Learn How to Use Texts, Emails, Calls, and More to Ask Customers for Google Reviews
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:
- 6 reasons why you should ask for Google reviews
- Who you should ask for Google reviews
- The best times to ask for a Google review
- How to ask for Google reviews using voice, email, texts, printed ads, physical mail, and more.
Read on for more.
Here's an example:
6 Reasons Why You Should Ask for Google Reviews
1. Google reviews help you build social proof and solidify your reputation
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.
2. Collecting Google reviews helps you gain insight from feedback
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.
3. Google reviews have a longer shelf life and carry more weight
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.
4. Google reviews are essentials to maintaining control over your business reputation
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.
5. Google reviews help you turn happy customers into brand advocates and earn more business referrals
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.
6. More Google reviews give you more visibility in local Google search results
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.
Who You Should Ask for a Google Review
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:
- Businesses responding to over 25% of reviews earn 35% above average
- Businesses not responding to reviews earn 9% below average
The Best Times to Ask Someone for A Google Review
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:
- Ask for reviews when customers are at peak satisfaction, but not longer than a week after concluding business.
- Ask for a Google review or feedback when a customer makes a payment.
- Ask for reviews at times and on days when customers are less occupied.
- If your customers engage with your business on weekdays, then ask for reviews on weekdays.
- If your customers interact with you during business hours, consider reaching them on early mornings (8:00 am-9:30 am) or afternoons (1:00 pm-2:30 pm).
- For weekend-type customers, try asking for reviews in the evening (1:00 pm-7:00 pm).
- Experiment to get the best time for both you and your customers.
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.
How to Ask for A Review Via SMS Text Message
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.
Compared to email and voice, business text messages have higher open and engagement rates, and texting has some clear advantages like:
- Near-instant delivery
- Less competition
- High open rates
- High reply rates
- Greater personalization options
- You can automate text messages
- You can schedule texts
- You can collect payments with texts
- Texting is cost-effective
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.
Automating Review Collection with a Business Text Messaging Service
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.
Some integrate directly with your Google My Business account and your small business accounting software like QuickBooks Online, Xero, or FreshBooks.
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
SMS text message templates to help you ask for Google reviews
Check out our list of free SMS text message templates for more.
How to Ask for A Review Via Email
Email is still a reliable channel for asking for Google reviews. After all, 58% of consumers check emails before any other online activity.
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?
Then you’ll want to consider using an email platform like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Email platforms like these make it easy to schedule and automate emails and even craft email sequences.
For best results with email:
- Clearly define your goals
- Personalize your email
- Keep it short
- Test, measure, and adjust as necessary
Here are some examples to get you started.
Email subject lines examples
- "We'd love to hear your thoughts on (X product or service)."
- "How did we do?"
- "Spare a minute to share your experience about (X product) with us."
- "We love learning from your shopping experience."
Addressing a broad range of consumers
Addressing an individual – a repeat customer
The "we" approach
How to Ask for A Review In-Person or Over the Phone
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."
How to Ask for a Review Over the Phone
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:
- How long have you been using (X product or service)?
- Have you found everything you were looking for?
- How was your experience with us?
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."
Additional Ways to Ask for a Review
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:
- "Got feedback? We'd love to learn more about it! Leave us a review at (link)."
- "How did we do? Review your experience with us at (link)!"
- "Did you enjoy shopping with us? Leave us a review at (link)
You can apply the same technique to send follow-up physical mail saying thank you and requesting reviews.
You can also:
- Add a review link to your sale receipt or invoice, or
- Add a Google review link to your website
Regardless of the delivery method:
- Determine the right time to ask for a review
- Encourage your client to leave honest and in-depth Google reviews
- Explain to the clients how their feedback will help better their experiences
- Ensure the customer is satisfied before asking for a review
- Make it easy for them to review your business
- Personalize the request as much as possible
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.
Feel free to start a free MessageDesk trial or schedule a demo with a messaging expert.