Reviews are important for every business, and especially if you’re dropshipping and you’re just starting. Positive and honest reviews from actual customers not only increase trust, but helps with SEO. As consumers and prospects have turned more to self-guided research, they rely more on the opinions and experiences of other customers in reviews when evaluating options and making purchasing decisions.
So how to convince your customers to rate your product(s)? How can you be persuasive but not pushy, at the same time?
Having many positive reviews helps build trust and confidence in your business and its products/services.
But it can be tricky to get people to write positive reviews about a business. As Growth Hackers’ Jonathan Aufray says, “Most happy customers will never tell you that they’re happy. Unhappy customers will let you know.”
Simply ask for reviews
According to Greenvelope’s Alex Kelsey, the best way to encourage customers to write reviews is to “just ask. More often than you think, your fans and customers will be happy to write about their experience with your business, product, or service.”
Our respondents offered lots of ideas for how to ask customers for reviews:
- “The easiest and most successful tactic we’ve implemented has been encouraging our staff to simply ask customers for their feedback. Any time we sell a car, our sales team asks customers to write a review online, and we’ve seen great results.” (Laura Gonzalez, Audi Spokane)
- “Put up signage in your building, including official stickers from sites like Yelp, encouraging customers to leave a review.” (Dallin Hatch, Womply)
- “Ask in every email you send, especially if you are on the customer support team. You don’t have to make it a big thing, but something as simple as adding a link to a review site in your email signature can work great.” (Megan Moseley, Referral Rock)
- “Reach out to customers on Twitter and—in a friendly way—ask them to write a review. Most of them will!” (Miguel Piedrafita, Blogcast)
- “After every job, we give our customers a small business-card sized handout with a QR code that takes them to our Google My Business page. It opens a window on their smartphones that links directly to where they can write a review for our company and post it on Google.” (Kaitlin Martin Choice Windows)
- “Include a call to action on the base of a menu, invoice, or receipt—or even a sign on the back of a toilet door: “While you’re sitting here, why not give us a review?” It’s a bit cheeky, but if it suits your brand, why not!” (Erica Stacey, Scout)
- “Hand out flyers explaining how to write a review. Our flyers come with a bit.ly link that sends customers directly to Google’s review platform.” (Dr. Bryan Bruno, Mid City TMS)
- “After a customer makes a positive comment about your business, ask the customer to post it online while he/she is still on-site. Have the customer come behind the desk to your computer or produce a tablet, and direct the person to type in that comment.” (Elliott Jaffa, Dr. Elliott B. Jaffa Associates)
Of course, as Bryan Osima of Uvietech Software Solutions says: “Sometimes, all you need to do is ask, but it does help if you’ve gone the extra mile to make sure customers are happy”.
Reward your customers for leaving reviews – it is effective especially when you’re just starting your store. Zappos hands out 100 points or about $10 credit to those who write a review. Offer incentives to gather reviews – especially at the start. Notice I’m not saying to pay for a review. You want reviews to be authentic and from people who really purchased and used the product from your store. Consider offering points in your customer loyalty program or entries in a quarterly drawing.
You can also provide discounts through eMail.
Optimize your content
Your customer reviews might be coming in unsolicited from happy — or unhappy — customers on third-party sites.
But once people are already on your site, make sure it’s easy for them to leave reviews there, too.
Optimize your website, blog posts, social profiles, and emails to provide quick and easy avenues through which to write reviews by:
- Setting up website badges to quickly and easily direct visitors to your Yelp, Facebook, and Amazon pages to read and leave reviews
- Optimize your website for mobile devices for people who come to your website when they’re browsing social or conducting searches on their phone
- If you’re asking for customer reviews via email, keep the asks short and sweet.
Ask at just the right moment
Make sure you’re soliciting customer reviews at the right moment in their journey with your business to get optimal results.
Think about it: If you ask for a review at the wrong moment, it could result in a customer leaving a negative review that hundreds more people read when considering whether or not they want to buy from your business.
Ask for customer reviews after positive moments along the customer journey, like:
- After they experience or demonstrate success with your product or service
- When they re-purchase or re-order
- After they tag your brand in a post on social media
- If they are spending time on your website browsing other products or services
- If they refer another customer to you
These are just a few examples of signs that your customer is satisfied enough that they would leave a positive review of your business.
Build a process to ask clients to review your merch
One way to make sure that you’re asking customers to write reviews is to have a process in place for making the ask.
“Chocolate Films has been pursuing Google reviews for a year,” says Alexandra Lens. “We quickly reached a 5-star rating and have maintained it since.”
“To achieve this, we made asking for reviews an integral part of our production process. At the end of each great video project, our account managers ask the client to leave a review as part of their sign-off emails.”
“Clients and account managers are happy at the end of a successful project and will have established a great relationship, so incorporating asking for a review as part of the production process has worked really well for us,” Lens says.
Other respondents use a series of tools to create and automate the process of asking for reviews.
“If you can automate your review process based upon specific actions, then it will be even easier to scale and ensure continuity for review requests,” says 9Sail’s Kyle Kasharian.
As LoclWeb’s Jorge Sheffy says, “Asking for reviews manually is not recommended. It will become too much of a burden on you and will also be much more inconsistent.”
Several of our respondents shared examples of how they automate their review-request processes.
Pop-Up Forms + Follow-Up Emails
“We use a pop-up form on our site to get reviews after customers have made a purchase,” says John Holloway of NoExam. “This form automatically populates the review on Shopper Approved, a third-party review site.”
“We then follow up two weeks later via email and ask customers to write a more thorough review of their shopping experience. We’ve collected over 1,000 user reviews with this method.”
“We send out customer feedback emails every month asking our clients and candidates to complete a 30-second survey about our customer service,” says Fiona Kay of Nigel Wright Group. “At the end of the survey, we ask if they would be happy to submit a Google review.”
“Since introducing this, we’ve experienced a huge increase in the number of reviews we’ve received, the vast majority being positive. We now have an average star rating of 4.6 across our nine office Google My Business pages.”
Online Booking Systems
“Some of our clients use online booking systems for their services,” says Niles Koenigsberg of FiG Advertising + Marketing. “We’ve used these systems in the past to successfully acquire customer reviews.”
“After their appointment is finished, customers receive an automated message (text, email, etc.) that asks them to (1) schedule their next appointment and (2) leave a review to help the business improve their services.”
“It’s a great tactic to engage with customers when the quality of the service is fresh in their minds. This way, you receive more honest feedback and get that review in quickly before they forget about it.”
Review Acquisition Services
“The best way to encourage customers to write reviews is through a dedicated review acquisition service,” says Michael Anderson of GeoJango. “These companies will automatically send an email to your customers and ask them to leave a review after a specified number of days.”
“Some are geared towards ecommerce and will have their own review-capture platform. Others focus on local businesses and will work towards acquiring reviews through Google, Facebook, and Yelp”.
Several respondents said you’ll get more reviews if you personalize the ask.
For example, Casey Hill of Bonjoro recommends “sending a personal video to the customer, thanking them for supporting you, and asking if they would leave you a review. Personalization is a key lever in rapport-building and a great way to maximize reviews.”
Ollie Roddy of Catalyst Marketing says that “the best thing to do is ask someone personally. Call them and physically go through the feedback/review form with them. It will only take your account manager two minutes, but the likelihood of someone saying no is insanely low.”
“Your submissions rates when sending someone a link though will be much lower. That’s not because people are rude; they’re just plain busy,” Roddy says.
Another way to personalize your ask, says Digital Marketing Consultant Rotem Gal, is “to create a specific review funnel for each product/service.”
“If someone is buying a product directly from your mobile
app, he/she should be able to review it from the mobile app. If someone is
buying a service from your website using a desktop computer, he/she should be
able to review the service from the desktop via a follow-up email”.
How do you try to receive feedback and rating on your product(s)? Let us know in the comment section below.