How can you encourage customers to leave reviews for your business?
Our Brandon wrote a great post in August 2014 on 13 ways to get online customer reviews, but I thought to write a follow up to his post, because the more alternatives you can keep in your toolbox, the better.
A word of advice: when you encourage reviews, do not encourage positive reviews— just reviews. Leave it up to the customer to feel about your products and services how they really feel; don’t manipulate them into writing positively for you.
That is how it works in a natural context and it is how it should be.
18 More Ways To Get Customer Reviews
1. Ask in your email signature
Every time you send out business emails, add a line to your email signature like “Loved our product/service? You can leave us a review at this link”.
It makes it easier for your recipients to know where to go to leave a review for your product or service.
2. Email reminder 1-2 weeks after purchase
Like eBay and Amazon do all the time, send automated email reminders 1-2 week after purchase and encourage your customers to leave a review for your products or services.
3. Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp reviews
Follow the platform’s guidelines, but also give customers a chance to know they can post reviews there by adding a badge or a link on your website to let customers know they can review or recommend you on Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp.
4. Insert a review field in a customer satisfaction survey
You can integrate this with #2 in this list. Simply insert a review field in your customer satisfaction survey and let your customers voice out their opinion.
Always make it clear that you will be collecting opinion either to improve your products or to display on your website (you always need permission for this).
5. Ask your email list
Ask your subscribers for reviews, either for your website (see #7 and #8 in this list) or as email replies that you will collect and publish (with permission) on your website (see also #9 about this).
6. Offer an non-monetary incentive in exchange of customer reviews
Non-monetary to allow even customers from countries where it’s forbidden to receive incentives for reviews or contests.
7. Offer an “If you want to review this product…” checklist
You can offer guidelines and checklists for reviewing your product directly on your product page, thus indirectly encouraging users to leave reviews and ratings.
8. Open your site for reviews
Do it like DeviantART allows artists to receive comments and art critiques on their artworks— let users comment and review your products directly on your website.
Also, if you got reviews elsewhere, integrate links and RSS feeds for visitors to read more reviews there.
This is different from Facebook reviews and LinkedIn recommendations— you are not asking customers to use the review features of some social media sites, but to leave ordinary comments to your posts about your product or service and what you will do is… to simply collect these comments (as screenshots or widgets) in a page of your website, like testimonials.
Of course, ask your customers for permission to use the comments, first.
10. Add a poll to your website
This is similar to #4. Ask your new and recurring customers for an opinion of your website and add a text field for them to put their thoughts in words, too.
That will be the most important piece of the poll– your review.
11. List your products/services on dedicated niche sites
For example, if you sell books and e-books, you can list them on Goodreads and get the natural reviews that will come from users who read them. You could also add a Goodreads badge to your website to encourage feedback.
This is applicable to any dedicate niche site with reviews that you see fitting your case.
12. List your products on Amazon
If you haven’t already, list your products on Amazon.
Amazon users are known to leave reviews for their purchases, so you can leverage this natural benefit of the platform to get customer reviews.
You can always encourage reviews by adding your request for reviews to your product packaging or on your service feedback email.
See also point #15 below.
13. Interview customers about their purchases
Give your customers a chance to get interviewed for their purchases and how satisfied they were with them. Most customers will appreciate the opportunity to see their name on your site!
Of course, make it opt-in and even better if you make it a sweepstakes.
You can add this request to your “Thanks for your purchase” email message.
14. Create a discussion forum around your products/services
If you have the resources to create and maintain a discussion forum on your website, by all means create one and add subforums for each of your product categories.
In the registration agreement or in the guidelines for the forum usage, then, add that you welcome users to review your products in each category subforum.
This will give your customers a good chance to discuss your products online, in the good and in the bad (don’t moderate negative reviews, just encourage common sense respect on the boards).
15. Add a request for reviews to your product packaging
If you package your products — either physically in a box or an envelope, or digitally in a .ZIP file or in an email or download page — you can add a request for reviews to it.
You can use input from #1 and #13 in this list to create your message.
16. Use MyBlogU and forums to ask for reviews
You can create a Brainstorm project (at MyBlogU) or a forum thread to ask the community for honest reviews of your products or services.
In this case, the product or service should be available for free or at least under free trial usage.
17. Encourage in-depth comments on your business blog
Comments can be reviews themselves, so encourage your customers to leave in-depth feedback about the topic (related to your product or service) of the blog post.
18. Make a monthly review contest for your customers community
If you built a community around your business and products (blog, forum, email list), invite the pool of your registered customers to join a review contest every month.
Your customers may help you to get new products or services launched by using them for free for their reviews, for example. Or beta them and then review them. In this case, the contest winner may keep the product or service for free.
Also read HubSpot’s “5 Clever Ways to Get Customer Reviews That Convert