Definitive guide

Conversion rate optimization tactics

How to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials

There are many ways to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials on a company and its products or services. Creativity is the key. Let me share some tips on this after I differentiate a customer review from a testimonial. Knowing the difference of each is essential to maximizing their benefits for one’s business.

What is the difference of customer reviews from testimonials?

Customer reviews and testimonials are both feedback from a person who purchased or availed a service from a company. But they differ from one another in several ways.

Boast identifies four aspects in which a customer review differs from a customer testimonial. These are length, venue or recipient, format, and impact. While Testimonial, an American company providing quick solutions on gathering customer testimonials, adds source as a fifth aspect.

1. Length

A customer review is shorter in length than a customer testimonial. The latter is longer because it details, to some extent, a customer’s experience before and after engaging with a company, availing its services, or purchasing its products. While the former is shorter because it gives an overview or gist of the said experience.

2. Venue or Recipient

Venue or recipient pertains to the location, mode, or means in which the feedback was made, to whom the customer submitted it to, and how it is made accessible to the public. Customer reviews are often submitted by the customer to a third party company who posts it on their website or on its other communication platforms. Customer reviews are also often associated with a ranking or rating to assess the level of good (or bad) service, which are easily accessible or viewable to the public.

On the other hand, testimonials are directly submitted by the customer to the company being given feedback on. This is then used by the company in their creative assets and marketing paraphernalia with the permission of the customer. Thus, its accessibility is limited to the market reach or scope of the company and only seen in the company’s communication channels.

3. Format

Testimonials often involve answering a survey form—like the one I provided as a guide for startups in building their website—and this is what is submitted to the company. With the onset of technology, testimonials have gone beyond the written form. It is now available in audio and video formats, which make it more useful for the company in its communication and marketing campaigns.

Meanwhile, a customer review is free flowing and does not follow a format. Customers may similarly fill-up a form to submit their feedback on a company and its products or services but the form normally contains a name or alias and what they want to say.

4. Impact

Both a customer review and a customer testimonial impact the business’ reputation. Customer reviews more often impact a company’s reputation on a collective basis. While testimonials provide greater impact when the customer has given great detail or length on how the company has affected his or her life.

5. Source

In terms of source, this pertains to the type of person who submitted the feedback. Customer reviews are often anonymous while testimonials are transparent in the identity of the customer. Testimonials often include the person’s name and other information.

The importance of customer reviews and testimonials

Having discussed the basic and common difference of customer reviews and testimonials, let me now focus on their importance to a company. Companies can not go one without the other. Both are essential to the business. Here’s why:

1. Build a company’s reputation

Though testimonials are more positive in nature for it highlights how the company and its products or services have helped the customer, there may be occasions that it may be construed as biased by those who read, watched, or listened to it. This is especially true for those who have a negative experience on the said company.

Companies, of course, get testimonials from satisfied clients. Thus, more often than not, testimonials build up the company’s reputation.

When there are many good reviews on a product or service, potential customers would most likely engage with a company. Many bad reviews would result in a reverse effect. Bad reviews, however, lose their impact if it is outnumbered by positive reviews. The good thing about reviews is they provide an objective perspective about a company since people can see both positive and negative experiences consumers had.

2. Form user perception

Consumers nowadays rely more on customer reviews than they used to decades ago. The onset of the internet and social media platforms have made it easier for people to share their experience with a company or its products and services. People find customer reviews reliable because it is posted in third party websites or platforms.

These reviews then form a user’s perception on a company as to whether it is good or bad to deal with. When there are many positive reviews, potential customers would then visit a company’s website and social media platforms to get more information about it. Having testimonials in these communication channels then would be great for a company since it acts to support the positive user perception formed about them from the consumer reviews.

3. Influence purchase

Both customer reviews and customer testimonials influence purchasing decision. However, customer reviews have a larger bearing on influencing new or potential customers to make that first purchase with a company. Customer testimonials, on the other hand, have a greater bearing on influencing repeat purchases since it strengthens a company’s credibility and establishes trust. Thus, testimonials provide social proof of a company’s expertise or a brand’s great worth.

4. Decrease costs

Customer reviews decrease a company’s cost for customer acquisition and development research. What are these costs about?

Customer acquisition costs are the total amount of money a company has invested in convincing a customer to purchase their product or avail of their services. This involves all marketing efforts, equipment, property, and total cost of sales. Positive customer reviews is free word-of-mouth marketing on the part of a company and, thus, decrease customer acquisition costs.

In contrast, development research costs involve expenses incurred by a company in improving a product or its features or in enhancing its services. Customer reviews help to decrease this cost because it is already a goldmine of information on what aspects a company and its product or service failed to meet the expectations of customers.

5. Provide opportunities for growth and development

Thus, the most important contribution customer reviews and testimonials have to a company is it provides opportunities for growth and development. Companies should take the time then to harvest customer reviews and address areas for improvement.

Customer reviews and testimonials may also provide an aspect of the product or service that the company have not seen or have overlooked. This is most true when it comes to a user’s perception about a product and its use that may be different from what the company intended it for but have shown to be beneficial. Such a discovery would provide great insights on what to focus on for a company’s marketing campaigns and in communication channels.

How to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials

Tips to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials

Indeed, customer reviews and testimonials are essential to a company’s existence and longevity. So how does one encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials? Here’s how:

1. Ask them nicely

The most practical way to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials is by asking them to. You can ask them personally when they make a purchase in your store. You can also send them a post-purchase communication—email, text, or letter—requesting for feedback. When it comes to customer reviews, you can ask them to send it to you directly or direct them to third-party websites to post it there.

For testimonials, you can send them the survey form either via email or in printed form if its a letter. The printed form should include a self-addressed stamped envelope paid of postage for their convenience. Sending a post-communication email or text may even include a link leading to a form in your website where the customer can submit his or her review or testimonial.

Calling customers to invite them to leave reviews and testimonials is another way of asking them. When you call them for testimonials, you can even set an appointment to record their testimonials in video or audio format.

2. Invite through social media

Another way of encouraging customers to leave reviews and testimonials is through your company’s social media platform. Create an enticing graphic or visual on your invitation and post it on your social media platform containing the link leading to your website form or the customer review and/ customer testimonial.

Alternative posts can include a photo of the product you would like to be reviewed and caption it as an invitation for feedback about it. Just be ready to react to each comment (heart or like it) as a means of appreciating the customer’s participation and to respond to it constructively and honestly. The post may also include a link to your website form for those who opt to respond in private.

3. Claim third-party listings

NiceJob suggests a way to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials is to claim third-party site listings of your business such as online directories or websites where people can leave reviews.

4. Maximize the company’s website

Maximize your company’s website by using it to encourage customers in leaving reviews and testimonials. Adding a pop-up window that invites them to do so is one way to do this. The pop-up window could already be a form to submit customer reviews. It could also direct customers to a form on the website for testimonials.

Incorporating trust seals or logos of trusted brands attesting to the security of your website is one way of encouraging customers to send testimonials. Forbes explained these seals or logos assure customers that their personal information is safe when they provide it through the online form. Safe in that the website will not be hacked or infiltrated by identity thefts.

Dedicating an area or section on your website for customer reviews and testimonials is another way to maximize your website. If your a B2B company, the section should display the logos of your customers. These logos create trust in your company’s capabilities and build on your credibility while also serving as a portfolio page as well.

5. Offer rewards or incentives

A common practice among businesses is to offer rewards or incentives to customers who submit their reviews and testimonials. The rewards or incentives can be as simple as getting a badge in Facebook, an avatar, or widgets to as grand as product or service discounts, free products or services, and tokens or gifts. The possibilities for rewards and incentives are endless.

6. Appreciate efforts

Make customers feel valued in their effort of providing you the feedback you need. Appreciating their efforts will encourage them to provide customer reviews and testimonials in the future. Appreciation may come in the form of gifts and tokens or certificates that you send to customers to acknowledge their contribution. Or you could simply send them a letter, email, or text thanking them for doing so.

Featuring their reviews and testimonials in your website or social media platforms is another way of appreciating their efforts. You could also harvest positive reviews about your company, products, or services from third-party websites. Then make these a part of your website’s design or simply highlight them in your website.

7. Use technology

There are several ways you can use technology to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your website or third-party website. One way is to add video testimonials as part of your homepage’s design.

You can also add a QR code to your product packaging and marketing paraphernalia or post it in your social media platforms. The QR code links to the form in your website where customers can post their review and testimonial or answer a survey.

Another way to use technology is by automating your review process using apps connected to your customer database. The app sends out emails or prompts for reviews each time a purchase is made.

8. Make submission easy

Make your review process mobile-friendly, simple, fast, and convenient. Don’t ask to many questions or require too many personal information. Remember that customers are busy, too, and respecting their time is important.

9. Follow-through with authenticity

Follow-through on customer reviews and testimonials by replying to them, addressing concerns, improving your products and services, and act on what customers say as a sign of authenticity. This will show customers that you truly listened and have a sincere desire to meet their needs. Thus, nurture brand loyalty and deepen customer trust.

10. Have a professionally-designed website

The quality of a website’s design encourages customers to leave reviews and testimonials. How? Let’s look at some examples, beginning with the NYC Interior Design company, to better understand what I mean.

NYC Interior Design’s website uses social backing in the form of customer testimonials and logos of companies they have partnerships with. What makes the testimonials and logos more convincing is it is supported by a beautifully designed website that speaks true of their expertise as an interior designer. The website is well-structured, has a clean layout, uses visual hierarchy, and highlighted with vivid photos of interiors their company have designed. My point in underscoring this is your website’s very design should also emulate the quality and professionalism your customers and business partners speak of.

Another example is Quills Coffee. They similarly used social proof in their website but through media commendations, particularly posting the logo of the magazine or newspaper they were mentioned in and the review given them. Their website design also supports what is said about them. they used colors, typography, effects, and photos that give a chill-out vibe to website visitors. it is professionally-designed: has a clean layout, lots of white spaces, and uses visual hierarchy.

To further convince you of what I mean, I’ve enlisted website examples you can get inspiration from to guide you on how to add customer testimonials and reviews on your design. I suggest you study the website examples for the best option to use on your website.

In Summary

Customer reviews and testimonials impact a company’s reputation either on a positive or negative light. Encouraging customers to leave their feedback on your company, products, and services can be done in several ways. This includes reaching out to them, maximizing the resources you have, using technology available to you, and, the most important of which, is appreciating and acting on customer feedback.


1. What is the best way to respond to negative customer reviews?

Experts suggest acknowledging the sentiments of the customer as the primary step in responding to negative reviews. Acknowledging doesn’t necessarily mean you are admitting a fault but simply are conveying to the customer that he or she is being heard and their sentiments taken into consideration. The next step would be to provide ways in which to address the sentiment raised in ways that you are capable of. Never over promise just to pacify a negative review because that will only aggravate matters.

2. Can you refer or suggest applications I can use for my business to collect customer reviews online?

Surely! There are several softwares or computer programs that you can use to aid your business in collecting and processing customer reviews. TrustPilot is regarded as the top platform for customer reviews for it helps analyze the data into usable business information or results. You could also try AiTrillion as it is connected to increasing sales through customer reviews. While,, and Loox are renowned tools for social proof.

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