To say that customer reviews are powerful is an understatement.
A few sentences in a review can have more influence on consumers than an entire website. A difference of one star—or even a half-star—can be all it takes for a shopper to choose a competitor over you. Not to mention that reviews are the top local SEO ranking factor.
But in order to get those sentences or that extra star, you need to ask your customers for reviews. This can feel awkward or self-serving, but the truth is that people generally love to share their opinions; they just need that extra nudge.
In this guide, I’m going to show you why and how to ask for customer reviews in a variety of scenarios—with examples and templates to make your life easier!
You can already attest to the power of customer reviews from your own shopping experiences. Think about the number of times you’ve chosen a business either because of what its reviews said or simply because it had reviews. Or maybe you were never on the fence at all, because you knew exactly what you wanted to buy because you heard great things about it from someone you know.
The fact of the matter is, what other people have to say about your business carries more weight than what you have to say about your business, even if they are complete strangers. Not convinced? Consider these online review stats:
If that is not enough to get you to leave your comfort zone and start collecting reviews for your own business, here are some more stats that might give you the boost you need:
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We’ll be covering all of these and more in this post, but remember that you don’t have to stick with just one method of asking customers for reviews. In fact, you should have a few strategies running at once to ensure a steady stream of feedback is coming in about your business. Multiple and recent reviews help earn you more trust from customers and also help your business to rank higher in search results.
Before you get started, make sure your business is listed accurately on sites like Google, Bing, and more with this free business listings grader from LocaliQ.
Asking for a review in person can be intimidating, but it is the most effective approach. If the opportunity presents itself, seize it!
The easiest scenario would be that of a customer who approaches you with unsolicited praise. In this case, express your appreciation for their taking the time to provide the feedback, and then make the suggestion. For example:
Happy customer: [singing your praises]
You: That is so great to hear. We really try our best to [do what you’re being praised for]. And thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback.
Customer: For sure, thank you for providing such great service!
You: You know, if you could write what you just said in a review on [platform], that would be awesome. Those kinds of comments really help prospective customers to feel more confident in choosing us.
You: Do you know how to do it?
You don’t have to wait for a customer to come to you to ask them for a review. More often than not you’ll need to strike up a conversation with them that will provide the opportunity. You can do so by asking questions about their experience with your store, services, or products upon checkout. Good questions include:
Important: Don’t ask for a review upon a customer’s first positive remark about your business. This will render your conversation ingenuine and you will come off as not caring about their experience but rather just about getting the review. Reviews improve your reputation, but you won’t get any (and your reputation will plummet) if you don’t ask in the right manner.
Instead, get a read on the customer. If their response is short and indicative that they don’t feel like talking, don’t force it. If they respond positively and offer more information or feedback, continue the conversation. As it comes to a close, ask them for the review. For example:
“Well hey, thanks for the feedback. We love sharing that kind of stuff with potential customers so they can feel more confident about choosing us. If you’re comfortable with it, it’d be awesome if you could share any of what you said to me in a [platform name] review.”
If you own or operate a business that is customer support-heavy, you and your employees can find plenty of opportunities to ask clients for reviews over the phone. But choose who you’re asking wisely. If you’ve just helped a client through a long or difficult problem, it’s probably not best to ask them for a review.
However, if you have a self-proclaimed satisfied customer (ideally if they express gratitude for your help), this is a great time to ask for a review.
“I’m glad we were able to help you today and we so appreciate your business. If you have the time and wouldn’t mind, we’d love it if you shared this experience on [review platform of your choice]. People really like to see that they’ll get the support they need should an issue with our services arise, customer accounts, of course, are the best way to show that.”
You’ll make your customer feel appreciated and valued which not only increases customer loyalty but will also increase the chances of them actually giving you that review.
Text message communication is increasingly popular for businesses today, and you have two options if you go this route.
Business: Hi Mike. We just completed your spring lawn cleanup. Looks great, bring on some rain!
Mike: Appreciate it. Can you email me the invoice?
Business: You bet, I’ll send it tonight. After looking over the yard, I’d love to get your feedback in a Google or Facebook review if you have 60 seconds. Just click here: [link].
There are also SMS review request services that can set up automatic texts after appointments and purchases.
Thanks for visiting [business name]! Share your feedback at [link]. [We actually read it!]
Using email to ask for reviews is a solid approach for businesses. First of all, it’s still a great channel for communicating with your customers: 91% of consumers open their email on a daily basis, and 58% of consumers check their email before doing anything else online. Second, you can include the link to the review platform right in the email and even test out different formats and language.
You can ask for reviews via email in the form of an email blast or personal email. You may want to do one broad email or segment it out as you see fit. Here are some simple templates to follow.
📫 Get more templates here >> 30 Free Small Business Email Examples & Templates
Positive reviews from awesome customers like you help other [athletes, parents, artists, ec] just like you to feel confident about choosing [business name]. Could you take 60 seconds to go to [link to review platform] and share your happy experiences?
We will be forever grateful. Thank you in advance for helping us out!
Did you know that the number of [business name] fans has doubled since last year? We must be doing something right! And whatever that is, we want to keep doing it. So tell us!
If you have 90 seconds today, we would love it if you went to [platform] and wrote a review. A few sentences is all it takes! This enables us to continue providing the best experience possible for you, and helps others understand how [ business name] can make their life easier.
Thank you in advance!
Dear [first name]
Thank you for your recent purchase. We hope you love it! If you do, would you consider leaving us a [platform] review? This helps us to continue providing great products and helps others like you to find us and make confident [item] decisions.
Thank you in advance!
Nothing can make a customer feel quite as appreciated as when they receive a personal email from the business owner. Choose a handful of loyal customers who have done a great deal of business with you, or customers with whom you’re hoping to cultivate lasting relationships, and send them a personal note thanking them for their business and asking for the review.
Hi [first name],
We have a quick favor to ask. Would you mind heading to [platform] and writing a quick review?
Reviews help us keep up with your needs and they also help others like you to make confident decisions about [your topic].
Review or not, we still love you!
Hoping to see your smiling face soon,
Involve your employees in the process. Stress the importance of customer reviews to your staff and ask that they send personal emails to customers. Let them know that they would be personally contributing to the growth of your organization and they’ll feel empowered to participate in the initiative.
For some businesses, asking for a review immediately after their purchase makes sense, while others may want to wait to give the customer time to use it. Be sure to cater your post-purchase review requests accordingly.
With a design tool like Canva, you can easily create little thank you for your purchase cards to go in your product packaging, attached to receipts, or next to the mints that encourage reviews. The card can say something like:
“Thank you for your purchase! If you enjoyed your shopping experience, tell us (and others) about it!”
“Thank you for your purchase! If you are happy with your [new product], please take a minute to review it here [link to review platform].”
Chewy’s email is a great example of providing the actual items the customer purchased and a link to review each.
We’d love to hear how you and your pet enjoyed these products. Please leave a review so we can share it with other pet parents just like you.
And I particularly like this one by Biscuiteers because they include others’ reviews. This helps give customers a starting point so they’re not starting from scratch.
Thank you so much for your recent order. Buying pressies should be good fun and we’re curious to find how easy you found it. If you can spare a few minutes to leave us a review we’d be super grateful!
You can include a CTA to leave a review in various places on your website, but many businesses benefit from having a dedicated reviews or testimonials page accessible via their main navigation (as this is one of the first things a prospective customer seeks out when considering a business).
In the example below, this business has a review item in their main navigation, with the ability to read and leave reviews.
In the “leave a review” page, you’re asked to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Once you hit the thumbs up, you’re prompted to leave a Google review.
Be sure to have a page that show existing reviews, or to include them right on your “leave a review” page. This shows people how short their review can be and gives them a starting point.
Many content management systems have a plugin or script that allows you to aggregate your reviews from other platforms into a feed on this page. But you can also add them manually. Either way, it is best to have the reviews appear on the page in text form (as opposed to screenshot or image). This is because reviews are often packed with important keywords that can boost your SEO, but Google won’t pick up on these words if they’re in image form.
If you do a lot of B2B work, consider your vendors and partners for reviews. Other business owners understand the value of a review, and leaving one on their website or listing may be enough to get one from them without even asking.
However, there are opportunities to ask for reviews from them as well. If you find yourself in a meeting with a client or a business partner, don’t be afraid to simply say,
“Mr. Smith, I really have enjoyed working with you on this project and value your insight. Would you be willing to share your experience with our company by contributing a short review for our testimonial page?”
“Positive feedback from not just customers, but also the partners we work with really helps us to continue attracting more great customers and partners such as yourself. If you wouldn’t mind leaving a review, we would really appreciate that.”
You can ask for reviews on any social media platform, but Facebook should be your top priority since it’s a top review site.
What better way to get Facebook reviews than via Facebook post? In the simple example below, this insurance agency writes:
We L❤️ VE our customers! If you want to show us some love, leave us a review!
The other way to go is to share reviews on your feed as they come in, like this local business does below. You can always add a link for customers to leave their own reviews.
While you are encouraged to ask for reviews, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Here are some approaches you should avoid.
You should not, under any circumstances, offer a discount or free gift in exchange for leaving reviews. This is against the terms and conditions of many review platforms like Yelp and Google, and can lead to a high volume of low-quality or star-only reviews (with no text). The purpose of reviews is not primarily to benefit the business but to empower prospective customers to make informed decisions.
However, a pay-it-forward campaign like the one below would be perfectly suitable. It reads:
For every review we receive we will donate up to $10 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Again, this policy is in place to keep review platforms honest and accurate.
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. People (as mentioned above, 67% of people) are generally willing to leave reviews. People like being heard, and will be extra willing to lend their voice to a company they feel has met their expectations, as a way of returning the favor. Plus, you are empowering them to give other consumers just like them the confidence to make an informed decision
Don’t forget to respond to reviews. First off, this is a way of acknowledging and expressing appreciation for the customer’ taking the time to do so. Second, this can help you to build customer relationships and retain more of them. Finally, it shows the rest of the public that you are attentive to the voices of your customers. Responding also builds engagement and activity on your listing, which Google takes into account when ranking business listings.
There are many ways to ask for reviews, but the most effective method and/or platform will be different for each business. As mentioned above, your best bet is to have a few strategies in place at once, and to experiment with particular methods to find out which one(s) work best for you! Just remember these key takeaways:
A steady stream of good-quality reviews is essential for your reputation, ranking, and ultimately even your revenue. So follow these tips and get a review strategy in place asap!
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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