How to Ask for Reviews or Testimonials

Are you struggling to get reviews for your business? Then stay tuned. Because in this article, I’m going to share with you the steps I’ve taken to consistently get reviews, whether it’s on G2, Capterra, Google, or Facebook. Regardless of the place, a lot of the same principles apply. So, we’re going to go over that in this article.

Step 1: Deliver an exceptional customer experience.

This should be an absolute no-brainer, but in the case where you’re not providing 10X value for your customers, it is very unlikely for them to actually leave you a meaningful review. There’s no reason for them to because you’re not making their lives any better than before they started using your product or service.

So, you’ll want to make sure that your customers are actually happy or that you feel like your customers are happy with the job that you are doing for them so far. The bulk of my methods that I’m going to be outlining in this video are focused on making the most out of the happy customers you have. So if you have no happy customers, then I suggest you to go work on that for your business before you follow these steps that I’m going to go over in the rest of this video.

The easiest way to benchmark this for yourself is to ask yourself of the last 10 customers I served would nine out of 10 of them probably recommend my services or say that I did a pretty good job. If not, then go back to your customer development side of things and improve your quality of service.

There’s good reason why I don’t aim for a hundred percent satisfaction. And the reason for that is because of what Jeff Bezos, once famously said, which is that customers are wonderfully dissatisfied. So if you get to the point where nine of 10 of your customers would be happy with you, then you’re in a pretty good place because there’s almost always that one customer out of every 10, that will find a reason to be salty about your product or service.

Step 2: Ride a wave of positivity.

Once you’re delivering an exceptional customer experience, you want to identify and ride a wave of positivity. What I mean by this is, think about the times in which your customers are experiencing the most value exchange from your business. For example, this might be a moment in which you’ve saved them an hour of their time, or it might be a moment in which you’ve done something for them in which they couldn’t do it themselves.

Whatever this is, you’ll want to jot down that moment, because that is a good time for you to potentially start to build in this habit of asking for a review or a testimonial. One of the common mistakes I see people make is that they just send a bulk email out to their customers, asking for reviews, as opposed to taking into consideration the context of when they are asking for that review.

Some of the best times to potentially ask somebody for a review or a testimonial is after they’ve had a really positive customer support experience with you or after they’ve had their first win with you as a product. Maybe they shared some story, which is kind of like a mini testimonial without even asking you. And that would be a prime time for you to be like, “Hey, thanks so much for that thoughtful message. Would you be open to sharing your story on XYZ site.” or whatever that you’re building your reviews on.

The key to getting high conversions when you’re pushing on reviews or testimonials and trying to build up this habit from your customers is to leverage these opportunities where they are already feeling really good about your product or service.

Step #3: Stick to one CTA.

The third step in terms of getting more reviews is to stick to having a single call-to-action. A lot of times people will have a ton of call to actions when it comes to asking for reviews where they will be asking their customers to leave a review on G2, Capterra, Google reviews, or even Facebook.

Stuck by having all of these different places, your customer is just going to get inundated and feel overwhelmed. And as a result, they’re not going to actually take any action whatsoever. So they might actually love your product, but because you gave them so many different places to leave a review, it’s unclear for them, which one of these places is most important to you.

So, my biggest recommendation here is to make sure that you identify a single place where you want to build up that profile first, before you move on to the next site for you to build your reviews up on. For example, maybe it’s Google reviews and you want to make sure that you get 15 reviews there before you go onto your Facebook page and try to get more reviews there.

By building up your review profiles one place at a time, it actually makes it easier for future customers to find places for them to leave reviews. And then because they’ll see that there’s a little bit of a snowball effect happening in which maybe you have 10 Facebook reviews. At that point, you will start to see more and more reviews coming in because once people see other people do something, they are typically more inclined to actually follow suit and do the same action.

So what you’ll start to notice is that once you hit a tipping point, you’ll get some unsolicited reviews in which your customers who are just thrilled with their service will want to give back to you. And then they’ll go to the site that you have the most reviews on because that’s what’s likely to rank higher in Google.

And as a result, you’re going to get some more reviews. And then from that, there’ll be even more reviews that come in because they read those reviews and it becomes a virtuous snowball effect. By sticking to a single place for them to leave a review, you leave no doubt in their mind as to what you would like them to do.

Step 4: Offer an incentive for their time.

The fourth step to take when it comes to getting more reviews or testimonials is to offer an incentive in exchange for their time. It’s really important to note here that you are not paying for positive reviews, but for an honest review, and for them to simply take the time out of their day to leave a review.

So there’s different ways you can incentivize this. For example, if you’re a local sushi shop, you might offer the customer 20% off their next order if they leave a Google review, or if you prefer not to tie it to your own service, you might offer a gift card for them taking 10 minutes out of their day to write a review of for you.

You’ll see these sorts of triggers all over the place on restaurant review sites like Yelp, in which the restaurant will put some sort of offer like a free appetizer when you leave a review or when you’d first do an order through delivery, as opposed to something else. It’s because it works.

And so in this situation, when you’re asking for something from your customer, it can be helpful to throw in something from your end to incentivize them to take the time out of their busy days. In fact, in a recent growth effort at work, I was able to get 50 new customer reviews for our G2 profile by offering people $20 of Amazon gift cards for their time.

And it was from this push that we were able to move up to the top five in our respective category for our product, something that we were at below the fold of before we had all those reviews and also be included in a ton of the G2 reports for top performers of our space.

Step 5: Send a follow up message to non-respondents.

The fifth step, when it comes to asking for more reviews or testimonials is to always send a follow up message. If you’ve watched the other videos on my channel around sales or email marketing, you know the importance of the follow up.

Oftentimes, the most opportunities are actually generated in your follow up as opposed to your initial message. So, an easy way that you could do this is by sending a message a few days after your initial request, along the lines of this script, “Hey name, I know things get busy, wanted to follow up to see if you’d be so kind as to share your thoughts on business for review site. Your experience means the world to us and helps others make decisions as to whether or not we’re the right company for them in solving problem.”

When it comes to this step, I often incorporate some element of scarcity or importance to my message. So I might say something like, I’ve blocked away an Amazon gift card for them in my list, or that I’ve heard more and more about the impact of other customer stories with new customers and them making a decision in purchasing our particular product.

By doing this, you help your customers who haven’t yet taken action get a clear understanding as to why this is so important to you or to them. Now that we’ve covered the five steps, I wanted to throw in a bonus step, which is to make sure that you are systemizing your ask for testimonials or reviews. The truth is a lot of times companies don’t do a good job of training their customers to leave reviews or testimonials for them. In other words, they don’t help their customers champion their company. So as a result, because you never make the ask, your customers never actually have the opportunity or a low friction way to give you some good feedback.

The easiest way to improve this is to build some sort of system for tagging the customers that are happy with you that you think would make for prime candidates for your next review, push or campaign. Then you want to figure out exactly what your conversion rate is when you make these particular asks.

For example, if you know that you have to ask a hundred of your customers in order to get 15 more Google reviews, then you also know what it’s going to take for you to get the next 15, 30, 45 or 60 reviews. Once you get it down to a science, you can start to systemize everything. For example, if you use Intercom for your customer communications, you might create a new series in which you will naturally feed people into the campaign to make this ask of your customers when they achieve a particular  milestone that is important to them in realizing the value proposition of your business. Or if you’re a more local service or business, you might incorporate this ask after your customers had their first big ‘aha’ moment with you.

Whatever the case may be, make sure that you are training and giving your customers multiple opportunities to be spreading the word, or be leaving some sort of review or testimonial about your business.

Big takeaways

There are two things that I want you to remember when it comes to asking for reviews or testimonials.

  1. The first one is to make things low friction for your customers. It should be super easy for them to leave a review or a testimonial for your business.
  2. The second big takeaway is to make sure that you are riding the highs when it comes to when you actually make your ask. As opposed to just spreading a message to every single one of your customers, when they might actually be unhappy with you, you want to target the moments in which you are delivering clear value to your customers and that they are really happy with your service.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning the steps how to ask for customer reviews or testimonials.