How to ask for customer reviews

by
Shawna-Kay Thomas
Published: June 8, 2021
May 18, 2021

When potential customers are looking for a business online, they are likely looking for more than just a website. More often than not when they type your name into a search engine they are looking for a series of online reviews to help them make a decision. In a recent study, BrightLocal found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019. So it’s clear: online reviews are important for your business.

It may be awkward to ask for reviews but these have become an expected part of doing business. Satisfied customers are usually happy to share their experience online, so why not ask?

Here are four techniques that you can use to ask for online reviews.

1. Design a landing page for collecting reviews.

A great way to encourage customers to share their experience is by creating a page dedicated to collecting reviews. The landing page can be created through review generation software, a survey form or a review widget embedded on your company website. Once this is set up you can develop a communications plan to drive customers to this landing page to leave reviews.

2. Use email.

This is one of the most effective ways to ask for reviews. Using email helps you to connect your request to a recent transaction and target your requests based on customer loyalty and satisfaction. The email can direct the customer to the site where they can leave their review. Make the email personalized and keep it short.

3. Use SMS.

In this age of voice dictation and bite-sized reviews, it’s easier for consumers to write a review directly from their phone or tablet. This means that if you send a review request via SMS, it is highly likely that the customer will click through. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. Due to character limits, crafting the request may be more time-consuming, but it will yield strong results.

4. Ask for reviews at point of sale.

Asking for a review at the point of the transaction is the most immediate and personal way to connect with your customers. For online sales, you can easily link to your review landing page in your order confirmation email. For sales at a physical location, you can have a device on hand for customers to complete a review online. You may also use a tablet or point of sale system to collect customer information and send an immediate email or SMS review request.

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Asking for reviews can boost your reputation, build relationships with customers and amplify your search presence. They also have a long shelf life as they can be used across a number of marketing channels. If you are active on social media and encouraging people to share stories about your brand, take it a step further and ask for online reviews.

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Shawna-Kay Thomas

Prior to joining Virtual Gurus, Shawna-Kay has worked in journalism, communications and marketing for close to ten years. She is a strategic and creative communications professional who is skilled in media relations, writing and editing communication pieces, managing social media and planning events.

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