How to Ask Customer Feedback and Online Reviews

3 Review Request Options

Customer experience, feedback and online reviews are massively important to any type of business today.  The best companies are proactive in engaging their customers and send them emails to request feedback and reviews to manage their reputation. Did you know that ReputationBuilder offers 3 different request formats (and endless options) for your review request email?

We do, and each one has it’s own specific purpose – to get you customer feedback (1st-party review), a 3rd-party review (Google, TripAdvisor) or both.  These core 3 formats are known as our Request Modes and allow you to target your main goals while making the desired customizations in your email request process.

You will see following options when you login to your Reputation Management account at https://awd.reviewability.com/login 

review-request-modes

Let’s look at the 3 options our platform offers for email requests (we offer SMS/text too) and show you how to enable or create each one so that you can get the most out of ReputationBuilder and your interactions with your customers.

Option-1 Ultimate Mode

This is the feedback request email format that allows you to capture the full amount of customer experience data our platform has to offer.  Both 1st-party reviews (direct customer feedback) and 3rd-party reviews are requested along with the option of custom survey questions.

review-request-ultimate-mode

Example Ultimate Mode email request process and screens.

Main Focus:  The main focus is listening to the customers experience by capturing Net Promoter Score, 1st-party reviews and survey questions.

Secondary Focus: The secondary focus of Ultimate Mode is to encourage 3rd-party reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor (or other sites you set).

Why:  This mode thanks your customers for their business, captures NPS, asks them for feedback, asks survey questions and captures 1st-party reviews that you can stream to your Review Widget on your website.  There is a reason why it is called Ultimate Mode – for most businesses it offers the maximum customer data and value.

Pros: What’s best about emailing requests in Ultimate Mode?

  • This version gets you the most detailed feedback from your customers
  • You can capture your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Capture survey question scoring on price, service, results, etc.; you decide
  • You will get 5x to 15x the amount of 1st-party reviews (direct feedback) vs. 3rd-party reviews, and it is VERY valuable and provides you with WAY more insight than just reviews
  • Generate 1st-party reviews to stream to your Review Widget for SEO benefits and ratings to your Conversion Pop-up making your website stronger

Cons: This is a 3-step process so you will see some decline in engagement at each step of the request process.

Set-Up:  When you are in the location you want to manage, go to SETTINGS > REQUEST MODES> and then select ULTIMATE MODE from the mode options.  Then use the main screen area to turn reminders on and off, edit the email content of each step, select email options and more.

Option-2 Review Mode

As some customers asked for a more direct route to obtaining 3rd-party reviews like Google reviews, we added Review Mode to the options. This mode is a more compact 2-step process with the email request asking the NPS question and the next step/page asking for the 3rd-party review.  The consumer also has the option to leave you a 1st-party review directly if they choose to.  This mode does NOT ask the customer for their comments or feedback in a step, so the only typing they do is to leave an online review.

review-request-review-mode

Email review request using Review Mode.

Main Focus:  Quickly capture NPS and ask for a 3rd-party review

Why:  Review Mode takes our base Ultimate Mode process and shortens it to a 2-step process.  You still get to capture NPS and understand if the customer is happy or upset to personalize the content in the following step, but now the consumer will only write a 3rd-party online review if they take action from the email.

Pros: What’s best about this version?

  • You capture your NPS score
  • You still segment happy and unhappy customers to personalize the email content (NOTE: We do not support review gating.  We follow Google’s terms of service.  We do support personalized content so happy customers are thanked, while unhappy customers are given an apology.)
  • You get customers to the online review links fast, with just one click

Cons:  You lose the ability to capture customer feedback – good or bad – that can help you identify a problem, help save a customer, get 1st-party reviews to use in marketing or push them to your website with our Review widget. You also can’t use the survey questions feature.

Set-up: When you are in the location you want to manage, go to SETTINGS > REQUEST MODES> and then select REVIEW MODE from the mode options.  Then use the main screen area to turn reminders on and off, edit the email content of each step, select email options and more.

Option-3 Direct Mode

Let’s get right to the point, it is Direct Mode after all.  Direct mode allow you to ask for 1st-party and 3rd-party reviews right in the email request.  It’s a 1-step process that allows the consumer to choose their path to leaving you review, whether direct or at a review site like Google.

review-request-direct-mode-1step

Direct Mode

Main focus:  Put online review links right in front of your customer immediately and still offer a feedback route to capture 1st-party reviews at the consumers choice.

Why:  If your only focus is 3rd-party online reviews, this puts that process in its fastest route. Going to Direct Mode when you have no idea on how any set of your customers generally feel about you might create a problem.  We usually advise to use Ultimate Mode to start and once you have a good baseline of customer data and a high NPS you can move to Direct Mode.

Pros: What’s best about this version?

  • The fastest way to request online reviews
  • Review links in your very first email that follows up with the customer
  • GIVE FEEDBACK button that hopefully an unhappy customer uses

Cons:  You can’t capture Net Promoter Score or personalize the process for your happy and unhappy customers. You run the risk of putting a frustrated customer in the position to easily write a bad review. You lose the ability to capture customer feedback, good or bad, that can help you identify a problem, help save your customer, use in all marketing or push positive 1st-party reviews to your website with our Reviews Widget. You also can’t use the survey questions feature.

Set-Up:  When you are in the location you want to manage, go to SETTINGS > REQUEST MODES> and then select DIRECT MODE from the mode options.  Then use the main screen area to turn reminders on and off, edit the email content of each step, select email feature options and more.

Make The Right Request

More than anything, the fact you are asking your customers for feedback and online reviews of any kind is a huge win. Most businesses fail to do this. Not you.  We hope this post gives you a better understanding of the many options in ReputationBuilder for requesting feedback and online reviews using email.

In addition to email we offer many other methods to obtain reviews and feedback including text messages, short URLs, kiosk mode our multi-location locator and more. We hope this breakdown helps you make an informed decision and get the most out of your customer’s opinion of your business. It truly matters.


About the Author

“Huseyin Y. Yildirimturk earned his MBA from Old Dominion University in 1998 and went on to start his own web design and internet marketing agency. With 17 years of Internet marketing experience and his advanced, certified SEO consultant status, he has provided his clients with high returns on their Internet Marketing investments. Master SEO Certification & Google Authorized Reseller”