Social proof helps move your leads toward a sale by showing them that others like them have had success with your products or services in the past.
When leads feel a genuine connection with those who’ve provided reviews or testimonials for you, they’re more likely to take action.
Benefits of Customer Reviews
Customer feedback is an important contribution toward every business' success. Without it, the organization essentially works in a vacuum where it has no idea whether it's meeting its customers' needs and expectations or not.
Here are just a few benefits to leveraging customer reviews.
Build Brand Trust.
Positive reviews build brand trust.
It's a really easy conclusion to draw when you think about it. People rely on the opinions of other people like them. So, when a customer raves about a business, potential customers find it a bit easier to place their faith in that company's products or services.
The more positive reviews you have, the better your reputation will be. Word of mouth gets around pretty quickly, and that's what buyers rely on to vet out their purchasing decisions.
Yield Better SEO Results.
Google focuses on user intent, right? It focuses on helping the user to the best of its ability?
Well, it would make sense to recommend highly rated businesses that could address the user's pain points, right?
Reviews and ratings actually have a pretty significant impact on your search engine rankings. They can influence both the Google Local 3-Pack and organic local search results.
Increase CTR and Conversions.
When reviews and star ratings appear in SERPs, potential customers are 56 percent more likely to click on a business with a solid rating than those that have no reviews.
Also, if you get featured in the Local Pack mentioned above, you'll generate an even higher CTR as there's less competition on the page. The higher your rating, the more clicks you'll get.
Gain Insight Into Customer Needs.
Regardless of whether the reviews you receive are positive or negative, there's always a takeaway that can be found.
Have a few negative comments on your services? Look for the constructive criticism in each one.
How can you fix things for the customer and salvage your relationship? If you can't do anything for them, what can you do to prevent another customer from having the same experience?
If you're loaded on positive reviews, what techniques or strategies should you optimize and double down on?
No matter what they're saying, each customer is sharing their experience with your brand. It's up to you to translate their reviews into actionable items that you can implement to continuously improve the customer experience.
Types of Reviews to Get From Customers
Of course, when asking for feedback, you'll want it to be delivered in an organized, constructive manner so you can actually understand what the customer went through.
When you offer an opportunity for them to write a review, make sure you direct them towards addressing these key elements:
If your business offers a variety of goods or services, it may be beneficial to ask specifically about what the customer purchased right after they receive it. This is especially true if you're operating through a third-party vendor, like Amazon, or if the product is a new release.
Ask them to give their honest opinion about what they purchased.
- How did it help them?
- What do they think could have been better?
- Would they recommend it to someone else?
- Would they purchase it again?
You can ask for a company review along with a product one, but it's especially important to chase this answer if your brand has a limited catalog, sells big-ticket products, or is new to the market.
- What is their impression of the company?
- Do they trust the company?
- Would they ever refer the company to another person?
This is where you can really deep dive into what their journey was like. Purchasing and receiving the product or service isn't the entirety of the buying process. They had an entire experience with your marketing, website, and maybe even communicating with your sales and service teams.
- How did they learn about your company/product/service?
- Did they speak with a sales rep? How was their interaction with the salesperson?
- Did they speak with a service team member? How was that?
- How could their experience have been better?
When to Ask for Reviews
It's a good idea to inquire after a review shortly after they've purchased or received their purchase. Your brand and products will be fresh in their mind and they'll likely still be pretty happy about their decision (assuming there weren't any difficulties or defaults along the way).
If you wait too long, then it'll become a lot harder to actually get them to participate.
That's why we recommend sending emails. It's a fast process that's convenient for both you and the customer, and it can often be automated with a quality CRM.
However, while sometimes you can be too late, you can also be too early as well. Give the customer an opportunity to actually receive and use the product or service before you go asking for a review.
Wait about a week before asking so that they can actually test their purchase out and get some results.
10 Clever Ways to Ask Customers for a Review
To make the most of reviews, you’ll want to have as many of them as possible. This gives you the chance to carefully curate which ones you decide to display.
Ideally, you’ll have reviews that speak to every major buyer persona you expect to be browsing your offers.
The question: How can you get more reviews for your business?
In general, people are way more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. To get the reviews you want, you need to have a clear plan that will let you capture them consistently.
Let’s look at the 10 best ways to get more reviews:
1. Ask for Reviews from Your LinkedIn or Facebook Groups.
People who have more experience with your products and investment in your brand are more likely to provide valuable information for future customers. If you have an active social media group for your new customers or “power users,” you can usually get a review or two per request.
2. Use Targeted Emails to Capture Post-Sales Reviews.
One of the best ways to make sure you get reviews is to ask for them promptly. People tend to be happiest right after the sale. They also feel most inclined to “give something back” to you, also known as the principle of reciprocity.
What if you have a complex SaaS solution and your clients will want to spend some time with it before they give any feedback?
You’re still in position to get a review. Make a follow-up call to see how things are going and, if your contact seems upbeat, make the request then.
3. Send Handwritten Notes to Rack Up Reviews.
A handwritten note is a great way to make a lasting impression. Even to this day, job seekers are still advised to do this.
Why? Simply because it shows that you’re willing to invest time and effort into a relationship. That’s the same vibe you want when you’re asking for a review.
Naturally, though, it’s vital to honor your contact’s valuable time by not expecting too much of it.
Consider using a postcard instead of a paper note that has to be sent in an envelope. A simple URL using a URL shortener or QR code can get the recipient onto a page to leave a review.
4. Take a Quick Video At the End of a Call.
When it’s time to follow up and ensure your customer loves a new purchase, many sales pros find themselves on Skype or FaceTime. If all goes well, this can be the perfect moment to record a brief testimonial that you can then put on your website.
It’s a good idea to practice this method before it goes into action. Use the signals your customer offers you to know whether it’s a good time, and don’t push.
Some people simply aren’t thrilled to be on camera. Have a release form already drawn up so you can use newly-captured footage right away.
5. Consider a Testimonial Swap in B2B.
A testimonial swap can be a low-friction way to get another review direct from a source that future customers might trust.
While it’s easy and convenient on both sides, it’s also vital to be sure everything is done on the up and up.
A testimonial swap from a company you’ve worked with in the past may only take a quick email, but be sure your legal team is on board. There may be special disclaimers or other steps you need to take to avoid the appearance of quid pro quo.
6. Ask When They've Already Displayed Their Satisfaction.
Sometimes you'll have a customer who comes back around with nothing but joy and praises. Maybe they're purchasing from you again or they simply just wanted to let someone at your company know that they were pleased.
For example, my mom will often tell a restaurant manager that she's had a great experience with a waiter if the service was really up there.
Moments like that are the perfect opportunity to say, "Hey, we're so excited that you enjoyed doing business with us. Would you be willing to write a review sharing your happy experience?"
7. Write the Review For Them.
This one is a bit delicate, so use it only when appropriate.
If you sell basic goods or non-specialized services, then it can actually prove easier to earn reviews if you offer customers a default message to submit as a review.
You'll often see this as pre-written text in the entry field for the review. It's convenient for the customer in instances where they don't have the time to curate their own. And they should always have the option to write their own instead if they should so choose.
8. Send Out SMS Review Requests to Registered Customers.
This is a pretty quick way to get reviews for your business. Research shows that 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes. Can you say the same of your email open rates?
In an era where consumers are conditioned to write short tweets and Instagram captions from their mobile devices, they find it a lot easier to type out a quick review from their phone and send it on its way.
9. Promote Feedback On Your Social Media Accounts.
There are two ways to go about this: ask for reviews on your company's account or encourage user-generated content.
The first suggestion is rather easy. Watch for mentions of your brand on social media channels, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and reply to users who have made purchases. You can encourage them to leave a review and offer them a link to a review landing page.
The second option is a great way to boost brand awareness while fielding for feedback at the same time. User-generated content is any piece of online content that a customer posts about your brand, products, or services. Consider building a strategy to leverage this word of mouth technique.
10. No Matter What Method You Use, Incentivize.
B2B brands are at a great advantage when looking for reviews because, by and large, most of your satisfied customers will be willing to provide one.
If you have a subscription-based offering, you can simply extend existing subscriptions by a month or so in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
If your business model doesn’t lend itself to that approach, giving your customer a free peek at your next tier of service may be the appropriate step.
Where to Showcase Your Reviews
Gathering all this data and feedback is great for your internal growth, but it can be even better for generating more business.
Remember when we mentioned an increase in brand trust as a benefit? Here's where that plays in.
There's no shame in highlighting what you've done well and showing off successful sales. You should display positive reviews in places that work best for your company.
Develop a Carousel on Your Homepage.
You can embed reviews directly to your website in the form of a carousel. You'll often see these located towards the bottom of a homepage, but customers don't mind the ease-of-access to testimonials.
A great perk: You can customize and style it however you want. (We recommend matching it to your brand style guide.)
Highlight Reviews on Your About Page.
Another place customers typically look for reviews is on your company's "About Us" page. It makes sense to have them live there since, technically, they're talking about your company.
You can utilize a variety of widgets and formats to build them into the page.
Share Good Reviews on Social Media.
Featuring satisfied customers and happy experiences on your social accounts, especially Facebook, is a great way to boost brand awareness and generate buzz.
Frequency is up to you, but make sure you're consistent with it.
Address Negative Feedback Where It Appears.
It happens to everyone. You'll see a negative review on Google Reviews or an irritated tweet mentioning your company directly.
Make sure you acknowledge those comments where people, both the customer and your mutual audiences, can see it. Offer support and a chance for the complainant to get in touch with your service team so that the issue can try to be resolved.
The hope is that you can turn that negative review into a positive one by helping them. They may turn around and sing your praises for offering exceptional customer service.
"Ask For a Review" Templates
With a ton of ideas swirling in your brain, you're ready to write your own review requests. In case you're still a little unsure on where to start though, here are a couple of templates that you can use to get you going.
Hello [Customer Name],
How did you enjoy [product/service/experience] with [Your Company Name]?
We're always looking to improve our service, and we love getting feedback from our visitors on what they enjoyed most.
Do you have three minutes to leave a review [include link] for us? We'd be so excited to read it!
To submit your review, simply click below and let us know what you think!
[CTA/button with link to review]
Thanks in advance for taking the time to leave a review! If you have any questions or would like to come enjoy [product/service/experience] again, feel free to contact us [contact page link] at any time.
Hey [Customer Name], thank you for [purchasing from/visiting] us ! We here at [Your Company Name] want to provide you and others with the best experience possible! To help us, could you take a moment to offer some feedback?. Click here [link to review] to review. We appreciate your help!
It’s great if your customer relationships are so strong that people simply want to show their appreciation. Still, reviewers are doing you a favor, so always look for a way to give something in return.
And, should you receive any negative reviews, work to follow up and fix the problem.
Reviews are worth their weight in gold, so always be on the lookout for new ways to get more!