Asking for online reviews oftentimes stresses people, for a number of reasons. They don’t want to seem incompetent, they don’t want to get negative reactions or, the worst of all, somebody might answer “no”.
When seeking reviews, asking is one of the biggest challenges business owners and employees face. That is why we are going to go back to the basics of strategy to ask the important questions: Where, When and How.
Where to ask to review
Online reviews only reach their full potential when they actually reach the targeted audience. The question that arises is where exactly that might be. So, ask yourself where your customers go online to:
- View your product or service
- Buy your product or service
- Inform themselves about products or services similar to what your business has to offer
- Be brand advocates that love to rage about what fantastic work you are doing.
These four channels are where online reviews can be most beneficial to your business. You might want a review to influence the purchasing decision in a positive way. In order to do this, your potential customer has to actually be in a purchasing mindset. This happens while the customer is on a website or in an online shop to actually search for and decide on a product or service. While reading about the many aspects the product has actually helped other buyers, the customer finds a solution for their own problem.
Online reviews can also help undecided buyers find the right service or product fit for them. Positive feedback can influence the purchaser’s decision. So, it is crucial to give that step thought as a marketer and offer support through reviews.
In addition, reviews are there to offer your customers a voice to share their experience with your brand, product, or service. This is why you want potential new customers to actually find all the wonderful things said about you. In starting to gather reviews, it, therefore, is important to decide on one or two main platforms to harvest those reviews. This could be a social media platform combined with the company homepage, a business’ online shop or a review platform such as Yelp.
When is the best time to ask for a review
The best time for a customer to review their experience is shortly after they have made the purchase or used the service. As a result, planning the ask for a review should be made part of the communication and/or customer relationship plan. It is a great way to create the “aftermath” and gain traction from the customer’s fresh memory, a (hopefully) good experience. If you are asking for a product review, however, give the customer some time to actually try and test the product.
How to ask for the review
Asking for the review oftentimes gives businesses a hard time. Nobody wants to look needy or go around begging for some positive feedback. In order to keep away from that feeling, be sure to make a plan for your review strategy. Your plan should include the above-mentioned aspects, but also the specific way in which you will be asking the customer. This could be via an e-mail, a personal ask, or a handout during an in-person event or an in-store purchase. Be specific about the words or keywords that are relevant to your customer. This will make them more likely to react to the ask. In addition, it is helpful to include your brand, store name or business in the request. Your customer is more attentive to information that comes from a familiar name. In order to make the feedback easy for your customer make sure that the process works, including the platforms and links involved. Last, but not least, incentives have proven to increase conversion. So why not include a coupon, a little freebie or something similar to not only get that great feedback but also make your customer come back for another wonderful experience!
Want to read more about reviews? Check out Why We Need Reviews in Our Portfolio.
Author: Magdalena Schürmann
Her passion for organization and solving problems benefits Magdalena’s work as a consultant and in coaching private clients as well as small businesses in diverse areas connected to work life – from job changes to social media marketing. In her business, ArbeitsLeben Magdalena often helps clients to reduce stress and gain more balance through organization and personal and professional coaching. Her goal is to educate, to encourage, and to empower her clients.
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