Reviews are the lifeblood of many businesses these days. Whether it's stars on Google Business, upvotes on Reddit, or thumbs ups on Facebook, customer feedback holds some serious weight. And for good reason - people trust other people over brands any day.
That’s why getting more reviews needs to be a priority. But you can’t just beg for 5 star ratings and expect people to happily oblige. Nope, asking for reviews requires some finesse. You want feedback that actually helps your business, not generic “It’s great!” comments or obviously fake praise.
The key is making it easy and enticing for delighted customers to share their thoughts. In this post, we’ll cover nine savvy ways you can get more authentic, beneficial reviews without annoying everyone or coming across as desperate. Think incentives, perfect timing, and personalised prompts. Because the right request can nudge happy customers to give your business some love online while helping others decide you’re worth checking out.
So let’s dive into the top techniques for garnering more rave reviews and take your reputation to the next level!
1. Ask at the Point of Purchase
Want reviews while excitement is high? Then you need to strike when the iron is hot. And there’s no better time than right after a customer makes a purchase or uses your service.
Whether it’s physically in your establishment or online after checkout, politely ask if they’re satisfied with their experience so far.
You can say something like:
“Was our team able to answer all of your questions today?”
If they say yes, follow up with:
“That’s great! If you have a moment, we would really appreciate a quick review online about your experience so far. Here are links to our review pages.”
Then provide paper slips or emails with links to make leaving a review fast and hassle-free.
The key is capitalising on that rush of excitement from the new product or service.
People are much more motivated to leave positive feedback immediately versus a vague “maybe later.” Quick rave reviews help build credibility for potential customers too.
Just be careful not to be overly pushy or you’ll get the opposite effect. Keep it friendly and focused on if they’re satisfied so far. Then graciously accept any feedback given while they’re still stoked about your business.
2. Follow Up by Email
So you made the ask at checkout but crickets in response. No worries - not everyone rushes to review right away. That’s why you need to follow up after the fact.
About a week after a purchase or appointment, send a friendly email checking in on their experience. Here’s a template for an effective review request email:
I hope you’ve been enjoying [product/service purchased]! We strive to provide top-notch [value proposition] to all of our customers.
If you have a spare moment, would you mind leaving us a review? We would greatly appreciate your feedback on your overall satisfaction with [X, Y, Z aspects]. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to improve as well!
You can leave a review at the links below:
[Review Site A]
[Review Site B]
Thanks so much for choosing us and have a wonderful day!
The key is to sound natural versus canned spam. Make sure to personalise with their name, order details, and offer specific review site links. Follow up once more if needed but don’t badger them. This friendly nudge gives busy customers a chance to come back and review when it’s convenient.
3. Offer an Incentive
Now this may feel a bit old school, but a little incentive can go a long way in motivating reviews. People are busy and often forget to stop back. A small reward gives them a friendly nudge.
The key is keeping the incentive small but meaningful. You don’t want to break the bank or come across as bribing people for reviews.
When sending a follow up email or asking in person, you can say something like:
"We'd be extremely grateful if you could leave us a short review. As a thank you, here's a discount code for 15% off your next purchase with us. We value your feedback!"
Just make sure to frame the incentive as a thank you versus payment. And don’t give it out until after they’ve left a review. A little goes a long way to get more feedback while also making customers feel appreciated.
Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand on any part of this section!
4. Make It Personal
Want to really stand out and prompt more genuine reviews? Then add a personal touch when reaching out.
Instead of blasting generic review requests, tailor your ask to each customer. Mention specifics about them or their experience:
- "Katie, I hope you're still loving the shoes you bought last week!"
- "Hi Matt, thanks for coming in for your annual checkup yesterday. We appreciate you choosing us!"
- "Hey Susan, I hope that plumbing fix we did is still holding up nicely!"
When you add personal details and show customers you remember them, it builds a connection. They'll be more inclined to take a few minutes and leave a thoughtful review.
Adding personal touches takes more effort but yields reviews that can resonate more with potential customers. They'll feel the care you put into the ask. And remembering details shows you really value each and every client.
5. Ask at Service Touchpoints
For service businesses, reviews often come after a project is fully complete. But you can grab feedback during the process too.
Look for natural touchpoints to check in and ask how things are going:
You can say something like "We're halfway through now - how's everything going on your end? If you have a moment, we'd love any feedback on your experience so far."
Early reviews give you a chance to course correct if needed. They also build your credibility as in-progress work displays. And collecting multiple reviews across a project shows you continually earn that business.
Just be sensitive to timing so you don't interrupt urgent work. Look for occasions where checking in naturally fits the customer relationship.
Ongoing feedback takes advantage of the full customer lifecycle. You benefit from more reviews while customers give them top of mind versus after it's done and forgotten.
6. Add Review Links to Email
Want a super easy way to get more eyes on your review links? Include them in your email signatures and drip campaigns.
These small additions plant review seeds as customers interact with your business:
It may seem small, but those glimpses build familiarity and repetitively show customers where to review. The convenient links make posting one quick click versus searching later.
Pro tip: Make sure to test the links! Nothing more frustrating than a broken one.
Sewing review prompts into emails is an easy "set it and forget it" way to passively encourage more feedback. Just stay relevant and don't overdo it. A friendly reminder goes further than sounding desperate.
7. Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing has exploded in recent years. And leveraging influencers is a smart way to earn credible third-party reviews.
Identify bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, or other content creators who align with your brand and niche. See if they'd be open to featuring your business in exchange for free products/services.
The key is finding partners with an audience that mirrors your ideal customers. A mom blogger for baby products. A home chef influencer for kitchenware. A travel vlogger for vacation spots.
When pitching, be clear it's not a guaranteed glowing review. They maintain editorial control and can share honest feedback. Make it a trial run to authentically showcase your offerings.
If it goes well, the influencer shares their experience with their engaged following. Their review carries more weight than you boasting yourself. It's a third-party endorsement.
For maximum impact, negotiate usage rights to reuse video clips, photos, or quotes on your own marketing. Reposting influencer reviews to your channels builds social proof.
Just ensure FTC compliance by clearly disclosing the gifted arrangement. Transparency is key when partnering with paid influencers.
Leverage influencers to put your business in front of new audiences and build authenticity. But relinquish control - the goal is unbiased reviews, not sales pitches.
8. Request Specific Feedback
Generic "please leave a review" often yields generic star ratings and comments. You can prompt more thoughtful reviews by requesting specific feedback.
When customers have clear guidance on what to comment on, they provide more meaningful reviews. Their thoughts are tailored to insights you want versus general praise.
Just be sure what you're asking about directly impacts the customer experience. Don't fish for responses on internally-facing changes like new software or payroll services.
Additionally, if you specifically solicit positive reviews, make sure to allow space for critical feedback too. Unbalanced censorship defeats the purpose of reviews.
Thoughtful prompts yield detailed anecdotes and transparent recommendations. These give potential customers a helpful window into working with you versus vague star ratings alone.
9. Respond and Thank
Getting reviews is just the first step. Responsively managing them cements that feedback loop.
Make sure to monitor and promptly respond to reviews, both positive and negative. This shows customers you value their opinions and actively seek to improve.
Positive Review Replies:
Negative Review Replies:
Being responsive, not defensive, conveys professionalism and your commitment to customers. Plus it gives potential new clients confidence in choosing your business.
Make review management part of your routine. A quick reply and simple thank you can speak volumes.
Customer reviews are invaluable free marketing. But you have to work for them through proactive efforts.
It takes ongoing nurturing to build a strong review presence. From thoughtful asks to active management. Yet the rewards outweigh the efforts.
With some creativity and strategic planning, you can encourage a steady stream of feedback. The key is being authentic in your pursuit of reviews, not sales.
Keep experimenting with what resonates with your audience. Surveys, signage, social media — leverage various avenues.
Just remember that quality trumps quantity. It's more important to cultivate honest, detailed reviews than to boost numbers.
So get out there and start that review conversation with customers. The insights will help your business - and the online influence will attract more of the right customers.
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