How do you ask for reviews from customers regarding their experience with your company? What should you say during these conversations? And how can you get better at asking for customer feedback?
When you run a business, you want to hear positive feedback from your prospective clients. If you take the time to ask them for feedback, they will tell you something. But unfortunately, this can hurt sales and even cause you to lose loyal customers.
You can ask your customers for feedback through surveys, phone calls, email inquiries, social media messages, text messaging, or even face-to-face meetings. The key is to choose the method that suits your business best.
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33 Inventive Ways How to Ask for Reviews from Customers
Asking customers for reviews along their customer journey can be tricky business. Knowing how to ask for feedback without coming across as sale-sy or pushy is hard. But if you want to improve your customer service, try asking for product reviews. Here are some tips to get started.
When Asking in Person
To ensure that your product gets the best possible 5-star rating, you must go out there and find people willing to give you honest feedback. This is easier said than done, though. People often feel uncomfortable asking for quick reviews in person. However, asking open-ended questions allows you to gather information you can use to improve your marketing efforts.
They worry about being judged or, even worse, getting rejected. But, if you take advantage of every chance you get, you might get some great personal recommendations. Here’s how to do it.
Make eye contact
When someone asks for an unprompted review, they are looking for reassurance. You don’t want to look shifty or nervous. Instead, try making eye contact. Look into their eyes and smile. Doing so makes you seem confident and trustworthy.
Don’t say something vague like, “I’d love to hear what you think.” Instead, tell them exactly why you want an honest review. For example, if you’re selling a book, you could say, “I’m writing my next novel, and I’d love to know your opinion on it.” Or, if you’ve got a restaurant, you could say, “I’d love your opinion on our food.”
Don’t come off as pushy or desperate. Instead, state, “Would you mind taking a few minutes to write me a short review?” Then, wait patiently while they consider whether or not to help you.
Give them plenty of time
Most people will respond later. Many will ignore you altogether. So, don’t start pressuring them. Instead, wait 24 hours or so and send another email. Then, if you still need to hear something, call them again.
Thank them profusely
Once you receive a positive response, thank them for helping you out. Tell them you appreciate their support and encourage them to continue doing so. This should be part of your review policies.
After receiving a review, follow up within 48 hours. Send a quick note to thank and acknowledge them for their time and let them understand and know that you plan on implementing their suggestions.
Asking Over the Phone
If you’re running a business that’s customer service heavy, you know how important positive feedback is. You want customers to feel like they had an excellent customer experience with your brand. And there’s no better way to do that than to ask them directly for a review.
But choosing whom to approach is tricky. Do you go straight to the person who had a negative experience? Or do you start with someone who had a great one?
There are several ways to engage your future customers over the phone without being pushy or annoying. Here are some tips so you can make the best impression possible.
Know why you’re calling
Before making contact, consider why you want to ask for a review and whether the timing is appropriate. For example, if you’re trying to convince a potential customer to sign up for a trial, you should wait until after the trial period ends.
When someone calls your customer service number, it’s easy to let your guard down and become annoyed. Instead, try to put yourself in your caller’s shoes. What would you expect to hear from a person answering the phone? Would you prefer to speak to a friend, a salesperson, or a robot? Make sure that you sound friendly and approachable.
Keep it short
Don’t talk too much. Don’t ramble on and on about things unrelated to the call. This will turn off potential customers and make them feel you don’t care enough to listen to them. Instead, stick to the basics and focus on the main points.
Asking via Email
Asking for feedback through email is one of the best ways of encouraging people to leave positive feedback. Make sure it is casual, like a personal email. Reviews via emails help build trust. Consumers sometimes go straight to the source. They often look for third-party opinions before making a purchase decision. You’re giving people another reason to buy from you by offering a review opportunity.
According to customer feedback studies, up to 70 percent of customer service requests resulting from customer service agent emails asking for average ratings after they’ve completed an order. This makes sense because it allows you to tie your reviews to actual transactions that happened. You can also use email to ask future customers to provide feedback on specific aspects of your brand or product. For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, you could send out an email requesting feedback on how easy it is to clean your refrigerator.
In addition to generating new reviews, email requests for reviews are one of the easiest ways to gather authentic reviews. Many people don’t feel comfortable writing negative reviews online, especially if they fear being publicly shamed. But if someone asks for a review, they’ll likely be willing to do it. And because they’re asked directly, rather than having to find their way around a site’s review system, they’re less likely to give fake reviews.
Here are five tips to help you craft an effective email asking for feedback:
Have a Clear Call to Action
Email marketing is not just about sending messages to people; it’s also about making sure they do things (e.g., click links). But what exactly do you want them to do? And how do you make sure they know what to do? This is where your CTA strategy becomes essential. Your CTA should be clear and instructive. It should be easy to understand and use. Most people will only read beyond the headline if something is compelling enough to grab their attention.
In addition to ensuring your CTA is clear, you should ensure your CTA button is big and interactive. For example, if you’re sending out reviews, your CTA might look like this: “Please complete our survey.” Or maybe something like this: “We’d love to hear your feedback!” Bold text and large action buttons are great ways to catch the customer’s eye and encourage them to take action.
Keep it short and sweet
People need more patience when it comes to reading long emails. If you’ve got something to say, keep it brief. A fine rule of thumb is to limit each sentence to no longer than three paragraphs. And remember, you’ll lose credibility if you send too much information. Your goal is to give enough context without giving away too much.
Use a conversational tone
This sounds obvious — but people need to get used to hearing this kind of language from businesses. Treat your recipients like friends by using casual language and speaking in a conversational manner, like in a personal email. You can still convey professionalism, but you won’t need to worry much about sounding stiff or stilted.
Be specific and precise
If your email reads like a laundry list, it’ll likely seem impersonal. To avoid this problem, be specific and direct. Tell your recipients precisely how they can provide feedback. Rather than just saying, “Please take a moment to fill out this survey,” mention which questions they should answer and offer a link to the form.
Avoid the pitfalls of auto-responders
Some companies use automated (or “automated”) responses to their messages. While these systems may seem convenient, they can backfire. People often see these messages as spam, making them less likely to open future emails from the same sender. If you’re tempted to use one of these excellent services, consider returning to the drawing board first. You could find a different tool that only annoys your recipients.
Email campaigns work best when it’s personalized. For example, if you’re sending generic email subjects about your products or services, people won’t respond. So instead, send something like, “Hi, I wanted to reach out and inform you about our new product.” This way, the recipient knows exactly what you’re talking about.
Asking Post-Purchase Reviews
A better way to encourage to leave a review for customers is to ask for one after the sale. This approach allows you to build rapport with the customer, establish trust, and make them feel part of something bigger. After all, what good would it do by selling someone a product if they don’t know anything about it? And what good does it do for your brand if potential buyers never find out about it?
Here are four ways to ask for reviews post-purchase:
Ask for a review during checkout
This method works best when you’re selling a physical product. However, consider sending a survey instead if you’re offering a digital download. Then, when you ask for 5-star reviews during checkout, you’ll likely receive positive responses because you’ve already built a relationship with the person. They’re already familiar with your brand, products, and services, so they’re much more likely to respond positively.
Send an email thanking them for buying
If you’re selling a physical item, you can thank the customer for purchasing your product. In addition to building goodwill, this tactic encourages the happiest customers to write reviews. People love feeling appreciated, especially when it comes to their purchases. Plus, it’s just polite to say thanks.
Create Review Requests on Facebook
You can ask people to write review requests about your products or services on almost every social network. But it would help if you focused most of your efforts on Facebook because it’s a top review site. In fact, according to Trustmary, Facebook gets around 25% of total online consumer reviews.
If you use Facebook as part of your online marketing materials, include a direct link to your product or service on your business profile. This way, potential customers can easily find your page. Also, remember to tag your brand name in the post. Then, if someone likes what they see, they’ll likely comment and give you feedback.
To recap, there are some simple steps to follow when asking for a review on Facebook:
- You must enable reviews on your Facebook page.
- You must share it on your blog or site.
- You must share a preferred review link from review sites with your customer base.
- Send a direct message to your customer base.
Add a ‘Review Us’ Page
This type of page works well because it gives awesome customers a way to provide feedback without having to go directly to the site. Add a “Leave Review” link to each product page. When clicked, the customer gets taken to a separate page where they are asked to provide their name and email address. They then enter a rating out of five stars. After entering their information, they are redirected back to the original product listing.
Write a Personal Note
There are several ways to show appreciation to your loyal customers. One of the most effective ones is sending them a handwritten letter. Of course, you don’t just want to write something generic like “Thank you for your patronage.” Instead, try writing a personalized one. This will help you build a relationship with your prospective clients and give them a sense of appreciation.
A handwritten note is a great way to show your care about your satisfied customers’ experience. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are three tips to follow:
Write a short note
Stay moderate with long paragraphs. Instead, you could keep it simple and to the point.
Include a personal touch
Make sure to include a photo of yourself or your office.
Use a QR code
Ask your happy customers to scan the code and take them directly to your online reviews section.
Ask for a Review thru SMS
The key to getting reviews is to make it easy for people to write down their thoughts about your product. A way to do this is to ask for customer reviews directly via text message. This works best if you already have a large base of registered customers for reviews.
You can use this information to build a database of positive customer reviews. And once you’ve got a good amount of positive reviews, you can start promoting them on your site and social media platforms.
Choose the Right Moment
Customer happiness is one of the most powerful tools in sales. When prospective customers feel happy about something you did for them, it makes them want to tell others about it. This leads to word-of-mouth marketing, which is arguably the best form of advertising there is.
Optimize Your Content
Optimize your website, blog posts, and social profiles to provide quick and easy ways for people to write reviews. Set up website badges to quickly direct visitors to your Yelp and Facebook pages to read and leave comments. And optimize your website for mobile devices so that people can access your site while they’re researching their phones.
Big No-Nos When Asking for Reviews
Every brand wants reviews these days. But how can you get quality feedback without asking for them outright? Here are some tips.
If you want people to write good reviews about your business, keep them from giving them something for anything. It might even turn off potential reviewers.
If you decide to incentivize reviews, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Giveaways are only sometimes effective. People only sometimes buy what they get for free. They might feel obligated to write a review.
- Be careful not to overdo it. Giving away too much stuff can hurt your reputation.
- Think about how you will measure success. Do you care whether someone writes five or ten positive reviews?
Don’t Buy Reviews
The FTC recently announced it would start cracking down on companies buying fake reviews. This is a good thing because consumers deserve to know what they are getting into when they purchase something online.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
The most common reason why companies don’t ask for feedback is that they think it might come off as pushy. But according to research conducted by the American Express OPEN Innovation Lab, asking awesome customers for feedback makes them more likely to want to do business with you again. Sixty-seven percent of people surveyed say they are willing to review a product or service online. And while some people may hesitate to post negative comments about a brand, many others will happily offer up their thoughts.
Plus, you empower them, allowing them to give other consumers as much information as they want. This gives them the ability to help shape future experiences and products and helps them form opinions about what works and doesn’t.