Here’s Exactly How to Handle Customer Reviews

Asking for customer reviews can feel awkward, but they’re essential for building your brand’s reputation. Many businesses don’t want to risk asking too much from their customers — but if done right, reviews can work wonders for your public image.

How to Ask for Reviews

In Person

Try to convert customers who provide in-person feedback into online reviews for others to see. Getting a customer to write about their experience after leaving the store can prove to be difficult. It’s important for businesses to make the process as simple as possible so that customers are not discouraged from voicing their opinions.

One way to do that is by providing a QR code leading to your Google My Business or Yelp! profile. With a simple scan on their mobile device, the customer can be brought directly to the review section of your profile.

Make it easy for them with a printed out card as well, detailing instructions on how to leave reviews. Do the leg work for them, and the process will be easy — and you get the review.

Follow-Up Email

The most common way to ask for a review is over email, but it’s tricky to come across as personal and authentic.

It’s essential that follow up emails are asking for honest reviews, not just positive ones.

This will create trust with the consumer and solidify your brand reputation. It will also show your customers that you care about their feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.

Subject lines are one of the most important parts of any email, especially when asking for feedback. Having an eye-catching and enticing subject line will help you stand out in an inbox. Best practices for review request emails are to include your store name and ask a question in the subject line.

As well, the best way to request reviews across any industry is by providing incentives. However, you cannot incentivize them exclusively for leaving a positive review, they should receive the promotion regardless of their review.

A coupon code or discount will not only increase the number of reviews you are able to get, but also increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Timing is very important too. A review request email should go out shortly after the product is delivered to the consumer or service provided, giving them enough time to develop an opinion but also ensuring their experience is top of mind.

Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

Let’s face it — no one likes to be told that they’ve done something wrong.

When it comes to negative business reviews, your response can either help or harm your public image.

78% of consumers say that getting a response to their review makes them believe the business cares more about them.

The goal of responding to a negative review is to get the customer to give your business a second chance. Phil Penton, CEO of Xcite Advertising, points out that customers just want to see businesses trying to do the right thing and showing that they really care about their customers.

“When you answer a negative review and address the upset customer, you are also speaking to the hundreds of other consumers that want to know how you conduct your business.”

The trick to responding to negative reviews is to apologize and empathize with the customer — no matter what. You should battle fraudulent reviews, but don’t assume all negative reviews are fake. Instead, prove to consumers that your brand listens — your customers should feel heard.

Having a mix of different opinions on your review page isn’t going to hurt your business. In fact, it will add credibility to it. Products that only have 5-star reviews make the customer think the reviews aren’t trustworthy. Having an average rating between 4.0 to 4.7 stars is the sweet spot to show customers that the reviews are genuine.

52% of online shoppers that look at negative reviews of a product actually makes them trust a product more.

Positive Reviews Doesn’t Mean the Job is Done

Responding to positive reviews can seem inconsequential, but they deserve just as much of your attention. Positive reviews present the perfect opportunity to create loyal followers who are eager to refer your product or service.

The most important part of responding to a positive review is to personalize it. Customers will be able to tell if you’re giving them a templated response, especially if they see identical conversations with other reviewers.

Writing a thoughtful response isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Address the customer by name and mention a few specifics from their review to complete their positive experience.


Reviews are the ultimate way to engage with your customers. Not all companies recognize the importance of interacting with reviewers, meaning it can be a lost opportunity to gain trust and build up loyal fans. If someone leaves a good or bad review about your business, reach out and get the conversation started — it’ll make a world of difference.