Getting more Google reviews is essential for any business building an online reputaiton. Especially small businesses looking to improve visibility online, earn referrals and get more customers.
But asking customers for Google reviews and responding to Google reviews takes time and patience. For many businesses, it’s a manual process.
The good news is that there are easier, faster, more automated ways to ask customers for Google reviews.
To help, we’ve put together a list of several clear and actionable ways to get started.
We walk you through:
Read on for more.
Google reviews are voluntarily unpaid comments that customers write about businesses on Google. They’re powered by integrated features within Google Maps, Google My Business, and Google Search. Which makes it easy for anyone to leave feedback, add videos, add images, and other user-generated content.
Here's an example:
Reviews greatly influence customer behavior - especially when potential customers are searching for local services near them. In fact, mobile searches for "best" and “reviews” have increased by 80% and 35% respectively in the past few years.
And 86% of customers read reviews when in need of a service. This is because it's easier to trust the opinion of others who’ve already had experience with a business.
But you won’t get more positive reviews unless you ask for them. However, a 2019 BrightLocal study indicated that 76% of consumers who were asked to leave feedback actually did it.
And according to recent research, asking for reviews produces higher average review scores 4.34/5. Whereas unprompted reviews average 3.89/5.
Asking customers to leave a review and getting feedback can lead to insights and stronger customer service.
As a business owner, you need to know the truth about how customers view your product or service. Actively collecting reviews and customer feedback makes customers feel more valued. And ultimately it helps you understand the way they see your business.
Recent reviews matter to Google and your prospective customers. Google uses recent reviews as a key ranking factor for local SEO and search. Whereas prospects look at online reviews for social proof that other people are using your services and finding success.
This is why what customers say about your business on Google My Business carries more weight.
And unlike Facebook posts, tweets, and other review sites, Google reviews have a relatively long shelf life.
Tweets stay top-of-feed for around 18 minutes. Facebook posts are around five hours. But reviews stay top-of-page for about three months.
If you haven’t already claimed your Google My Business listing, then you need to now.
Claiming your Google My Business account is free and it’s the first step to managing your online reputation. It helps you get ahead of bad reviews with proactive responses.
The more people who advocate for you and your local business the better. Happy customers prove that you offer great service and they help you acquire new customers.
Once you’ve got advocates, you’ll be in a better position to start earning business referrals. This is free marketing where your happy customers actively campaign and send you business without your having to ask.
Reviews are an essential local ranking factor. They help Google understand what your business does and how it's perceived. They correlate with credibility.
This is why Google pays more attention to businesses with more quality and diversified reviews.
And besides credibility, Google loves content. And what's better than user-generated content? It's unique, fresh, and new.
Google reviews also give you a chance to engage customers. That, in turn, signals to Google that your business has an up-to-date web presence – further boosting your search rankings.
If you’re just starting to ask for Google reviews, it's best to leverage your happiest customers. These are people who are already praising your services or products on social media or in other ways.
Overall, ask for reviews from customers who are willing to deliver in-depth and honest opinions.
Strive to avoid short, impersonal feedback. And if consumers are asking for a review template, provide one right away.
For best results, do all you can to satisfy a customer before asking for reviews.
Ultimately, you’ll want to devise a strategy to automatically ask for reviews from all your customers.
But know that asking everyone for feedback will lead to some negative reviews.
However, negative reviews can be good for your business. Businesses with ratings between 3.5 and 4.5 stars earn more revenue than businesses with other ratings. At the same time, businesses with 5-star ratings earn less than those with 1-1.5 star ratings.
And, negative reviews give you an opportunity to demonstrate how empathetic, accomodating, and human you are.
And using Google reviews for customer service has some revenue benefits too:
Every business and organization is unique. So when you should ask for Google reviews will vary based on your customers, service, product, billing cycle, etc.
But the following are some best practices guidelines for the best times to ask someone for a Google review:
We’ve covered the "what", "why" and “when”. Now it's time to explore how to ask for Google reviews using text, email, voice, and other methods.
More and more businesses, like Mower Parts Plus, are finding success with business text messaging. Texting works especially well for getting customer reviews and earning more business referrals.
There’s debated about which tool is best (text, email, or voice). But each serves a purpose when it comes to improving your customer engagement.
But you’ll need all of these messaging tools working together. They should play a part in your larger conversational messaging strategy to collect more reviews and feedback.
To get started, you’ll need to select a business text messaging service. You’ll also need to generate a link, embed the link in your texts, and tie it to your Google My Business reviews page.
Don’t already have your link? Feel free to check out our free google review link generator to get your Google My Business reviews link.
The best way to utilize a business texting service is to set up automation and scheduled text messages. This is the best way to automatically ask customers for a Google review.
Most business text messaging platforms have automation and scheduling. But other business text messaging platforms take this further.
Business texting platforms like MessageDesk can even help you send fully automated texts that ask for Google reviews. These texts automatically trigger after a certain amount of time. They can also trigger once a customer completes an action like paying their open invoice.
Suggested Article: How to Choose a Business Text Messaging Service
Check out our list of free SMS text message templates for more.
It's also easy to include the link to your Google My Business listing. And experiment with different messaging formats.
You can always ask for a Google review by sending a personal email using your own email address. But are you’re looking to automate your review collection or to collect reviews at scale?
For best results with email:
Here are some examples to get you started.
Hi [First Name],
Thank you for ordering (X product.) We hope you're happy with the purchase.
We're glad you shopped with us. We value you and always strive to bring you the best shopping experiences.
Would you leave us a quick Google review at (insert link to your listing)? It only takes up to three minutes, and it'll help us better serve you.
Meanwhile, reach us at (insert number) in case of any questions or support.
The (your business name) Team.
Hey (first name),
Thank you for buying (X product) from us. We hope it has done its (intended) job well.
Would you spare a minute to write a review about your experience? (add a link to your business listing)
Thank you in advance for helping us help you. In case of any questions or support, give us a call on (insert helpline).
The (your business name) Team.
Hi (first name),
Thank you for doing business with (your business name)!
You mean the world to us, and we would love to learn more about your experience with (product bought).
Share your thoughts here (insert a link to your business profile.) Be sure to use # (insert hashtag) to join our online community.
Your review will help us deliver better experiences to you. See you in our online community.
The (business name) Team.
Despite being intimidating, asking for a Google review in person can be effective.
But how do you go about it?
Asking for a review is all about being in the moment. One of the best times to ask customers for reviews is in response to unsolicited praise.
Here’s an example:
Customer: [singing your praises]
You: “We're glad to be of help. We strive to [what the customer is praising you for]. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.”
Customer: “No problem. Thank you for being awesome.”
You: “You know such comments significantly help other customers who’re deciding to work with us. If it's not too much trouble, would you mind leaving us a quick review detailing what you’ve just said? That would be amazing."
Is your business customer support heavy and engaging customers on the phone? You can also create opportunities to ask for a review when talking to customers on the phone.
Begin by asking customers about their experience with your service, product, or store.
Think of questions like:
The trick here is to select the target reviewer carefully. For instance, a self-proclaimed happy customer is better suited for a phone request than one with problems that need solving.
"I'm glad we got to help you today. Your business means a lot to us. Would you mind sharing your experience today on Google? Your feedback makes it easier for other people to understand that they can get support whenever needed."
Besides text, email, and voice, you can also ask for reviews through printed advertising materials like banners and business cards.
Consider using a design tool like Canva to create ad materials that encourage Google reviews.
Include messages like:
You can apply the same technique to send follow-up physical mail saying thank you and requesting reviews.
You can also:
Regardless of the delivery method:
A business text messaging app like MessageDesk has features like text message scheduling, text tags, and SMS templates. These features work together to automate your review collection process.
Templates help you send saved messages with a link to your Google listing. And scheduling allows you to automate texts to customers.
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