How To Ask For Testimonials, Recommendations & Online Reviews

September 11, 2020 / Roberta Hill  / 

Let's focus on online reviews for this blog post.  Why? Because they can have a huge impact on your business and bottom line. Besides many of these principles apply in getting testimonials and recommendations.

91% of consumers between the ages of 19 and 34 trust reviews and consumers are more likely to trust your company if you have at least 40 reviews. If you don’t already have a solid review presence, it’s time to get serious about building one.

The great news is that 68% of customers who are asked to leave a review are willing to do so. Here’s how to ask them.

Asking for Reviews, Testimonials or Recommendations in Person

If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar store, then asking for reviews in person may be the way to go. The trick is doing it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or put undue pressure on your customer.

Conversational flow is important. One option is to have your cashier(s) engage with customers when they check out. They can start by asking if the customer found everything they were looking for. Any customer who praises your store or products represents a positive review.

That said, it’s not a good idea to ask for a review as soon as the customer says something positive. Ask a few follow-up questions. Then, as you end the conversation, say something like “We really appreciate feedback from our customers because it helps people learn about us. Would you be willing to write an online review?” You can plug in your platform of choice, whether it’s Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

Asking for Reviews via Email

Perhaps your business doesn’t have a lot of face-to-face interaction with customers. In that case, sending an email may be the right way to ask for reviews or recommendations.

My suggestion is to segment your list and send out emails accordingly. Getting too many reviews all at once may not be helpful, since there’s evidence to suggest that Google and Yelp may ding you if you have a massive influx of reviews.

On a related note, it’s also not wise to link directly to your Yelp page in your email since their algorithm might penalize you for doing so. Instead, mention your preferred review site if you have one, and suggest that the recipient Google “Your Business Name + Yelp” to find your page.  While this step is recommended, it does add another layer of work for your customer.

However, if you are asking people to leave reviews on your page, you may link directly to the product page.

Asking for Reviews on a Thank You Page

Does your business have an online store where customers can buy products? If so, you may want to use your “Thank You” page to ask customers for a review.

It’s important to remember that first-time-customers aren’t going to be able to review your products if they’ve just ordered them. However, they can review their experience on your site, and they may be able to offer insights on your customer service if they’ve interacted with you.

Of course, some customers who land on your Thank You page will be buying a product for the second or third time. That’s why it’s important to ask because those people will be primed to leave you a review. If you don’t have a “Thank You” page, you can also ask for a review on a confirmation page or in a confirmation email. (more…)