Everyone knows that online reviews influence purchases. With that in mind, brands try to find solutions to increase and improve the reviews they receive. One of these solutions is to actively request known customers to leave a review.

A survey by Dimensional Research found that 88% of respondents were influenced by reviews when making a purchase decision. It is now indubitable that customer reviews have a substantial impact on spendings; therefore, all business owners from brands to hotels to dentists should address them.

Since dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave a review, average review scores tend to be worse than the actual average experience of a brand or product. That is why actively nudging customers into posting reviews will typically improve the average score.

The easiest way to get more reviews is to ask. Whether you use emails,  ask in person or encourage reviews in social media posts, there is one question: when is the best time to do it?

When to ask for a review: identify the WOW moment

The goal is to ask for the review just after the customer has experienced most of the value you offer. Ask too soon, and the customer will feel that he does not know yet how to review your product. Ask too late and the experience will not be as fresh in your client’s souvenir.

Every product or service is different and takes a different time to appreciate. For example, a meal at the restaurant, although delightful, may not leave a lasting impression. The best time to ask for a review is probably just after the meal, or the following day at the latest.

On the other side of the spectrum are products that have a long user learning curve (such as software or a professional camera) or simply take some time to complete (a video game, a puzzle, a book). For those, it’s probably best to delay asking for the review.

Is there a better day of the week?

At some point, you may want to set up some automated triggers to ask for new reviews from customers. A natural question is: when I have the choice, on which weekday should I ask?

When asking around the office what people thought, I got mixed results. “Definitely not on Mondays”, some said. “Maybe during the weekend, when people have more time”, said others. This prompted me to look into the data that BlueBoard collects.

I analyzed the last 600.000 reviews that we gathered from the 6 biggest Amazon stores (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) and computed the average star rating left for each day of the week. Here is what we found:

Average of reviews posted at Amazon by day of the week
Average of reviews posted at Amazon by day of the week. The colors express %-difference to the average of the line.

These results are not spectacular by any means, but the large size of the sample makes them interesting nonetheless. The color of each cell expresses the difference to the average of the line. The way to read it is that on Amazon.co.uk, the average customer review left on a Thursday is .15 star higher than a review left on a Wednesday. 0.15 star may not seem like a lot but if all it takes is waiting one day to ask for a review, it might be worth a shot!

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