Nowadays, businesses live and die by social proof.
Having testimonials and reviews that potential customers can read will often make all the difference in their decision to do business with you. Of course, if you don’t have any reviews, there’s a good chance those potential customers will pass you over entirely.
While a lot of customers are perfectly willing to leave reviews for your business, all too often, they aren’t going to think to do this on their own. To get the reviews you need to establish your credibility, you have to ask — here are the best ways to do it:
Pick Up The Phone (Text Will Suffice, As Well)
Not the suggestion you expected? Sure, we may do more of our communications digitally these days, but picking up the phone can still be an effective outreach method — especially if you have a small, dedicated client base or work in a support-heavy business. You likely already have a closer personal connection with your customers, which makes these more personalized asks easier.
Of course, you should choose your review requests wisely. If you’re at the end of a lengthy support call, that isn’t the time to ask a customer to leave a review. Depending on how that support call went, their review might not be what you’re hoping for.
Instead, look to your self-proclaimed “satisfied customers” for these personal review requests. Clients who you’ve established a strong ongoing relationship with are far more likely to leave a detailed, positive testimonial that boosts your brand credibility.
Get Creative With Your Email Outreach
While an email blast can be helpful in reaching a whole bunch of people at once, sending everyone the same, generic request to leave a review makes you more likely to get ignored.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. You could personalize your email outreach by using a personal company email address (like “firstname.lastname@example.org”), rather than sending it from a more generic “support” address.
Always use the customer’s name, and don’t be afraid to use the account’s email signature to further personalize your review request. The friendlier and less corporate-sounding your email is, the more likely customers are to leave a review.
I recently had the chance to speak with Ryan Chaffin, founder of KAHA, who added this important insight: “We’ve found that using an automated email sequence is one of the most effective ways to get customers to actually leave reviews. This all comes down to timing. Send the first review request as soon as possible after the customer interacts with you. Send a second reminder email a few days later, and your last reminder after a week. That early nudge when your brand is still fresh in the customer’s mind is more likely to get the specific, detailed feedback you want.”
Tap Into The Engagement Power Of Social Media
Social media can be an extremely powerful tool — quite often, even small solopreneur brands can build a strong following that engages with almost all their content.
Naturally, you should tap into this existing audience by asking them for reviews. A well-written social media post can be an easy way to reach a large chunk of your audience at once, particularly if your brand has grown to the point where you no longer know all of your customers by name.
However, just like with picking up the phone, a more direct approach is going to be more impactful. Don’t be afraid to slide into your connected customers’ direct messages to make a personalized request!
As with emails, try to time these messages around when a customer has recently interacted with you — such as receiving completed work for a project or signing a new contract with you. This is best with people who already follow your social media profiles — no Facebook stalking allowed!
Your Website Can Make This A Natural Request
Reaching out to ask for a review can sometimes feel awkward, especially when the request seems like it will be coming out of the blue. The good news is that you can build out your website so that these requests feel more natural, and are initiated from the get-go.
Many brands actually have a web page that is solely dedicated to reviews and testimonials. Even if you don’t have enough reviews to justify a standalone page, you can still highlight the reviews that you do have on your home page and other parts of your website. A small button inviting customers to give their own feedback placed near these testimonials provides an easy, intuitive ask.
You can further build out your review-collecting process at the point of purchase by making this an optional part of your website’s purchase confirmation page. Since not everyone will be ready to leave a review immediately after buying, be sure to collect their email address for purchase confirmation and for your followup email messages.
Buckle Down And Ask
The vast majority of internet users now check the reviews before making a buying decision — and for many, these anonymous reviews can prove nearly as influential as a recommendation from a friend or family member.
Remember, if you aren’t getting the number of reviews you like, it doesn’t mean that your brand is totally forgettable. Sometimes, people just forget to leave reviews, even after having a great experience. So push yourself outside your comfort zone, and ask.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference this can make.