How to get positive customer reviews

Many people, before buying a new product, read reviews. As a business, staying on top of what customers are saying about your business is essential. And while not all reviews are positive, the way you respond to negative reviews says as much about your business as reviews.

“Customer reviews are data assets that are also one of the most effective marketing strategies – word of mouth, but digitized,” said Stacey Kane, Business Development Manager at EasyMerchant. “Using your customer opinion bank is like employing your own customers as brand ambassadors; they improve lead generation because customer reviews serve as personal recommendations, which every smart consumer is looking for. “

Knowing how important customer reviews are, is it okay to ask customers for a review and how should you frame your request?

Should we ask for customer reviews?

It might seem awkward and you might feel like you’re looking for compliments, but every business asks for customer reviews in one way or another.

“The benefits of positive reviews are obvious: they remove a barrier to buying by relieving the perceived remorse of the potential buyer, leveraging the collective voice of real people to say, ‘Yes, this product or service is worth the money. worth buying, ”said Denise Blasevick, CEO and founding partner of The S3 Agency.

Customer reviews not only soften a consumer’s hesitation about your product or service, but the information you can glean from a review can prove invaluable to your business.

“Asking for customer reviews is an absolute must. [reviews] show customer approval and are raw proof that your product or service is working. By collecting the opinions of your current customers and / or users, you will learn how your product or service is having a real impact on your customers, ”said Kane.

You need to collect customer reviews, Kane added, so that you can use that data to market your products or services as something highly trusted by other buyers, which can give your business a competitive edge.

Advice: Avoid standardized or automated requests when soliciting a review for your business. Being genuine in your claim will go a long way.

When to request a customer review

Blasevick said business owners need to be careful when making their request – there is a fine line between the honeymoon period, when a customer is forming an opinion about your business, and asking too early. .

“To make reviews as authentic as possible, think about how much time your buyers need to actually experience your product or service. This time varies. For example, if you are a coffee brand, people can rate whether they like it. Whether or not your product is first manufactured, so you can ask for an opinion right away, “Blasevick explained.” For an acne product, that’s an unrealistic expectation, so asking for a review on day one would be inappropriate. “

Shagun Sharma, Founder of Naytra Couture, said of her policy: “We think it’s important to make sure the customer has received the product and has had time to wear it, so around seven to 10 days. after the tracking confirms that it received it. [is when we ask]. “

Petra Odak, director of marketing at Better Proposals, added that the perfect time to apply could range from a few weeks after a consumer has tried your product or service to a few months.

Be direct when asking for reviews

It’s natural to fear rejection, and it’s understandable that you don’t want to bore customers with your requests, which is why many businesses are reluctant to ask customers for reviews. However, this hesitation can be detrimental to your business.

“We’ve talked about positive and negative reviews, but there’s another category: lack of reviews, which is perilous for brands in a digital world,” said Blasevick.

Transparency is the key when asking for opinions. Customers see their opinion as part of the shopping experience. For small business owners, being blunt doesn’t hurt.

“We are completely transparent with our clients because we are new, their opinions and comments are so valuable to us,” said Sharma.

We asked the experts we interviewed for this story, as well as entrepreneurs and professionals, how they approach consumers when they ask for an opinion. Here are their suggestions:

  • “How do you like the product / service so far? “- Stacey Kane, Business Development Manager, EasyMerchant
  • “We recently launched our product and are looking for people to share their experience using our product. Would you be able to provide customer feedback? “- Lindsey Allard, co-founder and CEO of PlaybookUX
  • “We really believe in our product and we know we can help a whole new segment of people who are in a similar position to yours. I know you use our product and we were wondering if you would be able to provide an opinion on our product? “- Lindsey Allard
  • “Please let us know how we are doing so that we can improve ourselves!” – Abby Hau, Marketing Manager at WellPCB
  • “Are we meeting your expectations? “- Ben Heinkel, business manager

How do you encourage customers to write a review?

Now that you know what to say, what’s the best way to encourage consumers to leave a review? Below are some examples of the best ways to ask for customer reviews.

  • Website pop-up window: “A simple contextual question asking, ‘How do you like the product / service so far? Is more than enough to convey your request to customers. People don’t want to fill in anything that is long or complicated, so if there is an absolute need for the client’s actual words, it should just be a simple question asked, “Kane says.
  • Social media: On social media platforms and other online channels, customers can fill out a review form and provide a star rating, or they can choose from a list of options, Kane said. If you enable reviews on your social media accounts, stick to simple questions and provide multiple choice answers so people can quickly and easily complete their review.
  • Email survey: Email can be a good way to ask for feedback from existing customers rather than a full review. Be clear and candid in the subject line of your email. Blasevick recommended including a personal note thanking customers for their loyalty and letting them know that providing feedback allows your business to continually improve its products or services.

    “Respect their time by doing a short poll (and tell them that too),” Blasevick said. “An email can provide a personal communication, signed by an actual human, while a social message doing the same would appear inauthentic.”

  • Determine if you want to offer an incentive: You might want to reward customers who share their reviews, however, this can be tricky. On the one hand, it can help you improve the customer experience and elevate your brand, but it won’t guarantee a review, or even a positive one.

    On the other hand, not everyone agrees that offering an incentive or reward in exchange for a review is the way to go. Consider the specific circumstances of your business before doing this.

    “[Offering rewards in exchange for reviews] could compromise the legitimacy of the reviews you receive. Personally, I would avoid this and strive to ask more people for reviews and do your best to provide top notch customer service so people are more inclined to give reviews, ”Allard said.

    Many review platforms prohibit businesses from offering rewards for customer reviews, so depending on how you post the reviews, offering an incentive may be prohibited.

There are other easy and effective ways to encourage customers to leave a positive review of your business.

“You must beware [of] the cookie-cutter approach to customer reviews. When brands take the time to really think about the customer journey, including the different communication platforms, as well as the timing of the brand experience process, it shows, “said Blasevick.” And don’t forget to other ways to let consumers know that their reviews matter to you. Packaging inserts, on-site signage, a simple note on an invoice – these are all valuable touchpoints that can inspire someone to take their precious time to give you valuable advice. “

How to take advantage of a negative customer review

So what do you do if you get a negative review online? Negative reviews, Blasevick said, provide an opportunity for brands that take consumer concerns seriously and strive to address them.

” How? ‘Or’ What ? By thanking the reviewer and fixing the problem, actions that consumers see as standing actions, as long as the systemic issues are actually resolved, ”explained Blasevick. “[Otherwise] Apologies without action are considered manipulation. “

Joseph P. Harris