How to get more customer reviews
Updated: Mar 31
Proven ways to get more reviews from your customers
We would all agree that customer reviews are important. But trying to physically get customer reviews is harder than it seems. And at Sharp Thinking it is a challenge that every one of our clients also experience.
Customer reviews are essential regardless of your type of business. Up to 90% of customers look at reviews before making a purchase and people spend a third more if a business has a positive review. And did you know that consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business and a whopping 89% read businesses’ responses to reviews. These are extremely compelling stats...
What you may not be aware of is that reviews help with search engine optimisation (SEO). In fact, reviews are estimated to make up to 10% of the ranking factors in Google.
So what is stopping you from getting them?
The biggest barriers can be time and simply being embarrassed to ask. But if you don't ask you won't get, right?
Agreeing a process to capture customers reviews is a good starting point and will ensure it will happen. Make sure you agree who in the business will be responsible for managing reviews.
There are a number of ways you can collect reviews. These range from customer feedback forms, your website, social media as well as local review sites.
So what way is best to capture reviews?
Ask for reviews at every opportunity - face to face as well as online and consider automating the process.
If you're considering using a review site, ensure it is easy to use and one that your customers are familiar with. You can always ask your customers if you aren't sure.
Some reviews sites also have the advantage of boosting your SEO and these include;
Google My Business
Google reviews are the most powerful way of boosting your online profile, however, it is also the most difficult. Unless you have a Google account, you won't be able to leave a review on Google. And even more important, ensure your business has been set up on Google My Business before your start asking customers.
We favour Google reviews at Sharp Thinking and would first ask for reviews using this platform, but if customers struggle, then we quickly direct them towards Facebook. This seems to be the most easy to use platform for reviews.
How to get those 5 star reviews
1. Make it easy for them
Provide simple instructions of what you need and how the customer should go about it. Don't be vague or ambiguous. Often customers ask for a guide of what they should say, so don't feel awkward giving guidance. And remember to be flexible too on how they complete the review.
2. Create a template
Providing a template for customers to complete, may streamline the process and ensure you get what you need from them instead of going back and forth several times. This maybe more relevant for more complex purchases or business to business.
We've included some example questions you can ask customers for more in-depth reviews. You can even turn the reviews into customer case studies at a later date.
2. How long have you worked together?
3. Summarise the work involved and what was involved?
4. What made you select xx?
5. What is different about their offering?
6. What was it like to work with xx?
7. What was the outcome or impact of using the product or service?
8. Please provide a short quote that we can use as a customer testimonial for marketing and PR.
3. Ask at the right time
Your timing is key. It is best to ask for reviews as soon as you've completed some work for a customer and ideally you know the work/project went well.
Automating the process is also recommended. If you're in retail, then why not include a reminder on a receipt and incentivise people to leave a review with a simple free prize draw. If you're an online business, this can easily be incorporated into the transaction process.
A physical reminder is another good technique. Trust Pilot have even developed stickers that go on products.
4. Be persistent
Don’t give up after the first attempt. Customers may need reminding a few times before they manage to get round to completing your review, but know when to abandon.
5. Use all your channels
Use all your channels at your disposal - your email signature can be a good prompt and consider asking for reviews on social media and your customer newsletter.
Leverage the reviews
Once you have the review, get full value form it. Use it on your website, in your customer presentations, marketing collateral, social media and PR. Remember that reviews can be used more than once. The great benefit of reviews is that they have longevity.
Keep up the good work
It is worth persevering to get your customers to leave you that all important 5 star review. 68% of consumers form an opinion by reading one to six reviews, so you want to ensure you have a fair number of reviews. And don't forget to thank customers for the reviews afterwards. If they have posted on review sites, you can also comment on the review.
Finally, this needs to be an ongoing exercise - customers may be dubious about reviews which are several years old.