Review request: 14 Ways to instantly ask for a review from happy customers

A significant 95 percent of customers read reviews before buying. That makes online reviews a key tool for businesses to leverage to make more sales (GlobeNewsWire). Reviews are thus essential to your clients’ success. You need to master the art of the review request. The good news: Asking for a review is easy.

Find out how to capitalize on a good review and minimize the damage of a bad one. Download these review response templates now.

Customers love to read reviews, but they’re less inclined to leave them. That means getting reviews for your clients can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Sometimes, though, all you need to do is ask.

If you’re feeling stuck about getting more reviews for your clients, this guide is for you. These 14 ways to ask for a review range from tried and true to innovative and a little quirky.

Why you need to make sure you’re asking customers for reviews

We already hinted at why you need to make sure you’re getting those review requests out. Your clients’ customers are reading them. Prospective customers use them to inform their opinions about your clients’ brands.

The benefits of reviews don’t stop there. Let’s look at what reviews can do for a business.

Reviews impact buying behavior

This is the most noticeable and noted impact of reviews. Most people read reviews, and most of them use them to make a decision about what to buy.

The statistics in this arena are quite striking:

  • 95 percent of customers read reviews (GlobeNewsWire)
  • 40 percent of customers say negative reviews influence their decision not to buy (FinancesOnline)
  • 75 percent of customers say they read up to 10 reviews before they trust a business (Invesp)

More than that, we can see that reviews influence sales. Over 90 percent of customers say reviews have convinced them to change their buying behavior (Qualtrics). Some statistics even show conversion rates are 3.5 times higher for products that have reviews (Oberlo).

Reviews influence your clients’ reputation

Reviews clearly influence sales and customer buying behavior. Did you know they also influence what people think about your clients?

It’s true. Some statistics show that negative reviews can make people leery about a brand. Finally, 56 percent of customers changed their opinions after they saw how brands responded (Search Engine Journal).

Customer reviews are opportunities to “make it right”

Why does responding to negative reviews win over customers? The answer is simple. When you respond to a negative review, you have an opportunity to “make it right” for the unhappy customer.

That reflects well on your client’s brand. It shows prospects that they’re willing to go the extra mile for their customers. In turn, people have more confidence that your client will treat them well if they buy from them.

Your clients get an SEO boost from reviews

Do you handle SEO for your clients? If so, then you should be sending out those review requests. Reviews and SEO go hand in hand, with reviews giving SEO results a nice boost.

Why do reviews matter to your clients’ SEO efforts? Google and other search engines use “social proof” as an indicator of how authoritative a brand is. The more (positive) reviews your client has, the more authoritative they look.

Google favors Google reviews, of course. Good ratings on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other platforms can also play a role.

Find potential promoters and brand advocates

Finally, reviews let you see who might be a brand advocate for your client. Brand advocates are “super fans” who make repeat purchases and recommend your client to other people.

These people can be useful to team up with, since they’ll promote your client and their brand, often for free. If someone is leaving 5-star reviews after every interaction, then they might be a future promoter.

14 ways to go about asking for a review

Now it’s time to start asking customers for reviews. The good news is there are plenty of creative ways to go about asking for a review. Use these 14 methods to ask for a customer review on your clients’ behalf.

The methods here range from the conventional methods to a little more out-of-the-box. If you’ve already tapped the tried-and-true review request methods, try something more novel. If you’re just getting your review management process set up, then you might want to start with the basics.

1. Email your review request

Email is tried and true for most businesses. Even if your clients have physical stores, they might email receipts to their customers. Other businesses might only handle online transactions.

In either case, email is a surefire method of connecting with customers. Most people check their inboxes every day, and many check them several times per day (Small Biz Trends). Email marketing has one of the highest success rates of any digital marketing method.

As a result, email is often the best way to ask for a review for platforms like Google reviews. For best results, you’ll want an engaging headline that encourages people to click.

2. Asking customers for reviews on social media

Social media platforms are another place where it’s easy to reach out to customers and ask for feedback. This is a great option if you don’t have someone’s email address or you’ve had previous social media interactions.

Using private messaging is usually the best way to request a review on these channels. Hopping into a customer’s DMs, though, can be seen as somewhat forward. This method works best if they’ve already used this channel to reach out to your client.

Facebook review request

Facebook is the next most important review platform after Google. Almost 3 billion people use Facebook on a monthly basis (Business of Apps). As with Google, having lots of (positive) reviews can get your client’s business in front of more of those users.

You can ask specific customers if they’ll leave a Facebook review via direct messaging. You can also encourage reviews with general posts. Making sure that reviewing is turned on is another big step. You want to make it simple for people to leave reviews.

Think beyond Facebook

Other platforms don’t have their own reviewing systems, but don’t discount them as places where you can reach out to customers to ask for a review. People will still see what they say.

3. Direct customers to other review platforms

There are also other review platforms, like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Your clients may not be on all of them, but it doesn’t hurt to direct people to them. Many prospects see these review sites as neutral third parties. They trust that the information they’re getting is accurate and honest.

Keep in mind that some sites, like Yelp, don’t let you ask for reviews (Yelp). Instead, you can direct a customer to your client’s profile on the platform, via an email message, DM, or other method. If they click through, they’ll probably take it from there.

4. Asking clients for reviews via follow-up meetings

If your client is in the service industry or sells complex equipment, then a follow-up appointment with the customer might be in order. This is an opportunity for the customer to ask any questions and voice any concerns. Your client can then help them resolve any outstanding issues.

This is also a great time to be asking clients for reviews, especially if the customer is satisfied. Follow-up meetings can happen over the phone, in person, or even on a video call.

This isn’t always the best method for, say, someone who bought beauty products or cat food. For people buying software, services, or other products with a learning curve, this is a great option.

5. Try a video call review request

Just like the follow-up meeting, you can also request reviews via video call with the customer. Again, this method works best with complex products or services.

You might want to schedule this as a check in or follow up with the customer. A video call can also be part of a survey to help you gather feedback about customer experience.

6. Asking clients for reviews with SMS

SMS—or texting—can be a short and sweet way of sending review requests to customers. This works well when you know the customer contacted your client by phone or SMS. It’s also great for following up on in-person purchases.

Most people have their phones with them almost all the time (Gallup), so an SMS review request can be the best way to get someone’s attention. Be sure to use a strong call to action.

You can link the customer to a review template or give them instructions for how to text back their review.

7. Look for social media mentions

Let’s head back over to social media for a moment. If you use reputation monitoring tools, you’re keeping an eye on your clients’ social media mentions.

What are folks saying about your client’s brand? If the chatter is generally positive, you might want to ask some of the participants if they’d like to leave a review. Remember to make it easy for them. Include a link and some instructions so these customers can easily get their review out into the world.

8. Slide in a review request with customers who are already praising a brand

Suppose a customer is on the phone with you or on a conference call with your client. This customer is happy with how things have been going. Maybe implementation has been smooth, or your client is outstanding at communication.

It’s a great time to slip in a review request. If someone is already singing your client’s praises, they’ll probably take you up on the opportunity to leave a review.

The same is true when a customer sends an email that praises the team or thanks them. If you’re copied on that note, be sure to follow up with a request for review. People who are satisfied are more likely to take the time.

9. Send a template to make reviewing quick and easy

Whenever you send an email, send either the link to a review template or include it in the body of your email. If you’re using a method like text or DM, then provide a link.

Why should you send a template? Templates make reviewing quick, painless, and easy for customers. They take the guesswork out of what you’re looking for, and they give the customer guidance on what to say.

Providing a template also limits the number of “unhelpful” reviews your client receives.

10. Send a handwritten follow-up note (with a review request)

This next review request method relies on having postal addresses for customers. In most cases, you will have this on hand, but not always.

A handwritten note is one of the most personal ways you can ask for a review. A customer who receives one is likely to take the time to review. After all, your client took the time to send them a handwritten note. In the digital age, that goes a long way.

Combine this method with #14 to make moving from paper to digital easy for reviewers.

11. Trade reviews with your vendors and partners

Does your client have a working relationship with other businesses? Maybe they work with a local restaurant, who also caters the office holiday party. Or they might rent A/V equipment to local businesses and charities.

Whatever the case, you can also ask these partners for a review. These businesses are also customers, after all.

Business owners understand the importance of reviews. Offering to swap reviews can help everyone.

12. Asking for feedback from clients in person

If your client delivers on-site services or training, or if they sell at a local retail location, you can also ask for reviews in person.

Sometimes, this can mean handing out business cards or other paper products with a QR code (see below) or a URL. In some cases, it might mean asking for a review at the end of the meeting, transaction, or training session.

13. Offer an incentive for reviewing

Offering an incentive for leaving a review can encourage customers to take action. This could be a contest, such as a monthly draw for a prize.

Remember that incentivizing reviews walks a fine line with “buying” them. Be careful with this method and use it the right way.

14. Use a QR code to get more reviews

This method is best combined with another one, like asking for feedback from clients in person or sending a handwritten note. Generate a QR code and add it to paper products, such as business cards or postcards. These can then be handed out to customers at events or at the register. You can even set it up so the QR code prints on receipts or invoices.

The novelty of paper and the ease of scanning the QR code to access the review template make this a winning combination.

Best practices for a successful review request + request template

No matter which way you're asking for feedback from clients, remember these best practices.

  • Make reviewing easy by including a template
  • Mix it up for repeat reviewers; don’t always send the same template
  • Remember to personalize each request
  • Keep your request short
  • Do follow up on your request, but don’t spam customers
  • Don’t ask for specific kinds of reviews (e.g., “5 stars,” “good reviews”)
  • Remember to respond to every review

Using these tips with a review request template can help you get more reviews for your clients.

Review request templates

We’ve included some review templates you can use. Remember to use these templates with the tips above for the best chance of success.

If you want to write your own template, remember that a good review request template has the following hallmarks:

  • It’s short
  • It describes why reviews matter to your client’s business (and to other customers)
  • It provides a template or a link to one
  • It has a clear call-to-action (e.g., a link to Google reviews)

Whether you use one of ours or make your own, don’t forget to personalize the template before sending it out!

Review request template for email

Subject line: Sound off: Tell us how we’re doing

Hi [customer’s first name],

Customers like you are important to us, so we want to hear from you about how we’re doing. We were wondering if you could take the time to write a [Google / Facebook / etc.] review. This can help other customers like you find us. Tell us about your latest experience or something you love about [client name]. Use this link to get to our page—it takes less than a minute to leave a review! [Insert link here]

Thank you so much,

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your business]

Review request template for follow up

Subject line: How was your purchase?

Hi [customer’s first name]

We’re checking in to make sure that you received your [product / service] and everything is working right. If you have any questions or you need anything, feel free to contact us at [contact information].

If you’ve enjoyed your [product / service] so far, we’d love your feedback. Click the link to leave a review: [insert link]. Leaving a review takes less than a minute, and it helps us a lot—and other customers too!

Thank you!

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your email]

[Your phone number]

[Company name]

Frequently asked questions

How long should you wait before asking for review?

Service businesses should ask for reviews immediately after the service is performed. For businesses selling products, wait 1 to 2 weeks after the sale. This gives the customer a chance to use the product and form an opinion.

How do you politely ask for a good review?

To politely ask for a good review, it’s best practice not to ask for a “good review” or a “5-star rating.” Instead, simply ask for customer feedback and address any concerns they have. Then ask for a review, while explaining the benefits of reviews for the company and other customers.

About the Author

Solange Messier is the Content Strategy Manager at Vendasta. Solange has spent the majority of her career in content marketing helping companies improve how they connect with their prospects and customers. Her diverse background includes magazine publishing, book publishing, marketing agencies, payment processing, and tech. When she's not working, Solange can be found spending time with her family, running, and volunteering.

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