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Reviews can do wonders for your sales. They increase customers’ trust in your service or product. New customers can get a picture of you and see that you are really good. In addition, Google reviews help with search engine optimisation (SEO), i.e. your business is found by potential customers in relevant Google searches.
According to various surveys, almost one in three customers would give a review if asked. But what is the best way to ask customers for a review? In this article, we will show you how to ask your own customers for a review. This applies to all types of review requests, but especially to review requests via email.
The most effective way to get more reviews from your customers is to ask them at the right time and with the right message.
Many customers are happy to review a business. They just need to be reminded. It is important to remember the “who, when, how” of any review request.
Which customers should I ask for reviews? (Who?)
Use the right time? (When?)
How do I phrase the request for a review? (How?)
Before we get to these points, here is one more other tip on review requests we want to address.
Please always get your customers’ consent to receive relevant review requests by email in advance. Most companies already do this. This practice is common to confirm, among other things, that your customers agree with the T&Cs and have read the withdrawal.
So use the moment you receive your customers’ email address for the first time, to ask for their consent to receive review requests via email.
The answer to the question “Who should I ask for reviews?” is, simply put: Ask all your customers for reviews! Not all customers asked will always write a review. This makes it all the more crucial to ask everyone.
There are also two reasons why it is important to ask all customers for reviews.
Your reviews are most trustworthy when they come from a variety of different people. Each person uses your service or product in the context of their challenges, for which you offer a solution through your business. These different challenges are incorporated into the customer review. Other customers, and especially new customers, can get a better idea of your business this way.
Reviews that give the impression that only a select group of people wrote them for you do not increase the trust of new customers in your company. On the contrary, reviews that appear to have been written by a selected group of people create mistrust.
Therefore, ask all your customers for reviews. Many customers like to review a company. They just need to be asked to do so in a way that they understand why a review from them is so important to you. Timing and remembering to write a review also plays an important role. More on this below.
One may be tempted to generate only positive reviews and avoid negative reviews. However, this is against the guidelines of Google and many other review platforms.
Specifically trying to avoid negative reviews, discouraging them or asking customers to write only positive reviews will be sanctioned by Google. In the worst case, it can lead to Google hiding or even deleting all your business reviews.
If you are really worried that one of your customers will respond to your review request with a negative review, it helps to reach out to them.
You can do this, for example, by asking your customers how satisfied they were. In this way, you can identify problems at an early stage and offer a solution to dissatisfied customers, thus satisfying them. At the same time, you can generate real, positive reviews in this way.
The answer to the question “When should I ask for reviews?” varies depending on the industry.
Does your company offer services or advice in a clearly limited time window? Then the best time to ask for a review is directly after your customers have used your service or advice.
Use this time to ask your customers for a review when the positive experience with you is still fresh. Don’t wait too long, but ask your customers’ opinion when they still remember their visit to your shop and/or when you say goodbye to them after the service.
Even if you are in the catering or hotel industry, take advantage of the time when your customers leave your hotel, restaurant or bar satisfied and ask for reviews at this time.
The situation is different if you sell products.
When you sell products, whether online or in-store, the service experience of your customers naturally plays a role and is also picked up in product reviews by customers. However, it has been shown that customers who have purchased a product often only review it after they have had the experience of using it.
Contacting a customer with your review request before he/she has had time to test your product will often not be successful. Give your customers some time to familiarize themselves with the product. Review requests that give customers about a week to try and use the product have the highest success rate. The likelihood of receiving a response in the form of a review is highest after one week.
Here are some tips on how to phrase your request for reviews in a way that will resonate with your customers and help them review you easily.
Generic text has little appeal because customers feel they are not perceived as a person but only as a consumer. If possible, address your customers by name in your review requests or mention the name of the company that is your customer. The text should also not be too formal. Simple words that make it clear you value your customer’s opinion and feedback will get the best results.
Tip: Use the email templates from ReviewForest. Here you will find different phrases that will make you want to review yourself.
Brevity is the spice of life. Short texts are captivating because your customers can immediately see what you are asking them and why. Also, when designing the length of your review request, keep in mind that reading and comprehending your request is already time-consuming for your customers.
The shorter you keep this time investment for your customers, the more likely they are to take the important step of writing a review for you.
With a review link, your customers don’t have to search for your business on Google. Take your customers by the hand and lead them directly to their destination with the review link from your review request.
Tip: For this reason, all ReviewForest review request templates always carry your review link or the QR code of it! Your customers only have to scan it with their mobile phone camera and can review you directly.
Your first message won’t always be perfect. Test several variations to find out which text goes down best with your customers.
It takes time for your customers to write a review for you. Not all customers will be motivated by a review request and take the time to write one. At the same time, more and balanced reviews will lead to more sales for you. In the search for ways to give customers a further incentive to review you, it may seem obvious to offer vouchers, discounts or competitions for reviews. Please do not do this under any circumstances!
Offering financial incentives may result in the deletion of your Google reviews. It is a direct violation of Google’s review guidelines. Furthermore, such an approach is anti-competitive in Germany. Competitors and consumer associations can warn your company for this and practice shows that this happens again and again!
Instead of financial incentives, you can motivate customers to take the time to submit a review.
If you follow our recommendations and explain to your customers why they should review you and make it as easy as possible for them, it is likely that they will actually review you. At the same time, the review process will still cost your clients some time.
To motivate your customers and create a memory anchor to review you, you can use ReviewForest. With ReviewForest, your company plants a tree in the name of each reviewer. The trees benefit everyone and are not a financial incentive for any individual. You help the environment and motivate your customers to write a review – without breaking Google’s guidelines or the law.
With our marketing templates, we also provide you with a selection of tools that make it easier for you to ask your customers for a review – with email, SMS, digital and printed review requests. Of course, we also follow our own advice here: all templates are customized to your business and explain why it’s a good thing to review you. They carry your review link, which makes it easy for your customers to review you.
Every business should ask its customers for reviews to improve its visibility on Google, to win over new customers and to keep in touch with existing customers. Many customers are happy to leave a review, they just need to be reminded and have an easy way to do so. ReviewForest helps you motivate your customers to take the time to write a review for you.