It's no secret that competition nowadays is strong, with tons of websites and blogs that probably already have similar content to yours.
However, that doesn’t make it impossible for you to grow your business and customer base; you only need to find smart ways to get their attention and their reviews.
Speaking of reviews, they are definitely one of the best ways to up your reputation online. But they're also not the easiest thing to get organically. It's perfectly fine to go ahead and ask for customer reviews directly, you just have to be extra careful about your approach.
P.S. If you're looking to collect video reviews and testimonials to publish on your site or social media, try out Bonjoro Testimonials. It has a free forever plan, which includes 10 video testimonials, and unlimited written testimonials, so you've got nothing to lose.
Why bother with reviews at all?
Why are customer reviews so important and what difference could they possibly make?
Think about it from the consumer's point of view - when you enter a website with the intention of buying something the first thing you will look for are customer reviews.
As a buyer you are more likely to trust other buyers than the seller, right?
Therefore, you need reviews if you want to continue working successfully as a business owner. What's more, a review allows you to find out about your customers' desires and personal needs.
In this day and age, you really can't go wrong by focusing your attention on Google and Facebook at the very beginning of your review venture.
1. Utilize the power of Google
Before you start asking people for Google reviews, you should first consider the fact that some reviews won’t be that helpful.
So, the first thing that you should do is find out something about your customers. Figure out who is a regular and who seems rather satisfied with your services. When you pinpoint these customers specifically, you can proceed and ask for reviews directly.
There's no need to worry too much if you get a negative review either. You can use this opportunity to turn it into something good; for example, if a customer is not satisfied with your communication and leaves a negative review, acknowledge their dissatisfaction and make an effort to change it.
Reviews are all about your connection with your customers so if you see that they have a negative outlook on something figure out how to make it better for them.
Only fools rush in
A common mistake people make when it comes to asking for Google reviews is that they ask too early for them. You need to give people time to try out your products/services. And it could hurt your image if you came off too desperate for a review the moment they purchase something from you. Patience is the key in this case.
However, you could hurt your brand and review opportunity if you wait too long. It may seem tricky, but considering that people are the happiest (hopefully) after getting their product/service, you have to calculate the appropriate time to ask for a review; ideally, that would be once they've surely got their hands on the said product/service and had enough time to try it out.
Asking for reviews is important if you have made a certain change to your website/products/services, too, like a new update or new content. That way you are showing your customers that you care about their opinions and that you want them to be a part of your growth.
How to ask for Google reviews
The best way to ask for reviews, in this case, is via email.
Take note of the following tips when you ask for a review via email:
Keep it self-paced
Always let your customers know who you are and provide them with a chance to get to know you even more.
Do not complicate it too much
If you start writing long and complicated messages, your customers will ignore you. Simplicity is essential if you want your email read and having your customers quickly understand what it is that you want from them.
Do not be arrogant
Your customers don't and will never depend on you or your products/services. It's actually the other way around. If you come off too cold or arrogant when asking for reviews, chances are your customers will completely ignore you; not just this email but possibly even your brand from that point on.
For more amazing tips on how to utilize emails when reaching out to customers, you can check Bonjoro's informative blog.
2. Grow your presence on Facebook
Google reviews are great, but not enough.
The best way to evolve and get quality online reviews is to also make the most out of popular social media channels, like Facebook for example.
Facebook is a fantastic way to build reviews and ratings - if you know what you are doing.
Why this social media platform?
Of course, other social media platforms, such as Instagram, are extremely popular, but when it comes to online reviews, nothing can beat Facebook.
Facebook allows you to connect with your customers and create better personalized customer service, which is precisely why some people are more open to leaving a review when asked via Messenger instead of email.
And in case you don't know where to start, you might want to tap into the possibilities that the Facebook group offers. By creating a group for your customers, you can reach out to them easier as well as pay better attention to what they have to say.
How to ask for reviews on Facebook?
There are few simple steps to follow when asking for a review on Facebook:
- Enable reviews on your Facebook page
- Share it on your blog or website
- Share a review link with your customers
- Send a direct message to your customers
- Use check-ins
More creative ways to ask for reviews
If we consider the above-mentioned tips to be practical and clever ways to ask for reviews, then the following options certainly constitute more creative ways to ask for them. Both approaches are necessary for your customer-oriented strategy.
3. Send a handwritten note
There's no better way to make a lasting impression than to send someone a handwritten note nowadays. And when it comes to your customers, you're bound to provide them with a sense of appreciation once they see that you've taken time and effort to send them a note in the first place.
A rather interesting trick to ask for a review is to send out a note or postcard with a QR code that can get the customers right to the reviews page.
4. Call to follow up and ask to take a video
It's not uncommon for emerging businesses to go out of their way to follow up with their customers. In that sense, making a call and directly talking to customers is turning into a more popular practice every day.
You can use this opportunity and ask the customer whether it's alright with them to record a video at the end of the call that you can then use as a testimonial.
Of course, it's important to read the atmosphere during the call before asking for reviews. And keep in mind that some customers simply won't feel comfortable with being filmed. If that doesn't work but they are otherwise eager to leave a review, direct them to your reviews page.
Still, the video format is truly amazing for growing your engagement and business in general; you can check out Bonjoro's success stories to learn more about it.
5. Swap testimonials and reviews with other businesses
If you happened to work with other businesses, there's no rule that says you can't ask them to leave a review for your product or service; in exchange, you can offer to leave a review about their product or service as well.
This is usually a win-win situation, and there's no reason why the other brand should refuse provided that you're professional and polite in your proposal.
6. Ask for customer reviews when they're already expressing their satisfaction
In case you have returning customers, you can freely conclude that they're happy with your products and/or services. Therefore, it would be perfectly acceptable to proceed and ask them to leave a review.
Similarly, if you get a call or email from a satisfied customer that's praising your goods, don't miss the chance to thank them and ask for a review then.
7. Write a review template for your customers
This is not an ideal solution, but it can come in handy for those customers who simply don't have time to come up with a review on their own. What's more, the trick will let you ask for reviews without having to directly drop the question.
For instance, you can set up a review box for your products/services that will allow the customers to quickly answer some basic questions about their satisfaction with your goods.
But if you're going to do this, make sure that there's an option to leave a review independently as well.
8. Ask for reviews via SMS
When you have a base of registered customers, chances are you also have their mobile phone number and not just their email. You can use this information to send an SMS (a polite and concise one) to ask for customer reviews.
SMS is sometimes an even better solution compared to email and social media, as you can be 99% sure that your customers will actually read the SMS. If it takes just a couple of clicks, chances are you'll get your reviews as well.
9. Look for social media mentions
Social media mentions present an amazing marketing opportunity, but they're also a great way to gather more online reviews.
If customers are already mentioning your brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. you have a great chance to nail positive feedback when reaching out to those customers for reviews.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to get in touch with customers who have already shared your content as well. If they're happy with your product or service and content, they're probably more than happy to leave positive reviews, too.
10. Use incentives to get online reviews
Asking customers for reviews might go completely unnoticed. After all, even something as simple as a review takes away from people's valuable time.
That said, you can always turn to incentives in exchange for online reviews. For instance, you can offer a longer-period subscription or a discount code when asking for a review. Bear in mind that you are legally obliged to state next to the review that you offered an incentive in exchange.
Also make sure to point out that you're grateful for any kind of honest customer feedback and that their opinion won't affect the incentive.
Review request email template
When you reach out to your customers in hopes to get online reviews, a consistent review request email template would make things considerably simpler and easier.
As stated before, be polite and professional, mindful of your customers' time as well as straightforward and easy to understand.
Feedback request template example
A good example of a customer review request email would be something like:
Good day [Client's Name]!
How was your experience with [Company Name]'s [products/services]?
We are always happy to get feedback from our valued customers so that we can continue to improve our service.
If you could spare two minutes of your time to write a review, we would be really grateful and very happy to read it.
To leave us a review simply click on this link [link to the review page].
Thank you for trusting us with your purchase and, hopefully, taking the time out of your day for writing a review.
If you have any questions about our [products/services], please contact us at [contact link/email] at your convenience.
Not nuclear physics, right?
This is just one example of how you could go about asking for online reviews via email but you're free to tweak the template accordingly.
Keep in mind that you should never flood your customers' inboxes with emails asking the customers to leave reviews. This is something you should do once after they make a purchase. It's up to customers whether they'll leave a review or not; after all, they don't owe you anything.
In order to build authority in the industry and grow your business, you'll need to employ various strategies. Obtaining online reviews from your customers is one such strategy that provenly works wonders.
However, to get customer feedback regularly, it's important to establish and improve your connection and relationship with your existing and potential customers. Bonjoro can help you with that. Integrate Bonjoro with the sales and marketing tools you're already using, start conversations and drive customer actions successfully!