This article was written by Michelle Weger.
You should have tons of five star reviews all over your social media, Google My Business page, and website.
You know that what you sell or offer is amazing. You have lots of repeat customers who clearly agree with you.
So why aren’t your customers leaving you glowing reviews?
You aren’t asking them.
No, really. It is that simple.
How many times do you send a follow-up email to a customer after they order, asking them if they are satisfied with their purchase?
(Hint: the answer should be every time.)
And if they are satisfied, how many times do you then ask them to leave a review in a specific location (Google, Facebook, your website)?
(Hint: the answer should be at least three times.)
If you want customers to leave you great reviews, you need to ask happy customers for a specific review at an appropriate time.
Asking happy customers for a review
Happy customers are usually thrilled to write a great review. They want to share your product or service with their circle, because then they are the ones in the know – and we all like to be in the know!
Except life is busy, and people are forgetful. So if you don’t ask, you shan’t receive.
But asking every single customer might not be the best course of action. What if a customer isn’t happy? You probably don’t want them writing a review!
First, you need to ask if they are satisfied. If the answer is yes, go ahead and ask them for a review!
But what if the answer is no?
That is actually great news.
Why? Because now you have an opportunity to fix the problem before they vent about it on social media. Often the issue they experienced was a misunderstanding or mistake which can be easily solved. Many people actually become more loyal to a company that fixes their mistakes than one that never makes any. Right the wrong, then ask them for a review – some of the best reviews come from previously unhappy customers!
Asking for reviews at the right time
Asking for a review at the wrong time is almost as bad as not asking at all.
You need to make sure that your customer has had a chance to experience what they’ve purchased.
If you sell dog toys for powerful chewers, for example, asking for a review the same day your customer receives their order means they won’t have had a chance to let Fido go to town on the toy. So while they might give you a positive review (“Fido seems to love this toy so far!”) it won’t be a glowing review (“Fido has always been able to destroy every other toy in seconds. This one has lasted a whole week and he still loves it!”).
There is a particularly powerful window of time that capitalizes on the “new order” excitement, while also allowing your customer to feel that they’ve experienced enough to warrant a recommendation.
That is the review request sweet spot.
Exactly how long that window of time is depends on your product or service. (And if you would rather not guess, you can always ask an ecommerce expert, like VCC!)
Making your review request specific
People already have very full plates.
They don’t have the time or mental bandwidth to guess what you want from them.
If you provide them with a general template, specific location, and length of time it will take, they are far more likely to write you a great review.
“Hi, Michelle. We are so glad to hear that you are enjoying the _______ (product they bought). We would appreciate it if you could take three minutes and write a review on our Facebook page (link this!) that includes your two favourite things about it. This helps other people like you find us!”
Now your customer knows what to write, where to write it, how long it will take, and why they should write it. Your chances of success just skyrocketed!
Automating the whole process
This whole process probably sounds like a lot of work. And if you are doing it all manually – it is.
The good news is you can automate most of it.
It is possible to set up a system that asks your customers if they are happy, tells you if they aren’t so you can fix it, then sends a specific review request at an appropriate time.
How do we know?
We’ve done it.
Great customer reviews make future customers far more likely to buy from you, so you can’t afford not to have them.