Is there a right time to request reviews? How to streamline your review generation strategy? In this write-up, we share a guide to help you request reviews at the right time with your customers.
Online reviews have become the cornerstone of marketing campaigns. They are the heart and soul of your online reputation management strategy. While your marketing campaign needs to stay invested in SEO, Social Media Marketing, and other digital marketing strategies, customer reviews can act as a force multiplier for your marketing efforts.
User-generated content has become an important ranking factor on search engines, and it also helps establish trust, as we have mentioned in an earlier blog. Customers look at reviews with the same or even more sincerity as brand-generated content. A positive review from a customer is more convincing for your reputation management strategy than claims about your products and services.
Online reviews fill the gap between traditional word-of-mouth marketing and aggressive marketing campaigns in a digitally connected world. Most businesses use automated review systems to generate reviews that request reviews over email and text messages. These tools are helpful as they help you actively request reviews instead of leaving them to the customers or cherry-picking.
Though most businesses understand the basics of customer review management, they aren’t sure when to request these reviews. Timing is key when requesting customer reviews. Do you know the right time to send review requests? Timing it wrong can undermine your reputation management efforts or not meet the intended goals.
Is There A Right Time To Send Review Requests?
The short answer is – NO. There isn’t a perfect time to request customer reviews, and there are different factors you should consider while requesting reviews for your online reputation management campaign. These include –
- The industry you are in
- The type of product/service review you are requesting
- Your end goals with the review
- The length of the relationship with the customer
In this guide, we will share tips with you on the right time to request reviews depending on your industry and how
Your automotive business can leverage different types of reviews, from sales to service and the product itself. While sending out review requests, you must give sufficient time to the customer to be objective with their reviews. Let’s look at some scenarios –
- Sales Experience – Do you request reviews once your customer has brought a car? Please wait for a day or a couple of days before you reach them with the request to review the entire experience. You should avoid doing it as the customer is leaving the door as they have been through a lengthy sales process, and you should let them enjoy their drive. However, asking for the same review a month later won’t attract the same enthusiasm as the customer isn’t likely to feel the same enthusiasm that they felt immediately with the vehicle.
- Ownership Experience – If you are looking for a review of the ownership experience, wait for a quarter or six months at the minimum. The customer would have driven and tested the vehicle thoroughly to write an objective review.
- Service Experiences – If the customer has visited your facility to repair or upgrade the vehicle, you should try and gather their feedback at the door or send review requests within a few hours of delivering the vehicle.
- Video Testimonials – These rules change a bit when collecting video testimonials. Here you aim to record the real-life experience of the customer at your location. Ask a few questions about their experience and let them respond naturally. Don’t overwhelm them with too many questions and let them share their feedback in case of a service job or their expectations from a car in case they buy one.
For a gym or athletic facility, you can generate two types of reviews from your clients – their experience with the facility and their experience with the outcome. In the case of at-home fitness products, you need to share review requests for the ease-of-use and outcome. When sharing review requests, give your client a week to be well-acquainted with the place or products. Shoot a video at the location or ask at-home customers to share video testimonials.
If you request reviews on the outcome, wait for a couple of months. Request your client to share facts and figures such as the volume of weight loss, muscle growth, etc. Such reviews trigger curiosity among potential customers, generating fresh leads for your business.
Property Management Services
You’d come across customers at different touchpoints as a property management service. It is important to ask for reviews and testimonials from your existing customers to attract new ones. Let’s look at a few scenarios and when you should generate a review request.
- Property Tour – You have just given a property tour to a prospective client. You can ask them for a review immediately where they talk about the experience of the tour.
- Move-In – Moving into a new home is always special, and as a property management company, you need to capture this excitement in written reviews and video testimonials. Request a written review at least a week after the customer has moved into the property. For video testimonials, you can record the enthusiasm on the day of the move or after a week.
- Lease Renewals – These reviews are important for a property management company as they allow you to demonstrate customer loyalty. Send in a request for review after the renewal of the lease.
Banks, fund managers, and brokerages have long-term relationships with their clients. These relationships can stretch over decades. If you are in this business, you have plenty of opportunities to generate reviews from your clients. Hence, you need to generate review requests based on the kind of feedback you are looking for and how you wish to market these reviews.
For example, if you want a review from a customer on the account opening process, you can request such reviews as soon as a customer opens the account. For relationship-based reviews, such as when celebrating your 5th, 10th, or 25th anniversary with your customers, you should send such requests a few weeks in advance from the anniversary date.
Reviews are becoming increasingly important in the retail business. Sending out review requests in the retail business isn’t that complicated. Here’s how you can time your request based on three different scenarios –
- Sales – To generate reviews on the sales experience, you can send these requests right after checkout. These reviews target customers’ experience with shopping on your website, interaction with a salesperson, or store experience.
- Service – If you solicit a review for a service experience (such as a refund or return) share the request after the ticket has been closed.
- Products – For customers to write product reviews, wait for a couple of weeks or a month before asking for a review from the customer.
Restaurants and Hospitality Business
No other business thrives on reviews as much as restaurants and hotels do. Most people choose hotels and restaurants based on the kind of experiences others have had. It is a no-brainer when it comes to the timing of these reviews. You must send a review request once the customers have paid the bills. They must have the experience fresh in their memory to write the best reviews. If you wish to upload photographs or video testimonials, you can request the same from the customers while they are at your place.
Forgive the pun, but most people have bad experiences with their insurers as time passes or they need to make a claim! Hence, the best time to solicit reviews is at the time of signing up. You should send review requests to the customers immediately after the signup. In the case of reviews for claims, you must wait until the claim is closed and there is no further disagreement with the customers.
If you are running a dental clinic, people come to your clinic with different goals, so you have to wait for the right time to request reviews based on the type of procedure. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Cometic Dentistry – If people come for regular cleanings and other day procedures that don’t require healing time, you can request reviews the same day.
- Restorative Dentistry – For detailed procedures such as implants, tooth repair, tooth removals, etc., you must request reviews after a couple of weeks when the patient has completely recovered.
To sum up, when sharing review requests, you should care for the timing, irrespective of the industry you are in or the channels you use for generating reviews. Choosing the right time and implementing the right strategy can go a long way in driving your reputation management endeavor. The goal is to create a positive narrative around your brand and turn your customers into your biggest brand ambassadors.
Automating review generation is the way forward and can streamline your online reputation management campaign. Working with ORM experts can take your business to newer heights, and we at Cyrusson Inc. would like to be part of your journey. We are a full-stack marketing agency specializing in digital marketing and online reputation management. Call us today at 415-228-9969 and let’s fine tune your review marketing strategy.