7 Unique Email Templates for Requesting Online Reviews

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They hate it when you ask.

You know it, they know it. But experts are encouraging you to do it. ďAsk your customers for reviews,Ē they say. ďYouíll regret it if you donít,Ē they imply.

Over and over youíre bombarded with advice that tells you to get out there, go grovel and beg for that review.

Your business needs it. So, suck it up and swallow your pride.

If youíre like most people, you hate it. And you know what? Thatís a healthy response. You should hate groveling, because itís the wrong way to ask for a review from a customer.

Begging ruins relationships with customers

What happens when someone begs us to do something we donít want to do? It hurts the relationship.

It creates negative feelings Ė bitterness, resentment, loss of respect Ė feelings that werenít there before. Maybe we do what they want us to do, maybe we donít.

The relationship is permanently changed.

Beggars put themselves in a one down position, a place that leaves them at a serious disadvantage. Okay, what does that disadvantage look like?

  • Condescension becomes more obvious
  • Customer distrust, regarding your motives, grows
  • The customer/provider relationship becomes a little bit more inflexible
  • Customers become more resistant to suggestions, requests and expectations

The damage is far-reaching, continuing to get worse until the state of the relationship is openly addressed and discussed.

Which almost never happens.

Most businesses do their best to avoid conflict with customers, while customers discuss their feelings with anyone and everyone, except those theyíre doing business with.

Notice I didnít say they donít talk about their problems. I said they donít talk about their feelings.

This sounds like touchy-feely nonsense

The kind of ďemotional claptrapĒ many people do their very best to avoid. But is that really the case here?

Actually, no.

Because the behavior, begging for reviews, is the problem. Most of us would avoid begging if customers called us on that behavior.

If they told us our begging made them angry or uncomfortable, most of us would stop doing it. Weíd find a different way to go about getting the reviews we need. Hereís the problem.

They donít like it.

Whatís worse, it permanently changes our status, in our customers eyes, as peers. Most of the time itís pretty subtle, but the results are still the same. Begging hurts relationships.

We still need reviews though, soÖ

What do we do?

Do we simply abandon our efforts to get quality reviews? Do we avoid reviews altogether because weíre embarrassed or afraid?

No, we stop asking for reviews.

We start asking for specifics, the things inside our reviews. We ask for details, specifics on the objections they had as new customers coming in.

Asking for a favor actually tends to boost customer response, significantly increasing the odds weíll get more favors in the future. Asking isnít begging, and itís actually an important relationship building step to take.
So what kind of specifics are we asking for?

We ask about their fears, frustrations and doubts. Their objections, risks and consequences.

Did they take a huge risk on your business or your product? Were they burned by a competitor?

Itís important that you find out. Making a face-to-face request is ideal, but itís important to get feedback (reviews) whether itís face-to-face, over the phone or digital.

Hereís why.

When customers share their story, they give you a gift. Independent, third-party validation of you. Your character, the service you provide and the results they received.

A powerful review has four distinct ingredients

  • Presentation. A powerful review is presented well. Their story follows a sequence (linear or chronological) and grammar isnít a distraction. Presentation criteria grows when the medium changes (e.g. audio or video).

  • Consistency. Do reviewers contradict themselves? Inconsistency undermines a reviewerís credibility. Which means prospects distrust both the business and their reviewers.

  • Negativity. As John Cacioppoís research shows, humans have a negative bias. Weíre more drawn to the negative. Reviews with negative elements Ė fears, problems, frustrations, objections, risks Ė attract attention and are considered to be more believable.

  • Positivity. Our negative bias creates stress and anxiety. A good solution relieves our stress and anxiety. This is the result most people look for in a review. But reviews that focus on positivity alone are seen as unconvincing and untrustworthy. Donít believe me? What do you think about most LinkedIn recommendations?

This is kind of the worst.

We shouldnít ask for reviews, now on top of that we need four specific ingredients?

Then, to make matters worse, these ingredients are things customers have to choose to provide on their own.

So, what are you supposed to do?

You follow a system

Through the rest of the post, Andrew addresses 7 situations in which businesses can request a review, and provides some basic email templates to use.

Read the rest of Andrew's post here.