Creative Ways to Get Reviews From Customers


Tracy Givens

Jul 31, 2023


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A great company is made up of outstanding employees who do their best to build up the brand. That goes without saying.

Woman reading reviews in her mobile phone

You might be surprised to learn, however, that existing customers can do just as much to enrich your reputation. With the rise of online shopping and the internet in general, consumer reviews are of critical importance.

When a customer is dissatisfied, they're bound to tell everyone they know. It can be harder to get them to recommend an outstanding product or service. For obvious reasons, this dynamic can make or break a business.

If you're wondering how to get reviews from customers, look no further. Our guide will clue you in on the most creative ways to encourage customers to leave reviews without crossing any lines.

Why It's Important

Marketing and advertising can only take you so far. Research indicates that potential customers are more likely to trust a company that's earned the stamp of approval from their family and friends. If they can't get a personal recommendation, they'll turn to the next best thing: product review sites.

You might ask yourself why anyone would take the word of a bunch of strangers instead of getting firsthand experience. The fact is, if they don't know anything about the product or service beforehand, they'll seek out people who do. A whopping 85 percent of consumers place as much faith in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations.

Once the potential customer has read enough positive things about your business, they'll be inclined to check out your website. Statistics have also proven that more 50 percent of consumers will be drawn to learn more about the company after reading reviews from happy customers.

If you're worried that making a review request might sound too forward, put yourself in the customer's shoes. Why wouldn't they want to let their fellow shoppers know what made their experience an exceptional one? This is especially important if you're the owner of a small business that relies on word of mouth.

8 Creative Ways to Get Reviews from Customers

1. Ask Nicely

Man holding a laptop asking "how did we do?"

We'll start with the simplest and most obvious method: Ask your customers if they'd be so kind as to write a review.

There are numerous ways to go about this. Try including a call to action at the end of every email you send, including a link to a review site to make things easier. Social media platforms are a useful tool as well—you can reach out to consumers with a plea for feedback.

If these methods don't improve your online reputation, feel free to be more direct. Some small business owners will offer brochures or flyers that include a QR code or link to a review platform, handing these out with every purchase.

2. Know When To Ask

The best time to get reviews from customers is when you're confident that they'll leave a positive one. For example, if a customer is praising your business while they're still on-site, encourage them to post the comment online before they leave, using your computer or tablet if necessary.

Here are some other times when it might be prudent to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak:

  1. When the customer mentions that they're making a repeat purchase
  2. After a positive remark on social media
  3. When a customer has just referred a friend or a family member
  4. After running a customer satisfaction survey
  5. Anytime you've received an outstanding compliment

3. Automate Your Request

We get it—asking directly can be awkward. It's also hard to be consistent about asking, especially since you can't monitor every transaction and encounter.

If your customers have the option of buying online, add a pop-up form and encourage them to fill it out after making their purchase. After a prescribed set of time—say, a week or two—follow up with an email that asks the customer to write a review.

Keep in mind that most satisfied consumers are happy to leave a good review. They just might not think to do so on their own, which is why they need the encouragement.

4. Engage on a Personal Level

Be sure to let people know important it is to leave a review. Your online reputation can make or break your business. Spreading the good word is one of the best things that a client can do to help a company bring in leads. This is especially true if you're the owner of a local business in a small town.

When you're attempting to make a personal connection with the customer, though, you should stress that leaving a review will benefit other people as well. Without sufficient Google reviews, consumers will have a hard time telling if a product or experience is worth it.

5. Make it Easy for Customers to Leave a Review

Woman submitting a review on her tablet

Once you've reeled them in, the hard work should be done. If leaving a review is a hassle, the customer might quit halfway through, which would benefit no one.

Consider adding a review funnel to your website. These landing pages can direct consumers to several different review sites, allowing them to choose the ones they prefer. Be sure to include links so that the next step is just a click away.

We would recommend maintaining a list of your top customers, including email addresses. Send them periodic emails with links to your Google My Business review section, thanking them for their dedication and asking if they'd mind doing you a quick favor. That way, the request will feel like devoted customer service rather than a sales pitch.

6. Provide a Template

Some folks aren't comfortable writing reviews. Either they have a hard time expressing their thoughts in that manner, or they simply don't want to take the time. No worries—business owners can offer a template for consumers to fill in instead.

This can be as simple as using a star rating system, asking the customer to rank their experience on a scale of 1 to 5. This is the system that retail giant Amazon uses to great effect—although they encourage customers to leave written reviews as well. Even a single 5-star review can go a long way toward boosting your online reputation.

7. Follow Up

The customer experience shouldn't end as soon as the review is posted. Be sure to engage with the people who have offered their feedback, whether it's a positive or negative review.

If the response was positive, thank the customer for their business and express your wish for them to return soon. Keep it short and sweet, and be sure to diversify your responses so that they don't appear automated.

It can be trickier to respond to a negative review, but the last thing you want is to ignore it. If the customer was unclear about what they found dissatisfying, first apologize for the inconvenience before asking them to elaborate. Once you have that information, be specific regarding the steps you plan to take to resolve these issues in the future, and then follow through.

8. Offer an Incentive

Woman holding a gift voucher

Leaving reviews benefits other customers as well as business owners. But what's in it for the customer who's actually leaving the review? When you offer an incentive, you can reward the individual and perhaps earn some repeat business at the same time.

The most obvious reward would be a discount toward a future purchase—for example, a coupon for 10 percent off. If this doesn't fit your business model, a charitable donation or gift card to a neighboring business might work.

If you're going to offer an incentive, be sure to make that clear when you're imploring customers to leave a review. The bonus will encourage more people to cooperate, thereby enriching your online reputation.

The Bottom Line

When all is said and done, if you haven't provided the best possible customer experience, you aren't going to net those positive reviews. Your first order of business is to stand out—not just in terms of the product you offer, but in every other respect.

Once you've established that all-important first connection, it's time to encourage the consumer to pitch in. You can do that in various ways without coming across as pushy or obnoxious. Remember that the reviews aren't just for your benefit, as they'll help other customers make informed choices about where to spend their money.

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