One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to improve customer acquisition and retention lies in customer reviews.
They have the potential to make or break your business, but if you go about it the right way, there is a greater chance of receiving quality reviews.
Many brands don’t realize it, but there is nothing wrong with asking a customer for a review. It is just the way you go about it that will determine the type of impact it has on your company.
More often than not, customer reviews carry more weight than anything you have to say. Therefore, as part of your overall digital marketing campaign, you should be requesting customer feedback.
Below you will learn why customer reviews are so important, how to ask customers for reviews, and some best practices for doing so.
Why are Customer Reviews Important?
One of the main reasons it is so important to have customer reviews associated with your company is because four out of five Americans make purchasing decisions only after they’ve read reviews.
Why do consumers read reviews? They want to find out whether the product/service being offered is good or works, in addition to ensuring that they aren’t investing in a scam.
Reviews are also important because 83% of consumers will find out about new products each month by reading customer reviews.
Then, of course, there is the fact that seven percent of consumers need to read a minimum of 20 customer reviews before they find the brand trustworthy.
What are the Benefits of Asking Customers for Reviews?
There are numerous benefits your company can realize by asking customers for reviews.
Boost in Reputation
Research shows that 84% of consumers trust reviews they find online as much as (or more so) personal recommendations.
When your company receives a number of five-star reviews from customers, it can highlight the fact that your business is trustworthy.
This provides incredible social proof to instill confidence in shoppers and drive more sales.
Research shows that consumers give an average rating of 4.34 stars out of 5 stars when businesses request customer reviews.
When customers are not prompted to provide a review, the average review rating is 3.89 stars out of 5.
By being proactive in requesting customer feedback, you are helping to strengthen the relationships you have with your customers.
At the same time, this connects your brand to some of the most important voices your company has.
You can essentially activate promoters (influencers) for your brand by knowing how and when to request a review.
By encouraging your customers to write reviews, you are ultimately turning your satisfied customers into powerful brand promoters on various business review websites.
When Should You Ask a Customer for a Review?
In order to get great reviews from your customers, you must know when to ask for feedback.
You need to ask your customers at the most appropriate time to increase your chances of getting a good review.
Ideally, you want to request a review as soon as possible following a conversation or transaction, as this makes sure that your brand is still fresh on their minds.
Here are a few moments when you should ask for a customer review:
- When a customer makes a subsequent purchase.
- Once product delivery has been completed.
- When you’re checking with a customer.
- When you complete a customer’s project.
- Following a sales transaction.
- At the end of a conversation.
- When you’ve made your customer happy.
How to ask customers for reviews? 6 Best Practices
Now that you know the benefits of asking for reviews and when you should ask for them, it is time to dive into some tips as you start asking customers for reviews.
#1: Know Your Goals
Before you start asking customers for reviews, you need to know why you want them.
What do you want to achieve from new customer reviews? For instance, are you simply wanting feedback on how your business is doing, or are you wanting to measure the loyalty of your customers?
By working to identify your goals from the get-go, you will be able to craft the most appropriate template for customer reviews.
This will ensure you collect the information you need/want, increasing your chances of success.
#2: Have Some Middle Options
If you intend to use a rating scale for your review requests, make sure that there is a neutral or middle option.
For example, there are some questions that may be asked that customers may not be completely familiar with how to answer. In some cases, they could have mixed feelings regarding the question.
As such, you want them to have a neutral option or there is a higher risk that they’ll simply choose the most negative option.
Plus, this will help ensure that your data is as accurate as possible.
In the event you choose not to use a rating scale, make sure that you offer multiple-choice, pre-selected answers or only ask “Yes” and “No” questions.
This simply makes it easier for your customers, which is important. If your customers find it too difficult to complete the review questionnaire, they will opt out of it.
#3: Offer an Incentive
While there will be some customers you come across that will happily offer a review by request, there will be some that require a little push — an incentive.
With that being said, what type of incentive should you offer customers in exchange for a review?
Data suggests that giving away free products may be the best option. Plus, if you add in the right influencer marketing campaign, you may be able to increase your traffic and sales at the same time.
Another effective way to ask for a customer review is by offering a future discount code, extending their current subscription, or something similar.
When offering an incentive, you want to make it very clear to your customers that there is no pressure to submit only a positive review.
They need to know you are looking for honest reviews only and that you are grateful for such.
Further, ensure your customers know that their honest customer feedback will not have an impact on the incentive given.
#4: Use the Right Verbiage
So, you know you want to ask your customers for a review, but how do you do so? What exactly do you say?
You can ask for reviews all day, but what is it that will get your customer to write one? Why should they even care?
Offering an incentive, as mentioned previously, will help considerably, but it is also important to take care with the words that you use in your request.
It is believed that adding your business name to the subject line of your emails can increase the review conversion rate by about 3.7%.
Further, when a question is asked (with a question mark, of course), there is an average increase in conversion by about 15.7%.
Further, you should focus on personalization in the email. If the email appears impersonal and cold from the beginning, your open rates will suffer, and as a result, so will your customer review conversion rates.
#5: Make Sure to Respond Immediately When Necessary
If you end up receiving any kind of negative feedback from your customers, you will want to act on this immediately.
This will help them feel valued and appreciated as a customer while also letting them know that you are actively working on the issues that they brought to your attention.
You may make a phone call or send an email, but it is imperative that you do so in a timely manner.
Otherwise, there is a chance that you will leave a dissatisfied customer simmering, potentially ruining the chance of regaining their loyalty.
#6: Test, Measure, and Tweak
While asking for customer reviews is great, you must make sure that you are launching a campaign that you are ready to track.
In order to collect the most appropriate and useful feedback from customers and high response rates, you will want to take the time to test, measure, and tweak your campaign.
Make sure that you are experimenting with various approaches and methods of asking for reviews. For instance, you can request reviews from customers via email, social media, SMS, or in person.
As the data rolls in, assess it and make adjustments to improve the quality of feedback and response rates.
Most markets today are driven by the customer, and their interactions with your brand will vary over time.
Therefore, it is imperative that you keep track of your campaign to see how well (or not so well) it is working for you.
At the end of the day, providing customers with the best possible user and customer experience possible is the most effective way to get positive reviews for your brand.
You should always be focused on what they need and want, which will garner 5-star reviews without even being asked.
However, there is nothing wrong with requesting feedback. And now that you know exactly how to ask customers for reviews, nothing should stop you from reaching success.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your customers, increase qualified leads, and boost revenue, learn how to drive more results through the use of interactive content!