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How to Get Customer Reviews for Businesses

How to Get Customer Reviews for Businesses

In the last several years, the effect of online reviews on the customer-business relationship has genuinely exploded; every customer can now make their voice heard publicly, and businesses are now receiving many new customers due to their online reputation and word of mouth. Online review sites have created added incentives for businesses to provide quality products and services and to make sure that their customers feel valued. Given that 97% of consumers read online reviews and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. These numbers are enormous and highlight just how critical it is that your company is listed on the right review sites, in the right categories, getting reviews regularly and responding to those reviews to make sure your customers know that you take their feedback seriously.

We wanted to break down when you should ask for customer reviews and how to get more customer reviews every week so that your business can get the most value out of review sites and (hopefully!) drive tons more potential customers to your business.

How do I ask for a review?

How to ask for Google reviews

There are several specific interactions in the customer lifecycle when you can organically ask someone to review you, I’m going to cover each of those interactions and provide some templates you can use as a starting point for your review request processes.

How to request reviews over Email

One of the best ways to ask for reviews is through email; it’s particularly useful for keeping analytics about your review process. We usually encourage remembering who has been asked to review your product and where they have been asked to write these reviews, an email allows you track email opens (i.e., if a customer has read the email) and email clicks (whether the customer has clicked the link to your review page). You can also track how many people reviewed you after they have been asked! It’s crucial to know which customers have already reviewed. If you send emails through a CRM, you can add a filter so that customers who have already reviewed won’t be asked to review twice on the same review site!

If you integrate your review requests with your appointment booking system; an email can be sent asking them for a review after their appointment is complete. Alternatively, for companies selling physical products, you can send an email when your shipping provider notifies you that they have delivered the goods.

Timing an email request is essential too - you want to send an email to your customer when the interaction is fresh in their mind, i.e., after they have received the goods or services that you are selling. We recommend this moment rather than the point of payment as if you might not have delivered the product yet and they are unlikely to write a review until it has arrived. You can also use this message to ask for some specific feedback about their experience so that you can improve in the future!

Asking for customer reviews through email also allows you to pick where you want your customer to leave a review, and you can provide them with a short link that sends them directly to the review page! This direct link reduces the friction between you asking them to leave a review and them writing the review.

How to follow up on a customer review to get twice the impact!

If you monitor new reviews on your review sites (using a product like Advocately), it’s also possible to send multiple follow-up emails to a customer asking for a review as part of a campaign, as long as you remove anyone who reviews you throughout the campaign. (You don’t want to ask for a review if someone has just reviewed you!) Follow up review requests always result in more reviews. It can be time-consuming if not automated though. We have included some templates for a multi-touch review request campaign below.

Templates for asking for customer reviews via email

Email 1
Subject: "Could you please help us out with a review?"
Body: "Hi there,

Thank you so much for buying our product/using our service. We hope that your experience so far has been tremendous and we are always looking for ways to improve! Could you please give us some feedback?

Would you mind giving us some feedback by writing us a review on Google? It should take less than 2 minutes!

Follow this link: {replace with link}
*Write a review!"

Email 2
Subject: "We would love your feedback!"
Body: "Hi there,

Thank you for your business recently! We hope that you had a good experience with us. Would you mind giving us some honest feedback by writing us a review on Google?
We are always looking for ways to improve. It should take less than 2 minutes!

Click here to leave a review now: {replace with link}
We’d appreciate your help!"

How to ask for reviews with SMS

How to ask for customer reviews with SMS

Asking for reviews via SMS is very similar to asking for a review through email, except you can assume an almost 100% open rate! You can still definitely track analytics on requesting reviews through SMS though - review completion rates is still a very useful metric to measure. A review request via SMS should also be a bit shorter than an email; you need to get to the point faster ;)

Similarly to requesting reviews via email, if you integrate your SMS review requests with your booking system, you can send an SMS to your customer asking for feedback on their experience after they have finished their appointment!

Asking for customer reviews through SMS has many of the same benefits as sending emails with regards to picking and choosing where you want reviews. It’s so much easier to send a customer a direct link to the review page (rather than giving instructions on how to leave a review), that you should see quite a good conversion rate from request to completing the review.

Here is a simple template of an SMS review request:

Templates for asking for customer reviews via SMS

Hey there,

Thank you for your business recently! We hope that your experience so far has been great and we are always looking for ways to improve! Would you mind giving us some feedback?

Follow this link {replace with link}

Asking for Reviews in Person

How to ask customers for online reviews in person.

When a customer gives you a positive message about the experience in person, don't just politely say thank you!

You should thank them for their comments, but you should also politely ask them if they could leave an honest review online.

A script for in-person praise

Thank you so much for your kind words! We work hard to provide the best product/service/customer service that we can as we know that the best chance we have to grow and succeed is to do the right thing and treat our customers well.

Would you mind leaving a review online with your feedback? We are always looking to grow we have found that customer reviews (whether they are good or bad) help us as a company. Can I send you a link to our Google review profile?

If you get praise via email or SMS, we recommend providing a link to the review site rather than asking to send a link in a different message.

Alternate template for praise received via email or SMS

If you have received praise through email or SMS, you can provide your customer a link directly to the review site, rather than instructions to do so; a direct link will reduce friction in the review process and should help garner more reviews.

Thank you so much for your kind words! We work hard to provide the best product/service/customer service that we can as we know that the best chance we have to grow and succeed is to do the right thing and treat our customers well.

Would you mind giving us some feedback by writing us a review on Google? You can review us here: {replace with link}

How to ask for a review after they receive a product.

When a customer opens a delivered package, it is entirely acceptable to have placed a note (handwritten is bonus points!) wishing them luck with the product and asking them to leave a review when they are able, with short instructions on how to do so.

Template for a physical handout in the delivery box

Thank you so much for buying our product! We hope that your experience so far has been great and that you love the (product name) as much as we enjoyed designing/making it. We would appreciate your feedback on the buying process/product itself when you get a chance; it will help us improve so that our future products are even better! It should only take a few minutes. (Replace with instructions on how to write a review online)

When they receive the receipt after a transaction

After a customer has paid for your product or service, it is a great idea to offer a physical handout with the receipt that explains why customer reviews are essential to you and your business and have some simple instructions on how they can help you by reviewing your business online.

Template for a physical handout with the receipt

Thank you so much for working with us! We appreciate your business and would love any feedback you have on our product/service, the customer service/support and any processes about our business. Could you write us a review online? It should only take a few minutes

(Replace with instructions on how to write a review online)

Get a review after a good support interaction

Any interaction with a customer, in person, by email, phone, or SMS is a great chance to ask for feedback. After you have solved their problem, feel free to ask them for honest feedback on one of the review sites where you are trying to get customer reviews!

Template to use after a good support interaction

Thank you so much for reaching out! I'm really glad we managed to sort everything out.

I would love to hear your feedback on our products and this support request, would you mind leaving a review online? It should only take about two minutes. (link)

Ask for reviews in your email signature

This one is a more passive method, but if it will get you more reviews it’s worth it! We recommend adding a link into your email signature asking for reviews with some text preceding it:

We work hard to provide the best product/service that we can; we would love your feedback on how we are doing! How to ask for online reviews in your email signature

"Leave a review" page on your site

If you have a website, we recommend having a page showcasing your rankings on the review sites that you care about while also having links to those review site profiles. This will allow potential customers to read those reviews and gives your existing customers an easy way to leave reviews about your company!

This page can be where you link customers to in your email signature, and it provides a branded place to link to in blog posts, SMS messages, emails, and thank-you pages after you have made a sale.

Compliance

Before we even begin to look into asking for customer reviews in more depth, it's essential that you be aware of the rules around each review site on which you are working to get customer reviews.

Many review sites disallow incentives or require them to be mention in the review itself. To this end, we encourage not offering an incentive - most likely your customers will be happy to write a review regardless!

Another critical thing to note is that some sites don't allow you to ask for customer reviews at all - Yelp is the primary example of this, but please let us know if you find other review sites that don't allow it!

Conclusion

After your customer has left a review, we encourage sending an SMS or an email thanking them for the review, emphasizing how valuable their feedback is to you and your business. If possible, we also recommend you respond to their customer review on the review site itself as this shows that you are grateful and has positive benefits for your business as well.

Ideally, at some point in the customer lifecycle, you should be able to ask your customers for a review, but we understand that it can be hard to keep track of some of these things. Many customers are turning to automation to manage the review request and monitoring aspects of the process; this allows you to focus on providing an excellent product/service and experience to your customers and all you need to do is jump in to respond to customer reviews as they start rolling in every day ;)

Advocately can help you automate this entire process. Please click the link below to get started today. The first 14 days are free! No credit card required.

1. https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/