Ratings & Reviews
Online reviews have become a crucial aspect of building trust and credibility for businesses and knowing how to ask for a review in the right way can have a big impact on gathering the number of customer reviews needed to influence conversion rates. In this blog post, we will explore practical strategies surrounding how to ask for a review, delve into how to get more reviews, discuss how to respond to both negative and positive reviews and provide examples of request templates.
Collecting and displaying customer reviews offer numerous benefits for eCommerce brands. One of the key benefits of customer reviews is that they help to build trust, credibility and transparency. Transparency is key in building trust with customers, and customer reviews play a vital role in this aspect. Embracing both positive and negative reviews demonstrates authenticity and a genuine commitment to customer feedback and as such there is an advantage to encouraging honest feedback from consumers, whether it is positive or negative.
Customer reviews play a crucial role in boosting sales conversion rates as they are perceived as highly trustworthy sources. Prospective buyers find all forms of User Generated Content, (including written reviews and star ratings) convincing evidence that others have purchased and are content with your products and services.
Reviews also provide valuable feedback, offering insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your offerings, which allows you to refine your products or services and improve customer satisfaction. Additionally, displaying reviews and star ratings contributes to SEO (search engine optimisation), boosting your website’s visibility in search results and helping to drive organic traffic.
So why ask for reviews instead of waiting for them to materialise organically? Well, organic reviews are often more limited in quantity and are not always reflective of the overall customer experience. Asking for reviews increases the likelihood of receiving valuable feedback, helps to gather a substantial volume of reviews for social proof, and ensures a more balanced representation of customer experiences, ultimately boosting brand reputation and driving more potential customers towards making informed purchasing decisions.
Finding the right format for how to ask for a review is important and the best channel can vary depending on the business in question. Requesting reviews via email tends to be the most effective format for eCommerce brands wanting to manage reviews at scale. Remember, the key is to make the process as effortless and rewarding as possible for your customers and to opt for utilising channels your consumers will engage the most with. Here are some of the different channels via which you can ask for reviews and star ratings:
It’s important to know how to ask customers for reviews in a way that encourages them to respond. Asking for reviews can be a delicate process, but knowing how to ask customers for reviews in the right way can yield valuable feedback and boost your brand’s credibility. Here are several expert tips that are important to keep in mind when asking your customers to leave reviews:
To encourage more customers to leave reviews, it’s crucial to ensure that the review process is simple and hassle-free. Streamline the process by providing clear instructions and minimizing any unnecessary steps or form fields. By making it easy for customers to leave reviews, you increase the likelihood of their participation and feedback.
Most consumers lead busy lives and are bombarded with constant digital streams of information so writing them an excessively long review request is not the best way to get through to them. In the same sense that you should keep the review process simple for customers to complete, keeping your requests straight and to the point will make it less likely that the consumer receiving your request is overwhelmed by an excess of information.
Impersonal review requests that come across as overly formulaic are less likely to make consumers feel valued. Personalisation is a key factor in solidifying the relationship between you and your customers. Even if it’s as simple as personalising the email by addressing the customer by name and referencing their specific purchase. This personal touch demonstrates that you value their individual experience and encourages a more engaged response. Another tactic that can be effective is to identify customers who have shown loyalty or engagement with the brand and reach out to them individually using this personalised review request approach.
When it comes to asking for reviews striking at the right time is crucial for optimal results. Schedule review requests at a point when the purchase is still fresh in the customer’s memory, and they have had ample time to utilize the product.
The best timing to ask for a review will really depend on the business requesting it, for example, if it’s a product being offered the best timing might be after the consumer has received it and has had enough time to fully experience it, however, if it’s a service that is on offer it may make more sense to request a review immediately after the service has been completed. By choosing this strategic timing, you increase the likelihood of receiving genuine and thoughtful feedback that accurately reflects consumer experiences.
Another thing to note when it comes to timing is to take advantage of moments of customer satisfaction. Capitalise on moments of customer satisfaction, such as after achieving a major breakthrough for a client or receiving positive feedback on a product. Not only are customers more inclined to reciprocate for good work, but they are also more likely to leave positive reviews during these favourable moments.
Make it easy for customers to leave a review by including a clear and prominent call to action (CTA) in your review request. A CTA is a prompt or instruction that encourages a user or customer to take a specific action. It is typically a clear and actionable statement designed to guide the reader’s next steps.
In this case, the CTA could take the form of a statement followed by a button, link, or embedded review form that leads the reader to leave a review. The CTA should be clear, compelling, and easily accessible, motivating customers to take action, for example: “We’d love to hear from you! Share your feedback now and help other customers make informed decisions. Leave a review here [Review Link].”
Craft your review requests with a friendly and appreciative tone, expressing gratitude towards your customers for their purchases and their potential contribution to the review community. Show genuine appreciation for their feedback and convey the impact it has on your brand. By establishing a positive and appreciative relationship with customers, you further motivate them to share their experiences and provide valuable feedback – at the end of the day, they are doing you a favour by taking the time to leave you a review.
Whilst offering some sort of incentive in exchange for leaving reviews is sometimes advised it’s important to note that paying consumers for their reviews is not recommended. One thing about customer reviews that tends to appeal to consumers is that it’s an authentic form of feedback created by other consumers – compromising on that level of authenticity is unadvisable and could potentially damage a brand’s reputation.
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and can often detect fake reviews, leading to distrust and potential loss of business. Moreover, platforms like Google and other review websites have strict policies against buying reviews, and violating these guidelines can result in severe penalties, including account suspension or removal from the platform altogether. Instead, the focus should be on cultivating genuine reviews. If you’re wondering how to get more reviews then opting for the right ratings and reviews platform is a surefire ethical way to boost review collection.
There is no doubt that third-party review sites like Trustpilot and Google reviews are important for businesses to keep an eye on for reputation management and client feedback. However, if you want to take control of the reviews about your product and service, boost the amount of them being created and leverage their power to improve the outcomes on your eCommerce site, hosting reviews directly and managing them in-house is highly beneficial.
If you’re a company wanting to collect, moderate and embed reviews at scale in-house without this process being a drain on valuable time and resources it’s worth looking into working with an intelligently designed embedded review platform like the one offered by Flowbox. A good embedded review platform will allow you to integrate review collection and display into your eCommerce site with ease and harness the power of automation to facilitate review management. Take a look at the section below on how to get more reviews for more elements that you shouldn’t compromise on when choosing a high-functioning embedded review platform.
We’ve discussed how to ask for reviews but a challenge a lot of eCommerce brands face is how to get more reviews. While actively asking for reviews is a great first step in getting a higher volume of them, there are additional strategies you can employ to increase the number of reviews you receive. By utilising the appropriate tools, like adopting an embedded reviews platform, asking for reviews can be a streamlined process that doesn’t demand significant investments of time and resources.
Obtaining a large volume of reviews is often crucial for eCommerce sites as it significantly influences consumer behaviour and decision-making. A substantial number of reviews adds credibility, social proof, and transparency, instilling confidence in potential buyers, in fact, potential buyers are more likely to be impacted by the presence of larger volumes of reviews as it indicates a thriving customer community, demonstrates the value placed by the company or service on customer feedback, and provides a diverse range of perspectives for making more informed purchasing decisions.
There are a number of different tactics that can be useful in boosting review collection – here are the most effective tactics to keep in mind:
Many consumers rely on reviews to get the information they need to confidently make a purchase. In fact, PWC’s 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey found that 34% of consumers gather the pre-purchase information they need from retailer sites directly rather than looking elsewhere.
One of the core benefits of embedding reviews into your eCommerce site directly is that consumers won’t have to head elsewhere to find out what other consumers are saying about your product – making it more likely that they will complete the purchase process. Displaying reviews prominently on your website not only enriches it with social proof that helps to speed up purchasing decisions but also encourages others to leave reviews once they have experienced the product for themselves.
With Flowbox brands can easily embed star ratings and review collection forms on the product pages of their website as a way to collect more reviews. Reviews and ratings can also be displayed in customisable widgets that blend seamlessly with the design of the website, meaning that consumers will see them at the point in the shopping journey where this information will be the most relevant to them – right before purchase.
In today’s mobile-driven world, adopting a mobile-first approach is essential for maximising review collection. Ensure that your review collection process is optimised for mobile devices, as a significant portion of your eCommerce customers will be accessing your website or chosen review platform via smartphones and tablets. Design the review experience to be mobile-friendly, with intuitive navigation and responsiveness, ensuring that customers can easily leave reviews even on smaller screens. Flowbox’s ratings and reviews platform was actually designed with a mobile-first approach from its conception, so it’s adapted to meet current consumer behaviour and deliver a stellar experience across all devices.
One effective tactic to boost review collection that has a strong track record of delivering the best results for businesses is to implement a well-crafted post-purchase review email strategy. Sending a follow-up email after a customer completes a purchase significantly increases the likelihood of receiving feedback and markedly boosts the number of reviews you will receive. Timing is crucial, you should reach out shortly after the customer has received the product/service but allow enough time for them to have experienced it fully enough to leave an authentic and detailed review whilst it is still fresh in their minds.
Flowbox makes it possible to set the timing for post-purchase review requests that work best for your product/service from within the platform, as well as set follow-up reminder emails, automating the email sequence process. This ensures that review requests are sent out automatically after each purchase, which is arguably the best way to request reviews at the pace and scale required to compete with leaders in eCommerce while minimising the amount of effort required from your end.
When it comes to creating well-crafted post-purchase email sequences there are other crucial elements to take into account beyond timing: branding and personalisation. Flowbox also allows businesses to customise their email campaigns to match the look and feel of their own branding from within our platform – adding brand colours and typefaces for example. Personalised details like the customer’s name will be added to the email automatically as well. Flowbox also lets you remove users who have chosen to unsubscribe from post-purchase emails, so the platform has you covered throughout the post-purchase email sequence process.
Leveraging the power of automation is a proven strategy to efficiently manage and collect reviews at a fast enough pace to keep up in the competitive world of eCommerce. As discussed above, Flowbox can be used to set up automated post-purchase review emails that are triggered after customers have made a purchase. Automating this process saves time and ensures consistent follow-up with customers, increasing the likelihood of receiving valuable reviews on a regular basis.
The value of automation doesn’t stop there. The moderation process can also be optimised thanks to the power of automation. Flowbox allows its users to fine-tune their moderation preferences from within the platform; with profanity filters and detailed custom fields that screen out anything that brands deem undesirable to publish. This means that the reviews that get auto-published on your site are pre-screened, making the moderation process far less time-consuming and requiring less manpower to support a consistent flow of a substantial portion of reviews.
The process of reviewer verification can also be automated. Once a review has been left reviewer verification emails can be automatically sent which results in trustworthy verified user badges being added to the reviews published on your site.
The text you send to customers to request reviews will depend on a myriad of factors like the channel that you’re using to reach out, the nature of your business, the tone you’re hoping to set for customers, and the goals surrounding your request for reviews. Keeping the best practices discussed above in mind here are some expert templates that you can use when you’re unsure about how to ask for a review:
Post-purchase email template 1:
Hello [customer’s name],
Thank you for choosing [your company name]! We hope you’re enjoying your recent purchase. Share your feedback here:
[“Leave a Review” CTA button linking to the review collection point or add an embedded review collection form in the email.]
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, your feedback means a lot to us and helps other consumers gain a better understanding of our product!
Post-Purchase Email Template 2:
Hello [customer’s name],
Thank you for purchasing [insert name of product and image of product]!
What do you think of your recent purchase? Share your thoughts here:
[“Leave a Review” CTA button linking to the review collection point or add an embedded review collection form in the email.]
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, your feedback means a lot to us!
We hope this email finds you well! At [business name], we truly value your loyalty and support as our esteemed customer.
We would be thrilled if you could take a moment to share your thoughts about your recent experience with us. Your reviews can be a game-changer for our business and assist other customers in making informed decisions.
Your honest feedback will enable us to continue improving and delivering exceptional service. We greatly appreciate your time and contribution to making us better.
Thank you so much for being part of our journey!
[Your name] at [business name]
We hope you’re enjoying your recent purchase from [business name]! 🛍️
Could you kindly spare a moment to share your thoughts on your shopping experience? Just click this link [review link] to leave a review. Your feedback means a lot to us and helps us to keep delivering our best to our customers.
Thank you! [Your name] at [business name]
We wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for your recent positive comment about [business name] on [social platform]. Your kind words and support mean the world to us!
Your feedback plays a significant role in helping others discover and trust our business. We value your opinion, and we kindly request you to spare just one moment to share your thoughts.
[Link to review collection point.]
Your honest review will not only help us grow but also assist potential customers in making informed decisions about our products and services. We truly appreciate your time and contribution to our growing community. If there is anything that you think we can do better, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Whilst positive reviews are highly sought after even negative reviews have their value, as they provide opportunities for growth and improvement. Addressing negative reviews openly and constructively shows that your brand values customer opinions and is dedicated to resolving any issues.
By openly acknowledging and learning from negative feedback you can strengthen your brand’s credibility and reputation. This transparent approach fosters a sense of trust and authenticity, ultimately building stronger relationships with customers.
Receiving a negative review can be disheartening, but responding professionally and addressing the concerns raised is essential. If you’re unsure of how to respond to a negative review in the right way then take a look at these guidelines on how to handle negative reviews gracefully:
Responding to negative feedback in the right way can be a challenge, so having some response templates ready can be a useful tool. These negative review response examples can be tailored to address the specific review in question as it’s best to avoid sounding too formulaic in your response.
“Dear [Customer’s Name], we appreciate your feedback and apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. Our team is currently investigating the issue and will reach out to you shortly with a resolution. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”
“Hi [Customer’s Name], we’re sorry to hear about your less-than-ideal experience. We understand the frustration it may have caused, and we’d like to make it right. Please contact our customer support team at [contact details], and they will assist you in resolving this matter.”
When potential buyers see positive reviews from previous customers, it instils confidence and establishes a sense of trust in your brand. Positive reviews also enhance your brand reputation, as they showcase the positive experiences others have had with your products or services.
Responding to positive reviews is equally important as it demonstrates your appreciation for customers who take the time to share their positive experiences which may even encourage consumers to follow suit and leave their own reviews. Not sure how to respond to a positive review? Follow these steps to craft a thoughtful response:
If you’re in need of inspiration on what to say when responding to positive reviews then take a look at the positive review response examples listed below that can be used as templates. Be sure to personalise your response to what the reviewer has written where possible.
“Dear [Customer’s Name], thank you for your glowing review! We are delighted to hear that you had such a positive experience with our product. Your support means the world to us, and we can’t wait to serve you again in the future.”
“Hi [Customer’s Name], thank you for taking the time to share your positive feedback! We’re thrilled that our product exceeded your expectations. Your kind words inspire us to continue delivering exceptional experiences. We look forward to serving you again soon!”
In conclusion, mastering the art of asking for and managing reviews can significantly impact an eCommerce brand’s trust and credibility in today’s digital landscape. By implementing these best practices for how to ask customers for reviews, businesses can harness the power of authentic customer feedback. To discover more about how Flowbox’s platform can help you effectively manage all forms of User Generated Content from star ratings and reviews to visual UGC, book a demonstration of our platform.
It’s perfectly natural that when you’re looking to learn how to ask for a review you want to do it politely. Use a friendly and genuine tone in your request, making the customer feel valued and respected. Avoid overly pushy language or incentives that may come across as insincere. Instead, focus on the importance of their feedback in helping your business improve and provide better service to future customers and/or the fact that their reviews will help other consumers in their decision-making process. A well-crafted and courteous request will encourage customers to leave their honest opinions without feeling pressured or uncomfortable.
If you’re looking to ask your customers to leave feedback specifically on Google reviews then it’s best to share the relevant review form with them via a link. Follow the steps below to generate the link:
By proactively reaching out to customers, you can encourage them to leave reviews on your Facebook page. To ask for reviews on your Facebook page, you can follow these steps:
To ask for reviews on TripAdvisor and encourage customers to share their experiences, follow these steps: