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Clever Ways To Ask For Reviews

It’s no secret that today's market is extra competitive as more and more businesses are working to fit into a digital world. One way companies are paving their own path online is by asking clients and customers for reviews—you can make your products stand out from other competitors and create more brand awareness with reviews from happy customers. People spend a lot of time online and interacting with different brands and reviews is certainly an important part of your marketing plan. Potential customers want to know what they’re getting into when interacting with your business and current customers want to know that their thoughts and feelings matter.

So, we know reviews are undeniably helpful. The question becomes: how do you ask for reviews without being awkward or dull? You want to cut through the chatter and engage with customers who can provide useful and captivating feedback. Finding original ways to get testimonials for your website or marketing strategy can be challenging, but there are tactics to connect with customers and collect helpful feedback. Here are VideoPeel’s 5 clever ways to ask for reviews to bolster your brand and attract the right customers.

  1. Utilize The Power Of Google

At the core of a lot of digital marketing is Google and its many tools that collect data. Taking advantage of Google reviews is a great way to add credibility to your business, especially because Google is the go-to search engine for so many people. Your business will feel more official and authentic if your establishment or online presence has Google reviews to back it up, especially for new customers.

There is always some risk in asking clients and customers for feedback, meaning not all Google reviews will be helpful. Negative reviews can’t always be prevented and in some cases display the authenticity of your business; however, negative reviews can also derail your brand and take the focus away from your actual service when left unaddressed. 

If you do have negative reviews like this, don’t disregard them; those can still add credibility to your company based on how you go about fixing a dissatisfied customer's grievances. Businesses that are willing to actually listen and act on feedback, good and bad, do not go unnoticed by potential customers.

It’s best to pinpoint specific customers who are regulars that seem extremely satisfied with your product or service. Targeting pleased customers who will highlight the best parts of their experience are far more valuable than general or unfavorable feedback. 

Once you pinpoint those high-impact returning customers, you can directly reach out for a review. On Google My Business, you can request customers to leave feedback on your website through the “About” section. All you have to do is send the review site link and instruct them to post their review using that link. If you have more in-person interactions and opportunities, consider using a QR code that they can scan so they can add a review later. 

  1. Send a Personalized Note

Especially for small businesses that rely on word-of-mouth, one-on-one interactions, and excellent customer service, a personalized note says a lot about the way you see your customers. Imagine getting a handwritten, personalized note in the mailbox from a recent purchase–this creates a lasting impression of your services. 

Here’s another example of a clever way to ask for reviews using a personalized note. Instead of following up with a client, send the note with your product. If you have a small business and ship items to your customers, take the extra time to write a thank you note, addressing them by name and commenting on how excited you are about their purchase. You can preemptively and kindly ask them to leave a review if they are satisfied with their items.

This approach to requesting reviews shows customers that you are willing to invest time and effort into your customer relationships, which in and of itself is review-worthy. If you can do this consistently, people are going to recognize your brand as charming and original, which is hard to do with the vast amount of business online. Set this kind of alluring standard by personalizing their products or service, their experience, and yes, even their feedback requests. Be sure to include a QR code or link in the recipient’s note so they know how to easily leave a review. 

  1. Call To Follow Up and Take a Video

One of the most innovative approaches to reviews is to talk to a customer individually and find a way to record that conversation. For willing customers, especially ones that you think are high-impact customers who are happy with your service, take a video to document their positive response. This is one way you can follow up and ensure that your customer is still satisfied with their purchase.

Find a time to Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to capture a real-time reaction of your client’s excitement about their purchase. These reviews are genuine, engaging, and visually enticing, which effectively attracts customers old and new. You can also request video responses for someone’s review, like on social media. Writing can be overwhelming or too time-consuming for some people, so if they can make a quick, fun video about your product where they just talk about how they feel, they may be more inclined to participate.

Still, here’s a word of warning: be cautious of timing with this one. You don't want to come off as too pushy or invasive; otherwise, the client will likely back out. You also want to ensure that your video is top-quality so that, firstly, your customer knows this review format is authentic, and secondly, you can confidently post it to your website or social media.

  1. Write A Review Template For Your Customers

What stops people from leaving reviews? The simple answer is friction. There are too many other things going on in people’s lives that prevent them from spending time on something that has already passed (and that doesn’t otherwise affect them). If giving your business a review is simple and seamless on their end, customers are far more likely to engage. Remove as many obstacles on your end as you can and make the feedback process easier for your customers by designing a review template that takes a lot of the work off of their plate.

Because not all customers have time to write thoughtful reviews on their purchase, a template only asks them to respond to well-crafted questions instead of trying to formulate their own (potentially unhelpful) feedback. Creating a template to make their review process faster is another way you can not only get better feedback but also show your customers that you value their time.

The easiest way to do this is by setting up a review box in a follow-up email using a survey format. That way, customers can jump right from their email to a review template without losing too much time or brain power. This clever way to get reviews is a bonus for the customer and makes your job easier, too. All of your most useful feedback is already organized and streamlined for you to use on your website, in your advertising, and of course to improve your services. Plus, templates are part of an evergreen feedback system, meaning you can reuse review templates for as long as they are relevant to your business goals.

  1. Send a Text Requesting a Review

In this day and age, email is becoming more obsolete compared to previous years. Even in business, people often use Slack or Teams to communicate—and in our personal lives, emails can get seriously clogged with email chains from a dozen different organizations. Emails are still valuable, but if you really want to increase your visibility and boost the likelihood of getting timely responses, consider using texts to gather reviews.

Chances are you have a customer’s phone number in your database from their purchase, especially when that customer makes online purchases. Use this resource to send a polite and concise SMS text requesting a review. You don’t want to flood someone with several long texts—this will likely irritate or overwhelm your customer. On the other hand, a quick, friendly, and genuine request will feel much simpler to a customer. 

This is a great way to get an instant review! You could very well get customers who see the SMS before they check their email and quickly respond then and there. You should also consider your target audience when considering text messages to request reviews. If you’re going after a younger audience, texting is a much stronger approach to gathering feedback. Even for older audiences who aren’t buried in their emails—a text can even feel a bit more personal.

Tips for Engaging Customers

Each of the 5 ways we recommend asking for reviews is going to have unique pros and cons, and some will work better than others based on your business model. Small businesses may not have the extra revenue to offer fancy or expensive rewards, but they could lean into the charm and appeal of personalized messaging and review requests. 

Still, there are some hard and fast guidelines that will help you make the most of whatever review approach you take. Here are some standard practices for getting feedback in an uplifting and efficient manner.

Reward loyalty

Do your best to connect with customers who have been consistently using your products or services. They are going to have some of the most valuable things to say about your company, and you want to leverage that experience. The more you can tailor the experience to customers who care and who have been positively impacted by your brand, the better your reviews are going to be. Invite your most loyal customers to review products, ask them important questions, and make sure they know how important their feedback is to your business.

Offer fun benefits

Here’s the truth; not everyone is interested in leaving a review. A lot of people want to make their purchases and move on with their life. For those customers, you can incentivize reviewing your business by providing prizes or rewards when people participate. Plenty of people are persuaded to leave a review when offered coupons, discounts, giveaways, or similar rewards for taking a few minutes to submit their feedback.

Create a sense of urgency

There is a fine line between being excited and being pushy—enthusiasm may get you a great review, but guilting or pestering someone into giving a review is a recipe for disaster. However, you can still instill a sense of urgency by giving customers a timeframe for either the review or the reward for reviewing their experience. Let’s say a customer makes a purchase at your boutique; let them know that if they leave a review within a month, they will qualify for 10% off on their next purchase. This isn’t pushing the customer to do anything they don’t want to, but you are offering an incentive with an expiration date, which encourages action on their part.

Take action on the good and the bad

Your business reputation will seriously suffer if you only collect data without considering and highlighting customer feedback. Not only do you want to utilize positive feedback for better engagement online, but you also want to show your customers that you listen and care about their needs. 

You can focus on positive reviews for your branding, but you can also attract people by adjusting your strategies, products, services, or employee experience according to both positive and negative feedback. This also means responding to positive feedback. Validate positive experiences and reward those kinds of interaction to encourage more positive feedback.

Be creative and original

You can still be professional and stick closely to your branding while still offering something unique and surprising to your customers, even when it comes to reviews. Try a unique feedback platform, even if it intimidates you. Maybe you’ve never used Google in a business sense—now is the best time to learn something new and find out what you’re missing. 

Perhaps video reviews may be foreign territory, but especially with the right platform, you can be more competitive and inventive with your advertising. The more you can make yourself stand out, the better chances you have to not only get responses but get high-impact responses.

Ready to Create a Clever Review Request Process?

Asking for customer reviews can be tricky, and you may not find the perfect strategy right from the start. You don’t want to seem too pushy or basic—but when you can surprise people with something intriguing, warm-hearted, or even curious, then you’ll start getting some results.

One solution is to embrace the digital age and start using technology to your advantage instead of waiting and being acted upon. You can elevate your reviews by using VideoPeel’s 5 clever ways to ask for reviews, and if you really want to take things to the next level, check out our video platform. Collecting interesting, high-quality, and exciting customer videos is a cutting-edge and exciting way to engage with your customers. 

By using VideoPeel’s program, you can remotely capture videos from some of your most loyal customers, making them feel like a part of your company’s journey and validating their experience. You can use any channel—email, text, social media, QR codes—and just like that, your customers can start recording right from their phone with no download or signup required. Plus, with features like automated transcriptions, built-in analytics, and collaboration tools, our technology makes the process extra easy for you and your customers. All of this creates an even better buyer experience and strengthens your social proof online.

Still unsure? You don’t have to commit to anything—you can give VideoPeel a try at no extra cost to see if it works for your business. Modernize your reviews and get the useful feedback your company needs for free today!

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