Dos and Don’ts of Asking for Customer Reviews

In today’s digital age, online reviews are a crucial element in the success of a business. According to a study by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Positive reviews can increase your credibility, attract new customers, and improve your search engine rankings. However, asking for reviews can be a delicate process that requires tact and care. In this article, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of asking for customer reviews.

Dos:

  1. Make it Easy: The first step in getting reviews is to make the process as easy as possible for your customers. Provide clear instructions on how to leave a review, including links to your profiles on relevant review sites such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook. If you have an email or SMS list, consider sending a personalized request directly to your review page.
  2. Ask for Specific Feedback: When asking for a review, be specific about the feedback you seek. This will help guide your customers and make the process more efficient. For example, you could ask for feedback on a specific product or service or ask them to comment on their experience with your customer service team.
  3. Timing is Key: Timing is crucial when it comes to asking for reviews. Ideally, you want to ask for a review when your customer is most satisfied with your product or service. This could be immediately after purchase or after a positive interaction with your customer service team. However, be careful not to ask for a review too soon or too frequently, as this can come across as pushy or annoying.
  4. Respond to Reviews: When someone takes the time to leave a review, make sure you respond to it. This shows that you value their feedback and care about their experience. Be sure to thank them for their review, address any concerns they may have raised, and offer to make things right if necessary. This can go a long way in building trust and loyalty with your customers.
  5. Incentivize Reviews: While it is not recommended to offer incentives for reviews, there are ways to encourage your customers to leave feedback. For example, you could offer a discount code or free trial for their next purchase or enter them into a prize draw. Just be sure to clarify that the incentive is not conditional on leaving a positive review.

Don’ts:

  1. Fake Reviews: It should go without saying, but fake reviews are never acceptable. Not only is it unethical, but it can also damage your reputation and potentially lead to legal consequences. Never offer incentives or rewards for leaving a positive review; never write fake reviews yourself or pay someone else to do so.
  2. Pressure Customers: While it’s important to ask for reviews, it’s equally important not to pressure your customers. Avoid sending multiple review requests, and never threaten or harass customers who do not leave a review. Remember that reviews should be voluntary and genuine and not coerced in any way.
  3. Ignore Negative Reviews: Negative reviews can be tough to swallow, but ignoring them is not the answer. Responding to negative reviews can actually be an opportunity to showcase your customer service skills and turn a negative experience into a positive one. Be respectful and professional in your response, and offer to make things right if possible.
  4. Delete Negative Reviews: Deleting negative reviews is never the solution. Not only is it unethical, but it can also damage your credibility and make it look like you have something to hide. Instead, use negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your product or service and show that you take feedback seriously.
  5. Over-React to Negative Reviews: While it is important to respond to negative reviews, it is equally important not to over-react. Avoid getting defensive or argumentative, and never engage in a public back-and-forth with the reviewer. Instead, take a deep breath, acknowledge their concerns, and offer a solution or an apology if necessary. Remember that other potential customers will be reading your response, so it’s important to handle negative reviews with grace and professionalism.

In conclusion, asking for customer reviews is an important part of building credibility and attracting new customers. However, it’s important to approach the process with care and consideration. Make it easy for your customers to leave a review, ask for specific feedback, time your requests appropriately, respond to reviews (both positive and negative) and avoid unethical practices such as fake reviews or incentivizing positive feedback. By following these dos and don’ts, you can build a strong reputation, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately drive more business to your company.


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