It doesn’t matter what you sell, how large your company is, or how many competitors you have: if you operate a business, you need online reviews, period. Without them, it’s next to impossible for consumers to find (or put trust in) your brand — especially the 49% who say that reviews carry as much weight as their own friends’ and family members’ recommendations.
Not only do reviews help shoppers learn about and evaluate your product, they can also impact your local search rankings on Google, which has a direct impact on your brand visibility and how much traffic you receive. In short, reviews are important — especially if you’re a new business that’s trying to get a foothold in your industry.
The challenge is that, as we’ve explored in previous articles, business owners aren’t allowed to review their own companies — at least, not without risking serious consequences. That means businesses must rely on their customers to supply the online feedback they need, whether that’s on Google, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, or any other platform or app. So how can businesses encourage more customers to leave reviews and ratings without violating any rules around review incentivization?
This article will cover five tips, strategies, and best practices to help your brand get more ratings and reviews online. Read on to learn how to successfully ask your customers to review your business.
What Are the Most Effective Methods of Asking for Reviews?
Research by BrightLocal revealed that the highest percentage of consumers prefer to be asked for reviews via email (34%), followed closely by in-person requests (33%) and requests on receipts or invoices (32%). Unsurprisingly, the least preferred method in 2022 was being asked via business card (8%).
If you’d like to learn more about consumer attitudes toward different review request methods, such as receiving a text message vs. an email, we suggest checking out our blog post covering that topic in depth. In this article, we’ll be focusing more on how to frame your requests so that more of them lead to actual reviews. Now, let’s dive right into it.
5 Simple Tips to Get More Online Reviews of Your Business
1. Get your timing right
Even if you follow every other tip on this list to perfection, you’ll still sabotage your efforts if you get the timing wrong. You’re most likely to be successful if you request a review within one to two weeks of making the sale to the customer, so that the experience is still fresh in their mind. Where applicable, another effective strategy is to ask the customer at the point of sale, which is customers’ second most preferred request method following email.
2. Personalize your requests
Our response scribes have written about the importance of personalizing your review responses. It’s just as critical to personalize your requests for reviews, with no shortage of statistics to make the case for customization. The request should be specific to the customer’s experience, whether that was purchasing a product, attending a promotional event, completing a free trial, or having another type of interaction with your business.
3. Keep your requests short and sweet
You’re busy, and so are your customers. Whether they’re in the form of text messages, emails, phone calls, or something else, make sure your review requests are clear and concise. You should be able to convey your message with a few quick sentences — otherwise, your customers might feel inconvenienced and decide to ignore your request, even if they had a positive experience with your product or service.
4. Make it easy with CTA buttons
Building off of our previous tip, it’s important to make your customers feel like leaving you a review is fast and easy. One simple, effective way to remove friction from the process is to provide buttons or links your customers can easily follow in order to share feedback.
5. Respond to every review you receive
Data shows that the overwhelming majority of consumers — about 98%, or effectively all of them — read local business reviews. If your customers see a business that seldom (or never) bothers responding to its reviewers, they’re much less likely to act on your review requests. After all, why should they take the time to provide feedback if they perceive your team as indifferent or unresponsive?
Replying to ratings and reviews shows that you appreciate your customers and that you’re actively listening to their feedback, which builds a sense of connection that enhances brand loyalty. There are also additional reasons why you should respond to reviews, from improving your local search rankings to attracting more customers for your business.
Collect and Respond to Feedback with Ease Using Our Review Management Platform
Businesses should aim to obtain at least 10 new reviews every month, ideally on the major platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Unfortunately, that isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Research shows that as few as 2.5% of review requests actually result in a review being written — and nearly one in five consumers say they’ve never left a review, even when prompted with a request from the business.
Don’t fall prey to statistics like these. Request reviews effortlessly — and effectively — by harnessing the power of our review generation service, which seamlessly integrates with your current tech stack. Make automated text and email requests, reach more prospective customers, and track your progress with custom metrics. We can even handle responding to the reviews your business receives, providing a start-to-finish solution designed to supercharge your growth.
Discover why brands like G5, Lava Surf, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Suds Creative, Tutoring Club, and Wyndham Garden trust Shout About Us to generate, manage, and respond to thousands of customer reviews every day. Book a demo for your team.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.