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!
Table of contents
Why ask for reviews?
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:
- Consumers are willing. A BrightLocal study showed that 76% of those who are asked to leave reviews go on to do so.
- Consumers find reviews helpful. In a study conducted by Podium, 93% of consumers said that online reviews for local businesses are as helpful as product reviews on sites like Amazon.
- Consumers seek out reviews. According to BrightLocal, 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
How to ask customers for reviews
Whether you’re looking to get more Google reviews, improve your Yelp ratings, get five stars on Facebook, or ramp up your Amazon reviews, there are a variety of ways to ask for them, including:
- In person
- Over the phone (or via text)
- Through your website (ideally, a reviews page)
- Via email (email blast, personal email, company email, email signatures)
- Via social media (direct message or post)
- Via thank you pages
- On receipts/invoices
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
How to ask for a review in person
Asking for a review in person can be intimidating, but it is the most effective approach. If the opportunity presents itself, seize it!
Ask in response to praise
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?
Create opportunities with conversation
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:
- Did you find everything you were looking for today?
- Is this your first time [using the product you’re about to purchase]?
- How is that [product you’re purchasing]? I’ve tried [a similar product] but I have yet to try this one for myself.
- I hope you had a good experience with us…anything we could improve or that you liked?
Don’t force it
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.”
How to ask clients for reviews over the phone
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.”
How to ask for reviews via text
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: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/07/16/how-to-ask-for-reviews.
There are also SMS review request services that can set up automatic texts after appointments and purchases.
How to ask for reviews via email
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.
Review request email template #1
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!
Review request email template #2
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!
Review request email template #3
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!
Review request email template #4
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.
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.
How to ask for reviews post-purchase
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.
Thank you cards
With a design tool like Canva, you can easily create little cards to go in your product packaging, attached to receipts, or next to the mints that encourage reviews. The card can say something like:
- “Did you enjoy working with us? Leave a review!”
- “How did we do? Let us know by leaving a review at https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/07/16/how-to-ask-for-reviews!”
- “Got feedback? We’d love to hear it! You can leave us a review at https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/07/16/how-to-ask-for-reviews.”
Purchase confirmation emails
Post-purchase trigger emails are great places to ask for reviews. Here are two short and sweet ways to request reviews or feedback in your after-purchase thank you pages:
“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!