The science of getting 5-star customer reviews


“84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends!”


Online reviews are essential to bring in new customers, stand out from your competitors and grow a local business.  

However, it’s heartbreaking to know as few as 6% of customers actually leave a review.

So how do some businesses manage to get so many reviews while others struggle?

Simple: They ask!

When you don’t ask customers for reviews, you massively reduce your chances of getting those shiny 5 stars on Google. 

In this blog, we’ll explain the proven methods that raise your chances of getting a positive review from 6% up to 68% (without harassing or annoying your customers).

We’ve tested these methods with over 2,800 local businesses – and they work!

Here’s how to ask for customer reviews the right way. 


Generate positive reviews in 6 stages

1. Request customer reviews directly after service


This is one of the best-kept secrets, and one of the easiest to use. 

We already know customers don’t leave a review if they’re not prompted – but when should you prompt them? 

The best time is immediately after they’ve had a great experience with you.

The next thing to consider is how you’re going to ask – will it be via email, SMS, phone call, QR code or face-to-face while they’re at your business location. 

We’ve found the most seamless way to request a review is directly face-to-face, right when the customer is about to leave your business.

If your business doesn’t see a lot of customers face-to-face, the next best thing is to send them a personalised review request straight to their mobile, right after you’ve served them. 

This makes the process fast and straightforward for the customer and avoids frustrating them with too many steps.

2. Follow up and remind customers to leave a review


Customers are busy.

So if you don’t get a response, don’t take it personally. It’s wise to plan for busy customers by having a system for sending follow-up messages. 

Without a system, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of who has left you a review, who you’re still following up with, and who hasn’t responded yet… 

You can also ask past customers for a review. You’ll just need to provide a little more context and jog their memory about their experience with your business.

For this essential step, you need a tool to manage the review process. 


Send automatic review reminders

The Cube Reviews platform automatically nudges customers to leave a review at specific times. 

Best of all, you don’t have to manually remind each customer individually! This would be enough to send anyone crazy. 

Simply bulk-upload your customer list into the platform to send out a mass request that’s personalised for each customer – in just a few clicks.

Learn More



3. Respond to all reviews (both positive and negative)


No one likes to be ignored. 

When customers leave reviews on your business profile, they like to be acknowledged. They also want to see you respond to other customers.

For every 100 customers who read your reviews, 97 of them are also looking to see if your business replied. 

Google wants you to reply, too.

Here’s why replying to reviews makes you stand out online:


  • Replying to reviews tells new customers your business is responsive and takes customer satisfaction seriously. It also keeps your business profile active, which increases your visibility on Google. 
  • Replying to negative reviews is especially important because it shows your willingness to address customers' issues and resolve their problems. Studies show 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week. 


Some businesses avoid replying to negative reviews because they think it makes them look bad online.

But it’s actually the best thing you can do. Here are 3 reasons why… 


  1. Replying to negative reviews gives you a chance to clear the air in a public place. Often, negative reviews can be falsely submitted, or the customer may have posted their negative review on the wrong business profile. 
  2. When you reply, you can offer to resolve the issue. You can also offer a way for that customer to reach you offline to discuss the matter further and find a solution. 
  3. You can call out reviews you think are fake and show new customers you haven’t done anything wrong. It also shows Google you’re providing a good experience for other people online.


When you reply to negative reviews, you protect your business' reputation from being tarnished by online trolls and misinformed customers.


4. Pick someone who’s in charge of reviews


One thing that makes a review strategy fall apart is that no one is responsible for managing it. 

Without a key person in charge, months down the line you’ll discover nothing has really been done, and no one knows what needs doing.

The person in charge of your review strategy will manage and delegate all the important tasks, i.e. requesting reviews, following up, replying to reviews, distributing reviews onto your website. 

When one person drives the strategy, the entire team knows their role.  

Getting more customer reviews takes time, but it can pay off big time – in as little as 12 months – when you’ve built up lots of social proof and trust online.  

When this happens, Google confirms your business is one of the best providers in your area and shows you to new customers on Google Maps. 

The key is to have a clear strategy and a consistent approach – and the best way to do that is to have one person overseeing it. 



5. Incentivise your team and spur some competition


This part is especially powerful for customer-facing industries like real estate, hospitality, trades and services, professional services and beauty.

These types of businesses have an incredible opportunity to ramp up their positive reviews because they’re face-to-face with customers every day.  

We've seen businesses massively increase their reviews in a short period by incentivising staff. 

You can do this by running monthly competitions for the most reviews generated with a prize for the winner.

This is an easy way to keep staff engaged with the review generation process. 

Incentives like movie tickets, vouchers, bonuses and time off are all great ways to keep staff engaged and invested in the strategy.  

It also helps you generate a lot more reviews in less time because your staff will be on board from the beginning. 



6. Track and measure your reviews


The Cube Reviews platform lets you request, track and monitor customers reviews all in one place. 

It lets you build a pipeline of potential reviews so you can consistently grow your trust and social proof online. 

The platform lets you automate key tasks that grow your customer reviews and share your best reviews across the web. This increases the chance a customer will call you by an average of 63%. 

When you track your customers' reviews, you have valuable data at your fingertips that tell you:

  • Parts of the year when most reviews come in
  • The products and services customers are enjoying
  • The elements of your service that have the most positive feedback
  • How much your online reputation has grown
  • Your top review sites
  • The breakdown of your star rating
  • Sentiment analysis to show the keywords showing up in customers reviews.


Now that you understand the essential parts of generating more 5-star reviews, why not get a ‘made-for-you’ system you can start implementing today… 


Get 100 Customer Reviews In 90 Days


Your best bet is to follow Google’s best practices as best as you can, with a system to prompt customers to leave reviews at key moments.

Here are a few things you’ll learn in this free guide:

  • Provide options for customers to leave reviews on platforms like Facebook, Yelp, TrueLocal and more.

  • Use SMS, email, landing pages, QR codes and word of mouth strategies to send customers to your review page.

  • If reviews are flagged, work with customers to update their reviews to align with Google’s policies.

You’ll discover the proven strategies we’ve used on thousands of businesses to get more positive customer reviews, while still sticking to Google’s best practices. 



Want help getting more reviews? 

Speak with a Cube Digital Specialist about how we use software + service to bring in more customer reviews for thousands of local businesses.

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NSW 2018

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