How Are Brands Inspiring Customers to Leave Reviews?

customer reviews

We know that customer reviews are valuable and powerful. A study by TechValidate found that 94% of B2B professionals surveyed believe customer-sourced content (reviews, surveys, etc.) to be more effective than content from third party analysts. Unfortunately, 90% of consumers fall in the category of “Silent Satisfied Customers” — meaning that they are happy with their purchase and product, but they will not leave feedback letting the brand know that. So, how can brands inspire their silent satisfied fans to leave customers reviews? We asked eight brand representatives to see what techniques have brought them review success.

Rewards points.

“Many of my clients (authors, musicians and such) want reviews, so I reward members with points they can use in an onsite store to buy prizes like ebooks, music, store gift cards and such. It seems effective and the members like the value they get.” – Wayne Hicks, Enviralize.me

Automatic emails.

“There have been a number of fines lately for companies that are inflating or being too aggressive with how they request reviews so anyone wishing to increase the amount of reviews should do so as organically as possible. For one of my e-commerce clients I was able to earn more reviews more often by establishing a practice of sending out an automatic email four days after shipment of the product. In this email, it thanked the customer, encouraged them to sign up for the email list or connect via social but primarily directed them to write a review.” – Jason White, Senior SEO Strategist at DragonSearch Marketing

Surprise gifts.

“When we consult for our clients about how to get reviews, we recommend that initially they don’t offer incentives at all to garner reviews. This does a few things. It ensures that the reviews you do get are from people that like you so much they are willing to write a review for no incentive. It prevents reviews that are lukewarm or sound fake. And it generates authentic reviews because the people doing it aren’t simply completing it for an ulterior motive. The cool part is that sometimes our clients will thank people who write reviews, but only after the review has been written, and the gift was never mentioned beforehand. We recommend that gifts are sent to all reviewers, especially the negative ones. This way it’s a win-win for everyone and we ensure nobody has ulterior motives.” – Andrew Krebs-Smith, President at Social Fulcrum

Giveaway entries.

“I am a huge fan of doing gift card giveaways, either on our Facebook page or our blog, that gives users one entry if they leave a comment about what they like or dislike about Rather-Be-Shopping.com. The prize is typically a $25 Starbucks gift card or a $50 Amazon.com gift card. It gives me some excellent feedback about what we are doing right and what we need to improve on. The incentive has to be high enough to get anything out of it. We tried a $10 gift card and the results weren’t that great. $20 is the minimum we do now and the results have been very useful.” – Kyle James, Founder Rather-Be-Shopping.com

Offer discounts.

“Our company provides house cleaning services and people value the service because they don’t want to do it. So, we offer each of our customers $10 OFF any future cleaning if they provide an online review. We direct our customers to the site and provide them with useful tips if the review process is confusing or cumbersome.” – Ron Holt, CEO & Founder at Two Maids & A Mop

Celebratory SWAG.

“We have a traffic ticket dismissal service that helps contest all traffic violations in the state of California. Our favorite incentive is giving out ‘victory t-shirts’ to clients that are successful and leave a review for us. It is a great way for us to promote our service in a couple of ways; the client gets rewarded for taking a moment to tell their story, the t-shirts are essentially ‘walking billboards’ for other potential clients, and the media outlet used to write the reviews lets others know about our service through past experiences.” – Seena Sarajzada, Ticket Snipers

Make it easy.

“Buzztala has found that the key seems to be less about a specific incentive and more about making it super easy to create a review — especially now that a majority of people are accessing the internet on mobile devices that aren’t always conducive to writing out a long review.” – Jay DeDapper, CEO of Buzztala

Encourage social feedback.

“Whenever we run giveaway events on our social media networks, we offer participants additional entries if they post reviews or give us feedback via Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.” – Ian Aronovich, Co-founder and CEO at GovernmentAuctions.org

Looking for some more ideas to help encourage your customers to leave reviews? Check out our suggestions here.