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How to Ask for a Testimonial or Review

by Sarah-Leah Thompson

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash

In a time when we’re saturated with options – where to eat, what to buy, who to swipe right on, and what company to work with – it’s more important than ever to provide social proof in support of your product/service.

An excellent example of social proof are customer reviews or testimonials. Positive reviews reinforce that a real person has already tested the option, approved it, and were so pleased that they went out of their way to provide feedback. In short, reviews build trust.

Who among us isn’t hesitant when a product on Amazon has 0 reviews, or a business on Google has fewer than 4 stars? Reviews are seriously impactful.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Here are some important stats from Power Reviews:

  • 74% of consumers say that ratings and reviews are a key way they learn about products they’ve never purchased
  • 98% of shoppers say reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions
  • Nearly half (45%) of consumers won’t purchase a product if there are no reviews available for it

Now that we’ve established that reviews are critical, let’s talk about how to go about asking your customers for a review in 5 simple steps.

How to Request a Review (5 Steps)

1. Ask nicely

When you reach out to ask for a review, be thoughtful with your language. Acknowledge that you’re asking them for a favor and express appreciation for the time they would need to devote to writing a review.

2. Keep it simple

Keep your ask short and to the point. Making sure your message is brief and scannable will help ensure your reader actually considers the request.

3. Explain why

Communicate why you’re asking for the review. At Digital Ink, we’re very fortunate to have a network of wonderful clients that refer us to their community, so we’re transparent about how much reviews and referrals help us.

You could also consider incentivizing your customers by offering a discount, coupon, or some other reward rather than relying on the altruism of others.

4. Provide an action item

Make it easy for your customers to take the next step by providing them with clear instructions on how to deliver the review. We provide a Google Business review link that takes users directly to the review form. Feel free to test it out and leave us a review 😉

A note on Google Business: We’ve found that Google’s algorithm can be defective at times in terms of how it approves or blocks reviews that come through.

As an extra step, we also list out thought-starters for our clients to help them brainstorm what to say. It’s can be hard to know where to begin, so here are the suggestions we offer:

  • What was your website experience like before you worked with Digital Ink?
  • What made our service stand out from other options you were considering?
  • What about our business surprised you the most?
  • What have you been able to achieve since using our services?
  • What’s the main reason you would recommend our company to someone else?

5. Prepare for negative feedback

Not every customer you have is going to love their experience working with you. That’s just the reality of running a business. As disheartening as it can be to receive constructive feedback, it’s still important to hear it in order to improve.

If you’re concerned about asking for a positive review and receiving a poor, public review then consider only reaching out to customers that you know had a positive experience.

Or, provide an alternative feedback form where customers can direct their more constructive criticism. If you do receive critical feedback, make sure to follow up with them (without being defensive) and do what you can to restore the relationship.

Learn more about managing negative Google reviews here.

What to Do Once You Get a Review

What’s that? You followed steps 1-5 and got a positive review? That’s awesome!!

Now what?

First of all, say thank you.

If you received a Google Review, make sure to reply to the review promptly and express your appreciation for the review. Not only does this make your reviewer feel good, but it also demonstrates to other potential customers that you have an active and thoughtful business.

Second of all, repurpose your content.

Your potential customers have a plethora of ways to engage with and evaluate your business. Make sure to reach your customers where they are whether it’s via Google, email, social media, or your website – these are all platforms where you can share the review widely.

Here’s some inspiration for ways to repurpose your brand new review:

Need help repurposing your reviews? Reach out to us, we’re here to help!

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About Sarah-Leah Thompson

Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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