How to ask your customers for a review [templates and examples]

by Emily Stevens

Published • 23/05/2024 | Updated • 23/05/2024


How to ask your customers for a review [templates and examples]

by Emily Stevens

Published • 23/05/2024 | Updated • 23/05/2024


Reviews are an incredibly powerful tool for winning new customers. 

In fact, studies have shown that, for many consumers, reviews carry just as much weight as a personal recommendation. 

If you want to boost your visibility, attract new customers, and drive revenue, you need to get into the habit of asking for reviews. 

But when is the best time to ask? How do you do so without coming across as pushy? And how exactly should you word your request? 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to successfully gather customer reviews — including the best methods for both online and in-person interactions, together with examples, best practices, and ready-to-use templates.

Why reviews matter for your business

Positive reviews help to boost your brand reputation, win new customers, and drive sales. Negative reviews are valuable, too, helping you identify areas for improvement.

Think about the last time you bought something online or searched for a local business — say, a restaurant for a special occasion or somewhere to get a haircut. Once you had a few options in mind, how did you decide which one to go with? 

If you’re anything like the majority of consumers, customer reviews probably helped to persuade or deter you. 

According to social proof app TrustPulse:

  • Over 99.9% of customers look for reviews when shopping online

  • 8 in 10 shoppers use their smartphone to look up product reviews while browsing in-store

  • 91% of consumers aged between 18 and 34 trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations 

Customer reviews exert a great deal of influence over purchasing decisions and consumer trust. As such, they’re crucial for new customer acquisition and steady revenue growth. 

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, or what stage you’re at — whether you’re in the process of developing a marketing strategy for your small business or exploring business growth strategies — customer reviews are key to your success.

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How to ask customers for a review: the 9 most effective methods (with examples)

The idea of asking for customer reviews might feel awkward or uncomfortable. But, with the right techniques executed at just the right moment, you can ask in a way that feels natural and unobtrusive. 

With that, let’s explore the nine most effective methods for getting customer reviews.

1. Add a feedback widget to your website

If you’ve got a website, this is a great place not only to display existing reviews from happy customers, but also to gather more. 

A feedback widget is an interactive element you can add to your website, typically appearing as a button, a discreet pop-up, or an integrated form within a specific section. 

One of the most popular (and effective) approaches is to embed the feedback widget on a dedicated ‘Reviews’ page. This offers two major benefits:

  1. It increases the visibility of existing reviews. With a clearly-labelled ‘Reviews’ page visible in the main menu, it’s easy for prospective customers to find reviews on your website when they’re researching your business and deciding whether or not to use your services.

  2. It simplifies the process of leaving a review. Happy customers know exactly where to go to leave their review — which means they’re more likely to do so. 

Reviews left via a feedback widget are usually displayed in real-time on your website, and some widgets can be integrated with other popular review platforms such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. 

Here’s an example of a feedback widget embedded within the ‘Reviews’ page of a local makeup artist’s website. When a customer clicks the ‘Leave a review’ button, they’re taken to Google to share their feedback. Customer reviews are then visible across Google and on the makeup artist’s own website.

2. Send a well-timed SMS 

If you’re wondering how to ask a customer for a review after their appointment, consider sending an SMS.

As long as you’ve already got the customer’s number and they’ve consented to receiving text messages from you, you can reach out with a short message thanking them for their visit, politely requesting a review, and sharing a link that takes them directly to your chosen review platform. 

This strategy is ideal for service-based businesses where you have personal contact with the customer — think beauticians, hair salons, dog groomers, and similar. 

For optimal results, bear the following in mind:

  1. Timing is key. You want to catch the customer while you’re still fresh in their mind. Send an SMS shortly after their appointment, ideally within the hour (and certainly on the same day) but not while they’re still in the building.

  2. Keep it brief. Texting calls for brevity, so keep your message short and sweet — for example: “Hi [customer name], it was great to see you today at [your business]. Would you please take a moment to rate your experience? [Link]. Much appreciated :) [Your name].” 

Here’s an example of an SMS sent to a customer just after their appointment in a local beauty salon: 

Pro tip: Be transparent about how the customer’s review will be used and where it might be displayed. And, because SMS is such a direct and personal channel, refrain from sending more than one follow-up.

3. Send a post-purchase email 

If you’re using email marketing for your small business, you’ve already got an excellent channel in place to ask for reviews. 

The best time to ask for a review via email is either directly after your interaction with the customer — for example, if they’ve just purchased something in your store or attended a session or appointment with you — or after their purchase has been successfully delivered and they’ve had a chance to use it. 

Start your email by thanking the customer for their business, followed by a clear call-to-action encouraging them to leave a review. Depending on what email marketing software you’re using, you might be able to embed the review form within the email itself. Otherwise, include a link to the relevant page or platform. 

To increase your chances of getting a review:

  1. Personalise your email with the customer’s name and a reference to their specific purchase. For example: “Hi Jan, thank you for your recent cupcake order. We hope they went down a treat!”

  2. Keep the email separate from other marketing communications. You want the email to focus solely on getting a review, with one clear call-to-action — you don’t want your request for a review to be overshadowed by promotions, discounts, or order confirmations. 

Wild Fawn, an independent ethical jewellery boutique, sends a post-purchase email to their customers asking for a review, with the review form handily embedded in the email for easy access:

Pro tip: Direct the customer to a different channel if they need support or have negative feedback. This helps to steer customers away from leaving a bad review, giving you the opportunity to resolve their issue first.

4. Ask for reviews in person 

Perhaps you’re wondering how to ask a customer for a review in-person — or if it’s really a good idea. Isn’t it a bit awkward to put them on the spot like that? 

Not necessarily. If you can build up a rapport and get the timing right, asking for reviews in person is a highly effective way to gather customer feedback. 

Perhaps you’re chatting with a customer in your coffee shop or restaurant and they compliment you on your new selection of plant-based treats, or thank you for accommodating their request for a fully gluten-free menu. This would be a great moment to ask for a review; they’ve already expressed their satisfaction and given glowing feedback, so you know they’re a happy customer. 

If they respond with enthusiasm, the next step is to show them where and how to leave their review. You might hand them a card with your website address and ask them to head to the ‘Reviews’ section, or you might simply direct them to a well-known platform like TripAdvisor or Google. 

If you’re worried about coming across as pushy or impolite, bear these tips in mind:

  1. Read the room. Don’t ask every single customer for a review, and don’t force it into the conversation unnaturally. If a customer isn’t really engaging with your attempts to build a rapport, they probably won’t appreciate being asked for a review. But, if it feels right and the conversation is going in a positive direction, that’s your moment.

  2. Ease into your request by first asking the customer how they enjoyed their experience or what they thought about your new cheesecake recipe (for example). If they respond positively and seem keen to engage, there’s a good chance they’ll be willing to leave you a review. 

5. Set up on-site QR codes 

When it comes to asking for customer reviews, you want to make the process as quick and convenient as possible. With strategically-placed QR codes, customers can scan with their smartphone for direct access to your chosen review platform. 

QR codes are ideal if you’ve got a physical location for your business — say, a coffee shop or a food truck — and you want to connect with customers in the moment. If they can scan and review there and then, you’ve got a better chance of getting their feedback than if they have to remember to do it later.  

For optimal results:

  1. Place QR codes in convenient locations where they’re likely to be seen, such as on dining tables, at the checkout counter, or at the entrance to your shop or venue.

  2. Engage customers with compelling messaging next to your QR codes. Explain what the QR code is for and why their feedback is useful. For example: “We’d love to hear your feedback! Scan this QR code to leave a review and help us improve.”

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6. Send a thank you note 

For a personal touch the customer will appreciate, include a physical thank you card with their purchase. This is an excellent way to foster customer loyalty and politely ask for a review.  

This works for both in-store purchases and online orders; anything the customer takes home with them. As they’re unboxing their goods, they’ll come across the thank you note unexpectedly — a nice surprise that will add to the delight of their new product. 

Here are some tips for how to ask for a customer review with a thank you note:

  1. Print the note on high-quality paper or card and align the design with your visual brand, using your logo (if you’ve got one), brand colours, and typography. 

  2. Provide clear instructions for how the customer can leave their review. You might incorporate a QR code they can scan with their phone, for example, or direct them to your website.

Pro tip: To increase your chances of getting a review, consider offering an incentive — such as 10% off their next order or a free product next time they’re in store (say, a hot drink or a cake if you’re in the food business).

7. Include a QR code with the customer’s bill or receipt 

If your small business budget won’t stretch to specially designed and printed thank you cards, add a scannable QR code to the customer’s receipt instead. 

At the bottom of the receipt or bill, include a note along the lines of “Thank you for your purchase! Please scan here and tell us how we did” together with the QR code linking directly to your review platform. 

This is a great way to ask for customer reviews in shops, cafés, and restaurants — essentially anywhere the customer might get a paper receipt or bill.

Pro tip: If it feels natural to do so, ask the customer face-to-face if they’d mind leaving a review. Then, when you hand them the receipt or bill, point them in the direction of the QR code.

8. Ask for reviews on social media

If you’re exploring how to use social media for your small business or already have a following, it’s worth leveraging your social platforms for reviews. 

There are several ways to ask for customer reviews on social media (with platforms like Facebook and Instagram in mind):

  1. Post a story sharing positive feedback and asking for further reviews. If you’ve already received some great feedback, create stories or reels with your favourite reviews. At the end of the post, encourage your followers to leave their own review (including a link they can follow).

  2. Ask for reviews with a customer appreciation post. This is like the digital equivalent of a thank you note slipped into the customer’s shopping bag. You could post something like “Another great weekend here at Lulu’s Bakery! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to try our new summer specials. What did you think? Leave us a review here — we’d love to hear your feedback.”

  3. Respond to direct messages. If social media is one of your main communication channels, you might receive messages from customers to say thank you. This is a great opportunity to ask for a review. Respond to their message as you usually would, and include a link to your preferred review platform. 

Here’s an example of how the owner of a small confectionery business uses Instagram to share and gather reviews:

9. Add a review link or QR code to customer loyalty cards

If you hand out stamp cards as part of your customer loyalty scheme, use this as an opportunity to ask for a review. 

You might print a QR code on the reverse of the stamp card, for example, or include a link to your website. Remember to accompany the link or code with clear instructions such as “Leave us a review here” or “We’d love your feedback!” 

When you hand out new loyalty cards or stamp existing ones, you can politely ask the customer to leave you a review and show them the link or code on their card.

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Asking for customer reviews: 5 best practices 

There are several things you can do to ensure that your request for a review is well-received, and to increase your chances of getting positive feedback. Whichever methods and channels you use, bear these best practices in mind. 

1. Get the timing right

While thinking about how to ask customers for a review, you should also consider the timing of your request. Aim to ask for a review shortly after the customer has had a positive experience with your product or service. 

The best moment will vary from business to business. If you’re running an appointment-based service, ask for a review just after you’ve seen the customer. If you’re selling products, give the customer enough time to receive and enjoy the product before you ask for feedback. 

2. Make it easy 

To maximise your chances of getting reviews, you want to make the process as convenient and straightforward as possible. Provide clear instructions, include direct links or QR codes where possible, and keep any feedback forms short and to-the-point.

3. Personalise your request 

An important part of asking for customer reviews (and a general tip for how to improve the customer experience) is building up a rapport — and personalisation goes a long way here. 

Where appropriate (say, via email or SMS), address the customer by name and reference something specific — such as the purchase they made or their reason for visiting you. For example: “We hope you love your new earrings!” or “We hope you enjoyed your birthday meal with us!”

This shows the customer that you truly care about their experience, providing extra motivation to share a positive review. 

4. Respond, engage, and say thank you

Check your review platforms regularly for new reviews and try to respond promptly to each customer. 

Whether positive or negative, thank the customer for taking time to share their feedback. Then, in the case of bad reviews, express your apologies that the customer had a negative experience and try to address their concerns. 

This is not only important for providing good customer service; it also shows prospective customers that you take their satisfaction seriously.

5. Be transparent about how reviews will be used 

If it’s not automatically clear, inform the customer how their review might be used. 

You don’t need to worry about this so much with platforms like Yelp and Google — but, if you’re gathering feedback through social media or other channels, let the customer know if you plan to publish their review in a public forum. 

How to ask for customer reviews: 7 ready-to-use templates for email, SMS, thank you notes, and social media

If you’re stuck on how to ask for customer reviews, we’ve put together some templates to guide you. Feel free to copy, paste, and adapt each template, or use them for inspiration to create your own. 

In this section, you’ll find:

  • Email templates you can use to ask customers for a review

  • An SMS template to ask customers for a review after their appointment

  • Thank you note templates (ideal for printed thank you cards)

  • Examples of how you can ask for reviews on social media

Pro tip: Customise our templates to suit your target market, paying particular attention to tone of voice. If appropriate and on-brand, add some emojis for a more friendly, personal approach.

Email templates

Template #1: How to ask customers for a Google review

Hi [customer name],

Thank you so much for choosing [business name] for [your recent purchase] / as [your trusted service provider]. We really appreciate your support! 

We’re always looking to improve our [products/services], and feedback from customers like you is incredibly valuable. Would you take a moment to leave us a review on Google?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, just click on this link: [insert Google review link here]. 

Thanks a million! Hope to see you again soon.

All the best,

[Your name] 

Here’s an example of how this email might read when adapted for a bike repair shop:

Hi Lin,

Thank you so much for choosing Oil & Chain as your trusted bike mechanic. We really appreciate your support!

We’re always looking to improve our service, and feedback from customers like you is incredibly valuable. Would you take a moment to leave us a review on Google?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, just click on this link: [link].

Thanks a million! Hope to see you again soon.

All the best,


Template #2: How to ask for a review after a recent purchase

Dear [customer name],

Thank you for purchasing [product]. We hope you’re loving your new [product] and have already had the chance to [use the product]! 

If you’ve got any questions or concerns, just reply to this email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Happy with your purchase? We’d be so grateful if you could leave us a review! 

[Link to review platform or provide instructions for where and how to leave a review].

Thanks so much — we really appreciate your feedback 😊

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Here’s an example of how a sportswear company might adapt this template:

Dear Ahmad,

Thank you for purchasing the (very cool) run-lite 360 sneakers. We hope you’re loving your new shoes and have already had the chance to take them for a run!

If you’ve got any questions or concerns, just reply to this email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Happy with your purchase? We’d be so grateful if you could leave us a review.  

[Link to review platform or provide instructions for where and how to leave a review].

Thanks so much — we really appreciate your feedback 😊

Best wishes,

Lola at RunHappy

SMS template

Template #3: Review request after a recent appointment 

Hi [customer name], it was great to see you in/at [business name] today. Thanks for stopping by 🙂Please rate your experience here: [link]. Thanks! [Your name]. 

Here’s an example of how a beautician might adapt this message:

Hi Sven, it was great to see you at LuxNails today. Thanks for stopping by 🙂Please rate your experience here: [link]. Thanks! Brooke. 

Thank you note templates

Template #4: Thank you note (brick-and-mortar store or online shop)

Thank you for shopping with us! 

We hope you love your new purchase. Would you mind taking a moment to leave us a review? 

[QR code]

Scan here

Thanks! See you again soon. 

Template #5: Thank you note (restaurant or food business)

Thank you for dining with us! 

We hope you enjoyed your meal. We’d love to hear your feedback — could you take a moment to leave us a review?

[QR code]

Scan here

Thanks! See you again soon.

Social media templates and ideas 

Template #6: Customer appreciation post

Thank you to all our wonderful customers who came in over the weekend 💙We were super excited to test our new gluten-free banana bread and we think it went down a treat 🍞What did you think? We’d love to hear your feedback — please leave us a review here: [link]

Template #7: General customer review request

We’re on a mission to provide an even better service to all our customers 💪and we need your help to improve! What are we doing well? What could we do better? We’d love to hear your feedback 😊Please share your thoughts here: [link] Thanks!

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Key takeaways and next steps 

Whether you’re in the early stages of entrepreneurship and thinking about how to get clients, or looking at how to scale your business; customer reviews have a pivotal role to play. 

Customer reviews provide powerful social proof, helping to strengthen your brand reputation, build trust, win new customers, and drive revenue. 

With the channels, strategies, and best practices we’ve outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of getting positive reviews and steadily grow your customer base. 

Next steps

  1. Identify two or three strategies from our list that best suit your target audience and the nature of your business. What are your main customer touchpoints? When are your customers at their happiest and most likely to give a review? This will help you time your request strategically for optimal results.

  2. Utilise your existing channels. If you’re already using email marketing and social media, for example, that’s a great place to start. If you’re not yet online, focus on asking for customer reviews in store.

  3. Take advantage of free and low-cost tools and platforms like Yelp and Google Business Profile. Such platforms are well-known and trusted by consumers, enabling you to build credibility and increase your local visibility. 

And remember: customer reviews are your most valuable source of feedback. Listen closely to what your customers say and use their feedback to make continuous improvements. This will not only help you to attract new customers, but also to boost customer retention — a crucial factor for long-term business success.

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