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August 29, 2022

When to Request Reviews (and Videos): The Ultimate Guide to Review Request Timing, by Industry

Invite can be configured to send review requests based on different triggers. The optimal timing for a review request depends on industry-specific scenarios.

Widewail can be integrated with a wide variety of CRMs, POS systems, business management software, customer databases, etc., making our products adaptable to almost any industry you work in.

Once integrated with your data source, Invite can be configured to send automated review requests via SMS based on a number of different trigger points. For example, a salon might ask a customer for a review as soon as their appointment is over, whereas a property management company might want to delay sending a request by 30 days after move-in to give residents time to acclimate to their new apartment before asking for feedback. The optimal strategy for timing a review request depends on industry-specific scenarios. 

Here is the quick-reference guide to review request timing by industry - in alphabetical order. [Don’t see your industry? Reach out to us here to see how we can help your business]


Automotive

In automotive, you typically want to give customers enough time to at least drive off the lot before asking for a review. Let’s consider what department the customer came in through:

  • Sales: Your customer just completed a long and (potentially) stressful process of buying a car. By asking for a review too soon, you’re adding one more optional step to the process, and chances are they will ignore it. Let them drive off with their car and relish in the joy of having a new vehicle. Wait at least a day and then send them a request to leave a review. But don’t wait too long if you want a review of the buying experience, and not the vehicle itself.
  • Service: If they just came in to get some work done on their car, your customers don’t have as much to process in terms of their experience. Once they have driven off the lot, give it a couple of hours and then shoot them a review request.
  • Parts: If the parts are being installed at the dealership, treat it like a service scenario and wait until they’ve taken their car home. If they’re taking the parts to install themselves, you could wait a little longer to increase the likelihood of them actually using the part and being able to testify to its quality in their review.

If your dealership is collecting video testimonials, these rules change a little. It is effective to have a dealership representative champion the recording process right on the lot before they drive off with their new whip. Contrary to the process of typing up a review, getting your customer on camera for a minute and asking them a few questions about their experience can be a fun way to provide feedback. However, if you don’t have the time or space to get a video right then and there, you could send a request for a video later in the week. Recording from home might open up some different types of reviews that show off the product they are proud of more than the buying experience. 

Dentistry

If you’re a dentist, you probably know better than us how to estimate recovery times after a certain type of visit. For regular cleanings, you are probably in the clear to send a review request as soon as the appointment is over.

For more involved procedures that may leave your patient in pain or still loopy afterward, delay the review request a little longer than their expected recovery time to ensure they are feeling as close to normal as possible when giving a write-up of their experience.

Automating the delay times by the experience type is easy using the Campaigns tool. You could create separate messaging strategies with distinct delay times for “Cleaning,” “Fillings,” “Root Canal,” etc.

Entertainment

For written reviews of events, send a request right after the event is over. Doing so as quickly as possible can maximize positive reviews while your attendees are still riding the high of the performance that just ended. If you send it too early, they’ll still be focused on the event and likely ignore your request. 

If you are looking for video testimonials, on the other hand, you may want to consider alternative routes. Sending the request right after the event, as you would with a written review, will get your patrons to speak their feedback to the camera and give you some great talking-head footage. However, you could send requests during the actual event if you are looking to collect live-action footage of the experience from your attendees’ perspectives.

The timing here really depends on the type of content your marketing team is looking for. For a mix of subject matter, try splitting up the contacts into groups with different timing triggers using Invite Video’s Campaigns feature. 

Financial Services

Financial services tend to center around maintaining long, ongoing relationships with members of a financial institution. Therefore, there are numerous relevant touchpoints in the member’s lifecycle. 

Any transaction that requires working directly with a representative is a review opportunity. For example, immediately after someone opens an account, ask them for a review of the process or why they chose your institution. 

For review content centered around member loyalty, set up triggers to send review requests to anyone who has been a member for a certain amount of months.

Want to get even more specific with shaping the content within your reviews? Set up different campaign tracks that ask tailored questions to different types of account holders. Widewail Invite supports unlimited campaign variations.

Fitness

Gyms and athletic facilities belong to another industry that can benefit from two types of review perspectives: the at-home testimonial (written or video) or the on-site video review. Whichever one you are targeting, wait for a member to become acquainted with the space and equipment. After a couple of weeks, send a request. 

If using follow-up campaigns, we would recommend asking anyone who has left a 5-star written review to record a video testimonial, a sequence easily set up with Invite. 

Video testimonial requests could be as simple as asking for a verbal review or getting creative and encouraging your members to show off the gym with a prompt like “Show us your favorite part of the gym or go-to workout.”

 

Widewail's Invite is integrated with CRMs, POS systems, and a variety of industry-specific database software to make automated review generation a breeze.

Connect with a review generation expert today to see how Widewail can fit into your tech stack.

Health Care

As long as you remain HIPAA compliant in your messaging, generating reviews for a medical practice can be a breeze. A standard review request tactic would be to ask a patient for a review after their first visit. This allows you to ask about their experience based on their first impression. 

When requesting reviews after specific appointments, just make sure to use discretion as to what the appropriate recovery time would be – i.e. don’t ask someone for a review when they are still recovering.

Home Services

Completing a big project at home can be a major uplift in people’s lives. Wait until the job is done, and then ask for a review right away when they are likely the most excited. For something like a new back deck, try encouraging them to share pictures of your handiwork to showcase your skills and build trust amongst prospective customers taking a peek at your reviews. If you want to take it to the next level, send requests for video testimonials to build out your own marketing materials. 

Hospitality & Restaurants

Hospitality thrives on reviews, in particular those which are displayed on a restaurant's Google Business Profile.

Sometimes, if an experience is so noteworthy, a guest will leave a review before they’re even through with their visit, but usually, they wait until afterward. When sending automatic review requests, we would advise waiting until after the bill has been paid. Once they’re done, get that review as soon as possible while the memory is still fresh.

Insurance

Working in insurance, you don’t have as many touchpoints with members as in other industries. One common touchpoint for all members is signing up.

Set a trigger based on enrollment and ask right away how the process went and why they chose your company over others.

Down the road, if your members ever need to file a claim, wait until the claim is closed and then ask for a review so they share how relieved they are to have insurance with your company.

Personal Services

In health and beauty, make sure to ask for a review as soon as an appointment is completed. Encourage clients to share photos and videos to enhance the credibility established by their testimonials. 

Companies like Skin Spa New York have greatly increased their volume of reviews generated just from asking every single client for reviews. 

Property Management & Real Estate

When it comes to interacting with your community members, there are a few important touchpoints where their testimonials would be valuable.

  • After a tour/showing - Ask about a prospective resident’s experience scheduling a showing and meeting with the leasing agent or realtor shortly after they’ve completed their tour. 
  • When new residents move in - Capture the excitement of people moving into their new spot. But don’t ask for a review while their hands are full unloading boxes from a truck. Instead, give them at least a week to settle in and then get a review. As a bonus, follow up with a video review request and maybe they’ll give a tour of how they set up their new space.
  • When a lease is renewed - Demonstrate the loyalty and appreciation of your community members by getting their statement on why they love your community enough to stay another year.  

Retail

Whether your retail operations are in a brick-and-mortar store or online, there are a few great times to generate reviews.

  • After checkout - get their perspective on the in-store experience, their interactions with a sales representative, or the website ordering process if they did not physically visit or speak to anyone.
  • After a customer service ticket is closed - Show off how accommodating your customer service program is by getting feedback anytime someone has finished resolving an issue with your team. 
  • Days or weeks after their purchase - Follow up with a review request to see how they like their new product, see if they will attest to its quality, or even demonstrate its quality with photos or videos. 

Regardless of industry, determine the appropriate trigger touchpoints and ask every single person

With the right timing strategy, you can effectively shape the narrative around your business while increasing Google star ratings and the overall level of "social proof" available.

Ultimately, you want these reviews to be useful to your prospective customers, who want to know exactly what to expect when engaging with your business. When customers leave positive reviews that reflect major milestones in their shopping experience, prospects are more likely to gain confidence in and choose to work with your business. And, don't forget, this type of multimedia feedback can influence your local organic rankings (local SEO) and also be used as part of a b2b video marketing strategy.

Automating review generation can let you set these triggers and forget about them so you can get back to doing your job and providing excellent customer service. Contact Widewail to learn how Invite can boost your business’s online presence. 

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Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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