How to Ask Your Customers for Reviews (And Get Them)

Surely you know by now just how important customer reviews are to the livelihood and growth of your business.

If not, then get this: A whopping 90% of customers claim that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. Not only that, but by knowing your customers’ needs, problems, and expectations, you’ll be better able to tailor your products and services to them. In doing so, you’ll increase their experiences with your brand and keep them loyal.

But how can you actually get reviews from your customers? That’s what you’re about to find out.

Where to Ask for Customer Feedback

Before you start building your customer feedback strategy, you need to know what sites will allow you to ask customers for reviews.

For example, Yelp’s review policies don’t allow businesses to request customer feedback. Still, this doesn’t mean you should avoid registering on Yelp. On the contrary, Yelp encourages businesses to provide exceptional experiences to each customer. According to them, that is the most effective way to gain unbiased and helpful customer reviews. On the other hand, sites like Google or TripAdvisor do allow companies to ask users for feedback.

Your goal is to diversify your customer review strategy and adapt your approach and messaging to each platform you’re using.

When to Ask for Customer Reviews

You should also ask yourself when to look for customer reviews. For example, maybe you’ll find that you have the highest response rates somewhere between 1-3 PM, when your customers come back from their lunch break. Or maybe you’ll find that more people tend to respond at night. The only way you’ll know is by testing.

By asking for customer feedback at the right times, you’ll be able to maximize response rate.

How to Ask for Customer Reviews

It’s one thing to ask for reviews. But how can you get your customers to give them to you? Here are a few powerful strategies that may help you increase your response rates.

Send Email Surveys

By sending your customers email surveys, you’ll personalize your relationships with them and show them that you care about what they think.

When sending out email surveys, your goal is to grab people’s attention immediately and avoid being sent to spam. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Segment your email lists and adapt your subject lines and message copy to each customer group.
  • Keep your survey short and concise. If your email survey is too long or difficult to understand, chances are, recipients will abandon it. To that end, your message should be to-the-point and your questions easy to understand. Instead of traditional “Yes/No” questions or open questions, consider providing multiple-choice answers that will guide your respondents and give you more comprehensive and useful information.
  • Provide instant feedback. For example, if you receive negative feedback from the survey, you should reach out to the customer immediately to let them know that you’re working on resolving the issues they pointed out.

Create and Send SMS Surveys

Text messages remain one of the most powerful methods of sending a customer satisfaction survey. And, the reasons for that are multifold.

First, customers use their smartphones to find brand information on-the-go and communicate with businesses in real-time. So by sending your survey via SMS, you’ll be able to maximize your reach and increase response rates. Stats prove that text messages have five times higher open rates than email, and their response rates beat email 7.5 times over.

Second, people love SMS surveys because they’re direct, straightforward, and personal. They can serve as a perfect option when a phone number is all that you know about a customer.

Try out different SMS templates, A/B test them, and then identify the ones that generate the highest open rates and response rates.

Integrate Customer Feedback Forms into your Website

A feedback form on your website will help you to improve your FAQ page and gain a better understanding of users’ shopping behaviors and preferences.

First, determine the goals of your feedback form. Then, make sure you only ask questions that meet those goals. Here are a few ways that you can integrate feedback forms into your website:

  • Ask for help center feedback. In other words, ask your visitors whether your help center articles were useful or not. Many popular brands, including Google, use this tactic on their sites. If a user clicks “No,” you can ask them for tips on how to improve your help center.
  • Ask for feedback after cart abandonment. If a customer that spent a significant amount of time browsing through your offers suddenly decides to leave their shopping cart, then there’s a good chance that something went wrong. In order to find out what it is, you could create an exit feedback form on your page and ask users what happened and what would be enough to encourage them to follow through with their purchase.
  • Implement feedback forms with your live chat. After helping a user solve a specific problem via live chat, ask them about their chat experience. Doing so can help to identify the major problems related to your customer support and fix them faster.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Consumers often use social media to search for peer reviews, stay on top of influencer posts, and voice their experiences publicly.

And there are a number of ways that you can use that to your advantage and use social media to collect customer feedback.

For starters, invest in a reliable social media monitoring tool that will help you track both your direct and indirect brand mentions. This will not only help you collect customer feedback, but will also allow you to participate in customer conversations in real time.

You could also ask for customer feedback directly by creating social media polls. Social media polls are simple and engaging – all a user needs to do is click on the answer that makes sense for them. Once they cast their vote, they’ll be able to see the results of the survey.

What to Do after Getting Customer Feedback

Whatever you do, don’t let customer reviews build up and collect dust somewhere on your computer. Once you collect customer feedback, be sure to always thank your customers who shared their opinion. See negative reviews as an opportunity to resolve any issues. If you do that, you’ll undoubtedly increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Finally, spread the word about what your customers have to say.  Share customer feedback on your Facebook page. Tweet them. Take screenshots of the most stand-out customer reviews and post them on your Instagram Stories. Put them on your website for the entire world to see.

Keep in mind: Customers trust online reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations. So publishing customer feedback on your website and across your social channels will inevitably make your brand more credible.

Deliver on Your Promises

A customer feedback strategy can prove incredibly powerful in increasing customer satisfaction and retention. But in order to achieve that, you can’t just ask your customers what they would change about your brand and brand experience. You’ve got to actually use both their positive and negative feedback to improve your products and services.

It’s a lot of work. But the good news is that it’ll pay off.