Reviews play a major role in helping a potential customer during their local business search. Sites like Yelp and Facebook are important to your business’ reputation, but Google My Business arguably holds more influential power.
Here’s why Google My Business reviews matter and how requesting them via text message can help you get more.
Why are Google business reviews important?
It’s wise to keep tabs of your business’ profile among the top review sites, but you should first focus on Google My Business before sprucing up the others. Why? Visibility.
Let’s say you’re craving a coffee and pastry while you’re walking your dog. You’re likely to search for “cafes” or “cafes near me” in Google. You’ll instantly get a list of several local cafes close by in an organized list at the top of the search results page. The list includes the cafe’s star rating, where they’re located and maybe photos from the business. If you’re a cafe in the area, you want to be among the few that first appear in the search results.
But how do businesses get to the front page? Google determines this in a few ways, including relevance to the search and distance from the searcher’s location, but prominence is a big component and it’s what ratings are tied to. The more reviews and positive ratings you have, the higher the likelihood that your business could show up on the first page of a local search.
No matter if it’s through general search or Googling your name specifically, the star rating by your business is one of the first things a potential customer sees about you online. So it’s safe to say, your rating (and the reviews that make up that rating) are a big deal.
According to a study released by Womply, bad Google reviews are costlier to small businesses than Yelp or Facebook. And a separate study by Bright Local found that positive reviews make 68% of consumers more likely to use local businesses.
Your business can’t afford to not strive for more reviews on Google My Business, so here’s what you need to do.
How to get more reviews on Google
To get more customer reviews on Google, you need to ask for them. And to get customers to write them, you need to make the process as easy as possible.
Asking via email is certainly common practice, but it isn’t always the best option in terms of visibility or convenience. Our inboxes are bursting with emails from businesses like yours, competing for attention. With such a high volume of daily messages, it’s hard to open every email that comes in.
But have you ever thought about texting a review request?
Email has an open rate of 18% and only 17% of consumers have an inbox with zero unread messages at a given time.
Texting has email beat by a long shot, and yes, even when it comes to texts from businesses. Seventy-four percent of consumers say they have zero unread texts at any given time, and 83% of consumers respond to texts from businesses within 30 minutes or less based on Zipwhip’s 2019 State of Texting report.
No, customers won’t mind if you send them a text (granted that you have their consent first): Seventy-three percent of all respondents to a recent Zipwhip survey said they wish more businesses texted them.
How to request a Google reviewJust like you would an email, you’ll need to provide a Google My Business link in your text. Here’s how to do that if you need a refresher. In your request message, consider the following:
- Give a reason why you want their review. Even if the reason is as simple as it allows your business to improve, it will increase the likelihood of them clicking on your link and taking the time to write a review.
- Ask for feedback, not a positive review. You want to be genuine in your ask. Specifically asking for a positive review may seem like you’re not really interested in what your customer has to say.
- Don’t ask for a review in exchange for something. Don’t offer an incentive to leave a review, such as a coupon; Google advises against it.
- Don’t wait too long. You want to ask for your review within a reasonable amount of time. The impression of your business may be out of mind if you wait too long to ask.
Sample text templates to get Google reviews
Handling texts with your customers is more manageable when you have business-texting software installed on your desktop. Not only do you have the convenience of managing texts from a bigger screen, but you’ll have invaluable features that you can’t get on a personal phone.
Such as Scheduled Messages that will help you maintain a regular process of asking customers for reviews. You could schedule a text to go out a week after a purchase or a day after they visit your store.
Or features like Keywords that let the reviews come to you. You could set up the Keyword REVIEW and advertise it on your receipts, on a sign at your front desk or window and on your website. When a customer texts the Keyword to your existing landline, VoIP or toll-free business phone number, they can get an auto-reply message with your Google My Business link.
Here are a few SMS templates to use when asking customers for a review.
Food and Beverage
Hey, there! Thanks for taking the time to write a review about your experience with us. We appreciate any and all feedback; it helps us make improvements to our menu and customer service. Just follow the link to get started. Hope to see you again soon! (insert link)
Hi, [First Name]! It’s [My First Name] from (Business Name). Thanks for stopping by yesterday to open an account with us. If you have a few minutes, could you leave us a review about your experience? Your feedback not only helps us to make improvements, but it’s also valuable insight for potential members who look for us online. Have a great day, and we’ll see you soon. (insert link)
Thanks for choosing (Business Name). We appreciate you taking a few minutes to leave us a review. We read every comment and use the feedback to make our salon better for you, so thanks so much for helping us out. Have a great day, and we hope to see you again very soon. (insert link)
Hi, [First Name]! Thanks for being a (Business Name) member for the last month! We’re always striving to make our facilities the best place to reach your fitness goals, but we can only improve with help from member feedback. If you have time, could you leave us a review on Google? We’d really appreciate it. Thank you! (insert link)
[My First Name] – (Business Name) – Reply STOP to unsubscribe
Want more information on how to use texting to better communicate with your customers? Download our e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. 👇