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Customer reviews: How to get and use them [+ templates]

Most of your customers read reviews before deciding to purchase a product or service. Here's how to get more customer reviews that convince people to buy.

Av Hannah Wren, Staff Writer

Senast uppdaterad June 18, 2024

What is a customer review?

A customer review is a form of feedback or personal evaluation provided by a customer who has used a product or service. Typically published on company websites, e-commerce platforms, or review-specific sites, these reviews offer insights into customer satisfaction, product performance, or service quality. Customer reviews help potential buyers make informed decisions and can influence a company’s reputation and credibility.

According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 75 percent of consumers regularly read customer reviews before purchasing a product, hiring a company, or investing in a service. While your friends may pick up the phone to tell you about a product or service they loved or hated, they are also likely to post positive feedback online—or leave a scathing review.

Businesses can’t avoid ratings, so instead of dreading this input, make customer reviews a part of your customer experience strategy by mastering how to ask for—and earn—excellent reviews. Use our guide to learn why customer reviews are important, what popular review sites your customers may use, how to get and use reviews, and how to respond to all types of client feedback.

More in this guide:

Importance of customer reviews

Shopping cart icon next to a customer experience statistic.

No matter what industry your business is in, customer feedback impacts how other customers perceive your business. Whether you use a Voice of the Customer (VoC) strategy to collect feedback or follow up customer service interactions with a CSAT survey, explore the benefits of customer reviews below.

Build trust

Customer reviews are powerful because they come from real people. Even when posted by brand evangelists, reviews often feel more authentic to buyers than traditional marketing. About 50 percent of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends, demonstrating that word-of-mouth marketing online can significantly impact a business’s bottom line.

In our digital age, businesses can build customer trust when customers read honest reviews from people they know and other consumers with real experiences.

Provide valuable feedback

Reviews give insight into what you’re doing right and where there’s room for improvement—from your product quality to the effectiveness of your support team. Honest feedback also helps you know if you’re meeting customer expectations.

For example, Mailchimp used customer feedback to identify which features and functionalities were most important to customers. Using this information and a customer-centric strategy, the company built better products that helped more customers than ever.

Encourage positive engagement

Creating a platform where customers can exchange experiences enhances engagement and fosters a sense of community. For instance, encouraging interaction on your website or mobile app by allowing customers to post reviews and respond to others’ feedback can significantly increase customer engagement.

Provide coaching to agents

All feedback can be good, especially when it breaks down service flaws and helps strengthen support quality by identifying areas of improvement. Positive customer reviews encourage agents to continue performing as they are, while constructive or negative reviews can reveal where they might be missing the mark.

Managers can use all forms of customer feedback to create transparent coaching sessions, skills labs, or training programs.

Improve the bottom line

Reviews can directly drive customer acquisition, plus upsells and cross-sells. When prospects read client reviews about their customer experience (CX) or see a business interacting with customer reviews online, they form opinions about who to trust and interact with. Good review etiquette and honest reviews from real customers can significantly tip a business’s revenue scales in the right direction.

Use this quick guide to popular customer review sites to learn where customers post and seek reviews and why they use each one:

Review siteBest for
AmazonE-commerce businesses
AngiService-related businesses
Better Business BureauAny business
CapterraB2B SaaS companies
Consumer ReportsAny business
FacebookAny business
FoursquareLocal businesses
GlassdoorEmployee experience
Google Business ProfileAny business
G2B2B SaaS companies
MantaSmall businesses
TripadvisorTravel industry
TrustpilotAny business
X (formerly Twitter)Any business
YelpAny business

Note that Google is the most popular review site. Meanwhile, Yelp is most commonly used by high-intent customers looking for a new business they can trust.

How to get customer reviews

Two icons representing how businesses earn and request customer reviews.

When you’re wondering how to get customer feedback, remember it’s a two-fold process:

  • Earn them: Create review-worthy experiences through excellent customer service. Show customers you care by solving issues quickly or reaching out before a problem escalates.
  • Request them: Give your customers an easy way to rate your company through review sites or customer surveys. Be straightforward in your requests for client reviews and meet your customers on their favorite channels.

Businesses with a customer obsession and a commitment to an experience worth reviewing will likely receive honest reviews.

Below are some of the best practices for getting customer reviews.

Provide high-quality customer support

You’re more likely to get positive reviews when you offer good customer service. By listening to feedback from satisfaction surveys, personalizing responses to address customer pain points, and leveraging AI to increase efficiency, businesses prioritize support and CX.

Using this feedback to meet customer needs and deliver great customer service experiences can help you earn honest and positive customer reviews.

Show customers your appreciation

When customers feel valued, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll share their experiences with others—conversely, feeling unappreciated can send them to your competitors. Before ever asking for customer reviews, prioritize customer appreciation by creating a loyalty program or supporting causes your customers care about.

Investing in post-transactional relationships with your customers can also encourage them to leave reviews, so continue reaching out or offering product and service advice after a purchase.

Use AI to automate review requests

AI can automatically request feedback after recent purchases or customer service interactions. For example, AI agents—otherwise known as advanced chatbots—can send customers a CSAT or NPS survey after their support request is resolved.

With automated feedback requests, you can ensure no positive review slips through the cracks and no negative review goes unresolved.

Follow up on recent purchases or interactions

Don’t leave your customers to the wind after they purchase or interact with your business. Instead, allow them to immediately connect with your company through surveys, social media, and more. Increase customer engagement by automating these follow-up messages, quickly responding to comments and questions, and using AI agents for 24/7 support.

Simplify the review process

Show you appreciate your customers’ business and time by simplifying how and where they can leave reviews. You’re less likely to receive positive reviews—or feedback of any kind—if the review process is complicated.

Here’s how to make it easy for clients:

  • Link review site pages in social media bios and email newsletters.
  • Set up messaging software so customers can leave reviews directly through their preferred channels.
  • Meet customers where they are by being available on various sites, channels, and mediums.
  • Make links clickable and guarantee they lead to the correct pages.

Whether you’re requesting reviews about your social media customer service, a specific product, or something else, respect the time and energy clients spend leaving detailed, helpful feedback.

Offer incentives

You may need to entice some customers to leave reviews. While your products and services should speak for themselves, incentives like discounts or free company swag can push customers to leave feedback.

5 tips for using customer reviews

Receiving customer feedback isn’t the end of the story—now you need to use the reviews to your advantage. These five tips can help you keep the momentum going:

  1. Respond to every review and aim to resolve the issue. You can use all customer reviews to connect with your customer base. If a review is positive or short and sweet, thank the customer for their honest feedback. If it’s negative, see it as an opportunity to save the relationship.
  2. Feature the best reviews. Use product pages, pictures, and videos to feature unique customer reviews across your site.
  3. Identify loyal customers and customers who may be at risk of churning. Reward customers who leave positive reviews with discounts to show your appreciation, or offer discounts and benefits to customers who leave negative reviews as an apology for the poor experience.
  4. Share feedback across the business. Leverage reviews to shape agent training programs, inform product updates, and praise team members throughout your organization.
  5. Request updates to negative reviews. If you solve a problem or respond to a customer complaint, ask the client to edit their review with the details of their most recent interaction with your team.

Free customer review request + response templates

Get reviews, respond quickly, and encourage customer engagement with these 20 templates.

Customer review examples

Customer reviews can come in many different forms across various channels. You must vary your responses to keep each reply personal to the customer’s feedback. Below are a couple of review and response examples for positive and negative customer reviews.

Positive client review

A positive customer review about a company’s online customer service.

Positive customer reviews are great for learning what your business is doing right and encouraging prospects to engage with your brand.

When responding to positive customer reviews:

  • Reply within 1 to 2 business days.

  • Keep the reply short.

  • Thank the reviewer.

  • Use personalized language, like their name or a specific benefit they mentioned.

While it may not be necessary for every positive review, businesses can also:

  • Ask relevant questions.

  • Provide additional resources.

  • Encourage continued feedback.

  • Request responses to a customer satisfaction survey.

Below is a simple example of a potential response to a positive review.

Example business response

Thank you so much, [Customer Name]! We appreciate you taking the time to leave such a kind review. Our team is happy to help in any way we can. Please let us know if we can assist you with anything!

[Team Member Name]

Negative customer review

A negative customer review about a company’s poor customer service.

Negative client reviews can be even more informative than positive reviews. Use this type of feedback to address repetitive issues and improve products and services.

When responding to negative customer reviews:

  • Respond within 1 to 2 business days.

  • Personalize your response.

  • Show empathy by acknowledging the customer’s concerns.

  • Resolve the issue.

  • Validate the customer’s experience.

  • Don’t start or engage in arguments.

  • Consider moving the conversation to a private forum.

  • Apologize when it’s appropriate.

Here’s a template for dealing with angry customers and negative feedback.

Example business response

Hi [Customer Name], thank you so much for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry that your experience with us didn’t match your expectations. We’d like to learn more about your experience, so please contact us at [contact information] when you’re available so we can make it right!

Thank you,
[Team Member Name]

Frequently asked questions

Attract positive client reviews with stellar CX

Receiving good reviews is nearly impossible if you provide bad customer service. High-quality support helps build lasting customer relationships, which in turn attracts positive reviews. Zendesk offers an AI-powered CX solution that enables fast and personalized support over any channel, enhancing the customer experience. Elevate your support and foster genuine human connections with an intelligent solution like Zendesk.

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