Getting customers to write reviews in an ongoing struggle for many businesses. You know you need more reviews to improve your online reputation, but most of your customers don’t seem motivated to provide the recommendation or feedback you need.
So, how do you get customers to write reviews for your business? We’ll explain our simple step-by-step process below.
8 Simple Steps to Get Positive Online Reviews Today
The best way to get online reviews is to focus on your customers. You need to encourage customers to write reviews, simplify the reviewing process, support quality feedback, and show you appreciate their help.
Follow this process to ensure the best possible results:
1. Make leaving online reviews easier for your customers.
Customers are more likely to write reviews if they are given a simple, straightforward way to do so.
Ideally, customers should be able to provide feedback with just 1-2 clicks. You don’t want them to have to search for the right review site and manually find your business’s profile to review.
One of the best ways to simplify the reviewing process is to send customers an email with a direct link to a feedback page. Better yet, set up your review request email so customers can choose a star rating directly in your email message.
What if I don’t have my customers’ emails?
If your business operates from a brick-and-mortar store, consider providing a shortened link to a review page in your receipts.
This approach is generally less successful since it requires the customer to type in a URL. However, it may help you get a few more reviews from customers who do not want to give you their email, especially if you provide an incentive (like 10% off their next purchase).
Be sure to encourage customers to sign up for emails at checkout so you can advertise sales and facilitate future reviews.
2. Choose a strategic time to ask for feedback.
Choosing the right time to ask for feedback can result in more or better reviews.
If you ask for a review too soon, you might annoy or confuse a customer who hasn’t had a chance to try out your product yet. If you wait too long, they might not remember much about their experience and feel reluctant to write a review.
Give customers a chance to decide what they think before asking for feedback, but don’t wait longer than that. A brick-and-mortar candle store might send a review request email a few hours after the customer makes a purchase. A construction contractor might ask for a review as soon as the project is finished and the site has been cleaned up.
Time your review request right after the customer has experienced your product or begun seeing results from your service.
3. Start the conversation with an open-ended question.
Not all reviews are created equal. The best reviews come from customers who have thought about your product and understand that you truly appreciate their feedback.
You can improve the quality of your reviews by asking your customers open-ended questions about their experience, like these:
- How was your experience?
- What did you like and dislike about our service?
- Is there anything we could change to improve our product?
This step is particularly important if you are asking for a review in person, but should also be done at the beginning of a review request email. Starting the conversation with an open-ended question before directly asking for a review will communicate that you prioritize the customer experience.
4. Tell the customer you appreciate their feedback.
Whenever a customer provides insight or takes time to write a review, they are doing you a favor. It’s important to make sure that favor is returned with gratitude.
After you raise the questions above (and listen to the customer’s suggestions if you are asking in person), let the customer know that you appreciate their feedback and suggestions.
Keep it simple: a couple of sentences are often enough. For example, you could say, “We appreciate your feedback! We are always working to improve our services and incorporate our customers’ suggestions into our business practices.”
Don’t forget to tell customers that you will incorporate their suggestions into your business practices. Most people will feel more satisfied with your service if they know their input makes a difference.
5. Directly ask your customers to write a review.
Now that you’ve prompted the customer to think about their experience and showed them you appreciate their feedback, it’s time to ask for an online review.
If you are talking to your customer in person, tell them where you’d like them to write a review. For example, you might say ‘We’d appreciate if you write us a review on Yelp’ or ‘We’ll send you an email with a link shortly’. If you are requesting a review over email or text, provide a direct link to a review page or a clickable star rating icon within the email text.
Remember, you want your customer to be able to write a review in as few clicks as possible.
6. Send a follow-up email.
Some customers, especially customers who have had a positive experience, just need a little extra encouragement to write a review.
After asking a customer to write a review in person, be sure to follow up with an email or text that links to a feedback page. You may also want to request a review again after a repeat purchase.
However, don’t follow up for a review too many times. You don’t want to annoy your customers!
7. Thank the customer for their feedback.
Finally, thank reviewers for taking the time to provide feedback. You should always end the customer experience with a thank you message that reiterates how much their feedback means to you.
If you direct customers to a third-party review site like Yelp or Google, include the thank you in your review request email. If you use a review generation tool to create a customized review landing page, make sure the customer experience ends with a thank you message.
8. Use a review management tool to streamline the process.
A review generation tool can help you complete the first seven steps efficiently! You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money, as there are plenty of free tools you can use to build your online reputation.
Our review generation tool, Kudo, allows you to create a review request template that can be sent off in seconds each time you get a new customer’s name and email address. What’s more, you can set up a system to alert you to any negative feedback that may require a response.
Once you’ve implemented these review gathering steps into your business, your online reputation will take off!