customer feedback

How to Secure the Five-Star Review

Kristine Shreve is the Director of Marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She developed and writes two blogs—the EnMart Threaducuate blog and the SubliStuff blog. Shreve also maintains the EnMart Twitter account and Facebook page. She can be reached via email at

Getting rave reviews isn’t only about doing things that people want to rave about, it’s about getting them to rave online. Here are five tips for making a happy customer into a happy reviewer.

  1. Make sure your review guidelines are short, simple, and not too punitive. Yes, you probably should note that profanity will not be posted and that your company reserves the right not to post reviews, but don’t make your review policy pages long or put too many limits on what can be said. A few sentences to a paragraph does the job.
  2. Remind people to post reviews. Most e-commerce platforms have some mechanism that will send customers a reminder to review their recent purchase after a certain number of days. While you don’t want to constantly bombard your customers’ email box with pleas for a review, one gentle reminder is in order.
  3. Incentivize reviews. While I’m not a fan of contests and do-something-to-get-something schemes in general, incentivizing reviews may nudge a reluctant reviewer to post. The incentive could be a percentage off their next order or a monthly drawing in which any customer who posts a review is automatically a participant. Keep in mind that certain review platforms, such as Yelp, may have rules against incentivizing. Check the rules of the platform you’re using before trying this technique.
  4. Be supportive. You’re asking your customers to support your business, so be sure you support their businesses as well. Maybe it’s posting a picture on Facebook of something amazing a customer made with one of your products or spotlighting one customer a month on your blog. It doesn’t really matter how it’s done. The point is to offer your customers the same type of support you’re seeking from them—expose them to your social media audience.
  5. Be open. Make asking for reviews a part of your relations with customers, whether it’s in print, in person, or online. Reviews are a part of doing business these days, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking satisfied customers to give your company a review if they liked your products and service.