Customer reviews are a powerful thing. Think about the times you’ve been on the fence about making a purchase and only followed through because other customers’ glowing reviews gave you the confidence to pull the trigger. So, we see the value in having a firsthand take on your products and services – but how do you make the ask for those reviews in the first place? It can feel a bit awkward or like you’re asking too much from your customers, but people generally love to share their opinions; they just don’t know the opportunity is there. In this post we’ll go over various scenarios that you can turn into opportunities to ask for reviews, as well as provide examples of how to ask.
Asking for a review in person can be intimidating but it is often the most effective approach, so if the opportunity presents itself, seize it!
The easiest scenario would be that of a customer who approaches you with unsolicited praise. In this case, express your appreciation for their taking the time to provide the feedback, and then make the suggestion. You might say something like:
Happy customer: [singing your praises]
You: That is so great to hear. We really try our best to [do what you’re being praised for]. And thank you so much for taking the time to provide your feedback.
Customer: For sure, thank you for providing such great service!
You: You know, those kinds of comments really help prospective customers to feel more confident in choosing us. If you don’t mind writing what you just said in a quick review on [ platform of your choice], that would be awesome.
The above scenario is typically rare, so more often than not you’ll need to strike up a conversation with your customers that will provide the opportunity. When they’re checking out, ask them about their experience with your store, services, or the products they’re buying.
Did you find everything you were looking for today?
Is this your first time [using the product you’re about to purchase]?
How is that [product they’re purchasing]? I’ve tried [a similar product] but I have yet to try this one.
How was your experience in our store today?
Important: Don’t ask for a review upon their first positive remark about your business. This will render your conversation ingenuine and you will come off as not really caring about their experience but rather just about getting the review. Reviews improve your reputation, but you won’t get any (and your reputation will plummet) if you don’t ask in the right manner.
Get a read on the customer. If their response is short and indicative that they don’t feel like talking, don’t force it. If they respond positively and offer more information or feedback, continue the conversation. As it comes to a close, ask them for the review.
“Well hey, thanks for the feedback. We love sharing that kind of stuff with potential customers so they can feel more comfortable with choosing us. If you’re comfortable with it, it’d be awesome if you could share what you said to me in an online review.”
If you own or operate a business that is customer support-heavy, you and your employees can find plenty of opportunities to ask for reviews over the phone. Choose who you’re asking wisely. If you’ve just helped a customer through a long or difficult problem, it’s probably not best to ask them for a review.
However, if you have a self-proclaimed satisfied customer (ideally if they express gratitude for your help), this is a great time to ask for a review.
“I’m glad I was able to assist you today and we so appreciate your business. We would love it if you shared this experience on [online review platform]. Seeing glowing reviews from existing customers makes others more comfortable knowing they’ll get the support they need should an issue with our services arise.”
You’ll make your customer feel appreciated and valued which not only increases customer loyalty but will also increase the chances of them actually giving you that review.
Asking for reviews via email is a no-brainer and there are a couple of ways you can approach this.
Have an email list? Use it!
Positive reviews from awesome customers like you help others to feel confident about choosing [your business] too. Could you take 60 seconds to go to [link to review platform] and share your happy experiences?
We will be forever grateful. Thank you in advance for helping us out!
Did you know that the number of [business name] fans has doubled in this year alone? We must be doing something right! Let us know what keeps you coming back for more. This enables us to continue providing the best experience possible for you, and helps others understand how [your business name] can make their life easier.
Dear [first name]
Thank you for your recent purchase. We hope you love it. If you do, would you consider posting an online review? This helps us to continue providing great products, and helps potential buyers to make confident decisions.
Thank you in advance for your review and for being a preferred customer.
Nothing can make a customer feel quite as appreciated than receiving a personal email from the business owner. Choose a handful of customers who have done a great deal of business with you, or customers with whom you’re hoping to cultivate lasting relationships and send them a personal note thanking them for their business and asking for the review.
Dear [first name],
As one of our preferred customers, your feedback is of the utmost importance to [business name]. We are constantly striving to provide the ideal experience for our customers, and your input helps us to define that experience. That being said, if you could take a minute to post a review on [review platform], we would so appreciate it.
We hope to see you again soon!
Involve your employees in the process. Stress the importance of customer reviews to your staff and ask that they send personal emails to customers. Let them know that they would be personally contributing to the growth of your organization and they’ll feel empowered to participate in the initiative.
Note: Be sure to keep email correspondence short and sweet. People are busy and you’re already asking them to take the time to write a review – don’t make them read a 2-page letter about it!
Businesses can utilize thank you pages to collect customer reviews. Once they make a purchase or complete a download, your thank you page can include something like:
“Thank you for your purchase! If you enjoyed your shopping experience, tell us (and others) about it!”
“Thank you for your purchase! If you are happy with your [new product], please take a minute to review it here [link to review platform].”
“If you find our information to be helpful, write a review! Reviews help us to not only improve our products and services but also to let others know that we care about delivering the best quality.”
“Could others benefit from [business, product, or service name]? Let them know by writing a review!”
If you do a lot of B2B work, consider your vendors and partners for reviews. Other business owners understand the value of a review, and leaving one on their website or listing may be enough to get one from them without even asking.
However, there are opportunities to ask for reviews from them as well. If you find yourself in a meeting with a client or a business partner, don’t be afraid to simply say,
“Mr. Smith, I really have enjoyed working with you on this project and value your insight. Would you be willing to share your experience with our company by contributing a short review for our testimonial page?”
“Positive feedback from not just customers, but also the partners we work with really helps us to continue attracting more great customers and partners such as yourself. If you wouldn’t mind leaving a review, we would really appreciate that.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. People are more than willing to lend their voice to a company they feel has met their expectations and want to return the favor. Good luck and happy reviewing!