6 Tricks To Get Positive Customer Reviews

One of the million-dollar questions many owners of small businesses find themselves asking is how to get their customers to leave reviews or offer feedback. Not only is this crucial information for the betterment and growth of the business, but it gives potential, future customers inside information about how your company operates, what your products or service is like, and how you served others.

But why is it that people will thank you over and over for a job well done, but it’s like pulling teeth to get them to complete a leave a review? It’s something we’ll never know. However, if you want feedback you have to make it easy for customers to do. Here are 6 ways to encourage your customers to share their experiences and leave a review:

1. Ask In Person or Via Video Chat

Asking someone to leave a review in person is one of the most effective ways to get the feedback you’re looking for. Studies show 7 out of 10 people will leave a review if they’re specifically asked to, so you just have to ask.

When wrapping up a meeting with a satisfied customer it’s easy to throw in something like “would you mind putting all of that in an online review for us?” or “We’re so happy you’re happy. Will you leave a review about your experience?” Most people will be happy to share if you ask them to.

And, if that is a video chat meeting, ask if you can record and use a verbal review on your site! It's quick and easy marketing gold that you can use to foster trust with prospects.

Here are our favorite video chat recording tools you should use:


2. Prescreen Before The Review

If your face-to-face interaction with the customer is limited, asking for feedback via email is the next best option. However, it’s important to pre-screen the people you ask to make sure they have a review you want them to leave. There’s nothing like going out of your way to ask an unhappy customer to leave a review.

A follow-up email or NPS score (SurveyMonkey is a great tool for this) is a great way to gauge a customer's satisfaction level. If they seem content, you can respond with a final thank you and a request for a review. If you are using an online template, you can include this in the email. If they’re less than thrilled, you can use it as an opportunity to avoid a negative public review while also rectifying the problem.


3. Make It Personal

Customers can tell when they’re getting an automated request, and it doesn’t exactly make them feel a valued. An email requesting a review that feels personal will get much better responses than an impersonal one.

Here are some tips to make it personal:

  • Use an email address that they recognize. Using an email that they’ve had correspondence with is even better. It makes them feel like the email is being sent from a real person instead of an automated function.
  • Personalize the message. Use their name, thank them for the specific service/product they bought. If there was something positive or memorable from your interaction, mention that as well “I hope your daughter loves her new computer!” or “Thanks for doing business with us! Enjoy that cruise!”
  • Avoid generic looks. The goal is to come off as personable as possible. Use a simple, easy-to-read button that they can click on that directs them to where they can leave their review on your website
  • Change up the subject line. Using their name in the subject line, “John, would you do us a favor?” or “Christi, we need your help!” not only catches their attention but also adds to the more personal feel you’re going for.


4. Make It Easy

If it takes more than a few seconds for customers to find out where to start their review, chances are they’re going to give up. Jumping through hoops, signing their life away, or having to navigate a clunky webpage stinks. Using a form with clickable answers (1-10 or 0-5 stars) with just one section for comment is great. This way they can breeze through it. Also, in your email, let them know it will only take 2-3 minutes.


5. Optimize and Improve

After a round of emails are sent, make notes on what you did and how it worked.

  • High open rates mean it had a good subject line, but the text might not have been good.
  • If all your reviews have short answers you're not asking the right questions. Make your questions something the reviewer wants to answer.
  • Low submissions to open percentage means you didn't make it simple enough. Provide links to the major website on which you’d like customers to leave a review, such as Google and Yelp.


6. Go Old School

Although being high-tech and mobile-friendly are essential in generating reviews, don’t be afraid to go old school and provide a way for customers to leave reviews while they’re in your office. If you have a physical location that customers frequent, put up a corkboard and leave index cards and pens for customers to leave their reviews right in the store. You can use their feedback on your website too!


Be Careful With Incentives

It may seem like a good idea to give your customers an incentive to leave reviews, but you may want to be careful. The FTC has penalized companies for offering discounts and rewards in exchange for a glowing review. The law about incentives and reviews says that if you do provide incentives for reviews, you must make it crystal clear that your reviewers are compensated for their opinions. Asking for reviews is something you should definitely be doing; rewarding people for leaving them may not be.


Final Thoughts

90% of customers report checking a company's reviews before making initial contact. Generating authentic reviews is part of the growing process, so it's important to be patient with the process. Remind your customers how valuable their feedback is to you, and how much it helps you help them. Most customers will be more than happy to leave a review; you just have to ask

Now it's your turn! What has worked for you? What hasn't worked for you? Share your experience with getting reviews in the comments below so you can help out others.

Back to Blog