Google reviews are a small business’s best friend. They can give you more customers, improve your margins, and put your marketing on autopilot.
Once you know how Google reviews work, it’s time to make them work for you. If more and more customers start leaving excellent reviews of your business, your ratings will shoot up and you’ll get more stars. So, the question is, how do you ask for Google reviews the right way?
One of the most effective ways to ask for Google reviews is through SMS. Yes, the simple, tried and trusted text message.
But you may wonder — if the customer is right in front of you, why go through all of that?
Of course, the easiest would be to ask your customers in person. Once they’re satisfied with your services, you could simply say "Thanks for visiting! Would you mind leaving us a review?" But like everything else that’s easy in life, it isn’t highly rewarding.
For starters, your customers will be in a hurry. They may have waited some time to get their nails done, pets groomed, or their vehicle serviced. The last thing they want to do is linger around. For some customers, this is even more so during the pandemic.
Secondly, it may seem strange to the other customers who are waiting for their turn. They might wonder why you’re in a hurry to get a good rating. Was there something wrong with the service?
Imagine you’re in a restaurant and as soon as you finish your meal, the manager comes requesting a review. How would it sound? Exactly.
Thirdly, most customers may not have had a chance to analyse your services. They may need to drive their vehicle for a while or see how their skin reacts to the new hair colour. Leaving a Google review right then and there may be too soon for them.
The fourth reason is that asking for Google reviews as your customers are making their payments could be awkward. The timing isn’t perfect. They’re already rewarding you for your services. Why should they do something else?
SMS (i.e., texting) takes care of all these issues. This may sound strange if you've never texted your customers before — but trust us, it's a thing. Plus, it has the advantage over email, Instagram and Facebook, because you don’t need a smartphone to send or receive an SMS. This means you’ll be able to reach everyone, including, elderly customers who may only have basic phones or who, even with smartphones, may not know how to use the advanced features.
Importantly, it makes it easy from the customer’s point of view. They don’t have to read a long email and then click on a link. They don’t have to download anything.
SMS is messaging made simple.
If you’re wondering how time effective it could be to individually text all your customers asking for a review — it wouldn’t be. And that’s why today, businesses use apps that can do the job for them as well as protect their personal phone number. This makes requesting reviews from real customers faster and easier. In fact, it won’t take more than five minutes.
Better yet, even when using apps you still have the option to customise the message you send. (In fact, we recommend you do customise the message — small business is all about that human touch.)
To get you started on the right track, here are five basic SMS templates to ask for Google reviews and the best practices for getting the most out of them.
This is a simple template that begins by thanking the customer and then requesting a review. Its simplicity is what makes it effective.
“Hey (first name), thanks for shopping with us! To help improve our services, please click here (insert link) to rate your experience. Thank you, (the name of the business)”
This is a more professional SMS that gets straight to the point.
“Hi (the first name of the customer or Mr/Ms last name), thank you for shopping with us. Could you spend a minute to review your experience by clicking here (insert link here)? Thank you, (the name of the business)”
This is to request their review of your location or store, and this particular template best suits a bright and bubbly brand.
“Hi (the first name of the customer), we are so happy that you visited our store. To help give you the best service, we’d love your feedback. Could you please leave your review here? (insert link here). Thank you, (the name of the business)”
This is to request a review of your product or a new addition to your line. This format is ideal for online stores.
“Hey (the first name of the customer), we are delighted that you bought (the name of the product) from (the name of the store). To help improve our products, we would love to hear from you. Please give your feedback here (insert link here). Thank you, (the name of the business)”
This is for those customers who have bought your product or service more than once — i.e., you have a relationship with them. (Note, these customers are a treasure-trove for positive reviews and word-of-mouth marketing. Be sure to appreciate them!).
“Hey (the first name of the customer), thank you so much for buying from us again. It’s because of heroes like you that businesses like ours exist. To further improve our products, could you please review us here? (insert link here) Once again, thank you (the first name of the customer)
Hopefully, these templates have given you a starting point on responding to Google reviews. But before you begin, make sure that your product or service is the best it can be. Improve on any previous feedback to avoid getting the same disappointing reviews.
SMS is one of the most productive ways for businesses to get Google reviews. But for it to be effective, your SMS should be well-crafted and set in the right context. With these tips, you are all set to get favourable feedback and become a high-star superstar on Google reviews.
If you think about the kinds of businesses that can benefit from online reviews, restaurants, hotels, museums, and others targeting the public will probably come to mind. But online reviews really can help any kind of business, as the story of Harris Consultancy shows.
Here’s how any small or local business can earn more reviews. Every idea here is free and applicable to most local businesses.