is that the way you ask must be well-planned and strategic. Now that we’ve tackled how to ask for a review, you need to find the best course of action specific to your business, industry and type of customer. Remember, these tips on how to ask for reviews will only make sense if you offer excellent services and give your customers a reason to review you. Your review collection strategy needs to be consistent with the right reputation management tools on-hand.
Still not sure how to get customers to leave reviews? Our experts are here to help craft a customized strategy for you. Contact Rize Reviews today to boost your customer reviews the right way.