You can ask people to post reviews of your product or service on your website, put them on business cards, and plaster them all over your promotional materials, but it can still be challenging to get people to write up online reviews for your business. Nevermind the fact that the Federal Trade Commission has strict policies on how you can solicit reviews and show product endorsements (more on that here).

Most people are uncomfortable asking for reviews on their work, products, or services. We understand! It can be intimidating to ask people directly to give honest feedback about your business, but reviews are a helpful tool for helping other potential customers that are in the consideration phase to move on to make a decision. In this article, we will give you five new ways to encourage reviews without seeming pushy.

1. Send follow-ups

It’s a good business practice to follow up on projects or services you have provided for customers to see if they were satisfied with the final product and customer service. This feedback can be the best way to win insights and find areas to improve on, and it can also be the perfect opportunity to gain a quote-worthy review in their response.

There are a couple of ways to go about getting a review on the follow-up. The first is to provide a call-to-action in the form of a link or an icon that links out to a review platform on your website page or a generic client “thank you” email. A CTA gives them the chance to leave an honest review. However, they can seem like less of a personal request, which sometimes doesn’t help to incentivize the click-through. 

The second is to ask them how the product or service was in a personal email. A personal approach can open an honest dialogue and give you great feedback as well. Just make sure to ask permission to quote anything in the email in reviews on your site or other promotional materials. Depending on how your internal systems are set up, you may be able to automate follow up emails, as well.

2. Make a customer thank-you video and include CTAs to review!

If you appreciate your customers, let them know! A fun customer appreciation video from your employees can be a great way to make them feel valued and special, which can make them more inclined to leave positive feedback. Make sure to include a call-to-action at the end with specific instructions on how and where they should leave their reviews. Live Facebook videos are a great way to accomplish this, and they rank higher on Facebook, which can help it get seen.

3. Send out a survey

Similar to project follow-ups, surveys can be a great chance to get honest feedback, and they are a way to provide anonymity if the client chooses, but are less public for your business in case the review has things you need to improve upon.

In this way, surveys allow you to get in front of possible problems with your product or service before they become public. They also let you guide the questions and help improve specific parts of your process or service.

It can be helpful to provide some kind of incentive for filling out the survey, whether good or bad because it can help you encourage people to participate. Again, make sure if you do provide an incentive, you’re following FTC guidelines.

4. Ask in person

This one might not be too out of the box, but for some people, it can definitely be out of their comfort zone. Most people won’t submit a review unless they feel very strongly about your business. However, sometimes getting a review means asking for it in person. We’ve all been in a retail store when we get handed a receipt, and someone asks us to fill out the survey on the bottom of it. Similar tactics can work for getting reviews, as well. 

You often don’t get what you don’t ask for. So whether it’s in the form of an email, like we discussed above, in-person when someone is checking out of a store or wrapping up a project with your company, or in some other way, don’t be afraid to mention it in person.

Regardless of how you get them, make submitting them super easy. If someone asks you where they can submit a review, know the answer to that question so you can help them out.

5. Promote the reviews you already have

If someone posts a review that is unique or just one that gives you the warm fuzzies, highlight it on your social media, website testimonials, or email marketing! People typically look up reviews before deciding on a product or service, so putting it in front of them can take a lot of the guesswork out of deciding on your company over the competition. Plus, it’s a great way to thank your customer for leaving the review in a public way that can make them feel special!