If you’re interested in generating more customer reviews online, asking customers for reviews is a sure-fire method to boost your business.
But did you know there are right—and wrong—ways to ask for reviews?
We’ll cover the top five techniques for asking your customers for reviews, diving into the gritty details you need to know.
1. Ask In-Person
When a screen lies between you and your audience, getting a genuine human response is tricky.
People respond better to face-to-face interaction, and that’s why you should ask customers for reviews in person—if you can.
Train employees to ask with appreciation, kindness, and humility. A smile goes a long way when you’re asking for a favor.
2. Send an Email
For online-only storefronts, getting that direct connection isn’t always possible. The next best option is a digital message.
In order to achieve those coveted reviews, you don’t simply want to say “we need reviews.” Just like talking in-person to your customers, you want to humanize your voice and exude appreciation and respect.
Keep it Short
No one wants to read a seemingly endless email of a story they didn’t ask for. If your content isn’t readable, your customers might not even give it a glance.
To make your request easier on the eyes, keep it short, sweet, and to the point while remaining friendly. You can also break up the text with white space to help it flow.
For those who need a bit more guidance, we’ve included a simple structure below to help you craft your email while maintaining your brand voice.
Another key to sending a review request is to personalize your emails. By including your customer’s name and purchased product or service, the email won’t feel like an auto-generated response—even when it is.
Here’s a breakdown of how you should structure your email.
Dear customer name,
Thank you for purchasing our product.
Additional appreciation (if you want).
Request a review with a quick link to the page.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? You can contact customer service with a phone number included or a link to a feedback page.
Sincerely (or any sign-off that fits into your brand voice),
Pretty easy right? If you’re still not sure of the best way to craft your email, check out these tips and templates for writing emails asking for reviews.
3. Ask the Right People
While review-gating is against policy for many review sites such as Google, knowing who to ask can increase your chances of receiving reviews.
The best people to ask are those who have proven to be loyal customers. If they keep coming back, you know they like your brand.
If someone praises you on social media, they’re also a great person to ask for a review. If they’ve already written one on their Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, they’ll probably leave you one on Google, Yelp, or Tripadvisor—if you ask.
The best method when asking for reviews, though, is to ask everyone. And to ask more than once.
4. Ask for Reviews at The Right Time
There are more, and less, opportune moments to ask for a review—whether you’re doing it online or in person.
With Product or Service Delivery
Instead of sending an email out as soon as your customer purchases the product, you can also send a message inside the package.
By asking your customers for a review immediately after they receive a product or service, their experience will be fresh in their mind—making it more likely that they’ll leave you feedback.
After a Milestone
Asking for reviews after a milestone is a great excuse to send out that email, letter, or text.
By mentioning anniversaries—like a year from when you converted a customer or opened your doors, your review request becomes positioned as a gift that your customer can give to you.
And who doesn’t love to give the joy of gifts every once in a while? We’ve got a whole holiday dedicated to it, after all.
After Making Changes
If you’ve recently changed your location, updated your site, or added features to a product, this is a great time to ask for reviews.
You can mention the specific changes and ask them how they feel about it. Once your customer’s mind starts running, they’re likely to share their opinions.
When you have a customer who returns again and again, you know they’re the right one to ask.
But when a customer returns for even only the second time, you’ve got a window of opportunity. You know they liked your product enough to buy it again, and if they didn’t leave a review the first time, they might the second.
The End of a Relationship
Some clients and customers are only with a business for a short time before they are destined to move on.
That doesn’t always mean that the customer was unhappy with the service, it just works out that way sometimes.
When you know you’re about to finish a project or an entire relationship with a client, you should ask them for a review. Many customers see it as a great way to say thank you for a job well done.
After Receiving Feedback
As you know, seeing praise on social media is a green flag for asking for reviews.
But after receiving any type of feedback—the good or the bad—is a good time to ask for a review. Contact customers who have been in touch with customer service. Look through internal feedback if you have any (and if you don’t, consider setting up a page on your site).
You know that a customer who already went out of their way to leave feedback is the type of person who would leave a review.
No matter what paths you take, you should build feedback requests into your business model.
By regularly asking for reviews at consistent times, you can create a constant flow of reviews that can help grow your business.
Make asking for reviews a consistent practice, and you’ll generate genuine online responses.
Why Asking for Reviews is Worth Every Second
Asking for reviews can be intimidating.
You can’t be sure if you’ll receive glowing positive reviews or tragic negative reviews—and that uncertainty might impact your drive to ask customers for reviews.
But rest assured that there is no reason to be afraid of asking for reviews, even if you think they might not reflect kindly on your business—a 1-star yelp review can boost your revenue by 5-9%.
Reviews help SEO. With more (and granted, better) Google reviews, your business is more likely to rank highly on a local search.
If you have great customer service and high-quality products, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find happy customers to leave positive reviews that can increase your conversion rate by 270%.
When it comes to reviews, you want them to be numerous, recent, and high-quality (but not too high!).
The more you ask, the more reviews you’ll generate.
When you’re more consistent, you’ll receive more frequent responses.
And negative reviews aren’t all bad. They give you opportunities—and can lower your rating enough for it to be believable. A perfect rating on Google is fishy, and customers trust businesses that fall into the 4.2- to 4.5-star sweet spot the most.
Even if you don’t see the 5-star results you were hoping for, your business will benefit from asking for reviews.