As we always say: The more Google reviews your business has, the more trustworthy you look to customers. After all, Google reviews are one of the first things your customers see when they do a search for your business. So let’s talk about how you can get more Google reviews and make a great online reputation to potential customers.
Luckily, there’s something easy you can do: sending review requests to your customers. There are a lot of customers out there who love your business, but just need a push in the right direction in order to leave a review. Research shows that 70% of customers say that they’ll leave a review if asked.
Of course, asking 100 customers for reviews won’t get you 70 reviews overnight. Even happy customers might not follow through with leaving a review if the process takes too much effort. The customer would have to physically find your business on Google My Business and then leave a review. But there’s an easier way. Here are five quick steps that businesses need to easily gather lots of genuine customer feedback.
How to Send Effective Review Requests
Step 1 – Claim Your Google My Business Profile
There are lots of different review sites on the Internet and it’s important that your business gets lots of new reviews on all of them.
However, Google is currently the dominant review platform. To make sure that your business looks appealing to both potential and existing customers, it’s important that you claim your Google My Business profile.
After all, your Google My Business profile is the first thing that potential customers see when they do a Google search for your business. Once you claim your profile, you’ll be able to update it with information like your address and phone number. Just adding a few high-definition photos from inside your store can make your business look significantly more appealing.
If you own an existing business, chances are that you already have a Google My Business profile. All you have to do is find it and claim it. If you don’t have a Google My Business profile and need to create one, click here.
Step 2 – Get a direct short link to your business
Once your Google My Business profile is claimed, there’s a really easy first step that you can take: claiming a direct short link to your business. Though it might seem like an insignificant detail, a short link makes your Google My Business page significantly more easy to share with your customers.
Recently, Google started rolling out this new feature allowing businesses to create their own direct short links. A short link is a custom URL that you choose for your Google My Business profile, and it looks a lot better than the default string of numbers and letters. Plus they’re much easier to share in-person and on marketing materials. Though not all businesses have this feature available yet, your personalized Google review link is definitely something you want to take advantage of when it’s made widely available in the coming months.
Step 3 – Send Review Request Texts and Emails
Asking customers for reviews in-person is great, but as we said earlier, it’s often not enough. In order to get great results, you need to make the process as easy as possible for customers. After all, a perfectly happy customer might happily agree to leave a review, but then not want to go to the trouble of actually finding your Google My Business profile.
To get the best results, you should send review request texts and emails to your customers. These texts and emails link directly to your Google My Business profile. All the customer has to do is click the link and leave a review. The process is quick and easy.
Step 4 – Keep timing in mind
The longer you wait to send a review request, the less likely it is that the customer will leave a review. It’s usually not a good idea to send a review request to a customer a month after the sale. After all, the customer might no longer have a clear recollection of the experience they had and even if they walked out of your store perfectly happy, they may no longer be willing to leave a review. If they do leave a review, it might not be based on a clear memory of the actual transaction and might not be helpful in terms of providing authentic feedback to customers.
Make sure that you’re sending review requests on a regular basis. This way you’ll be sending review requests to customers right when they’re most likely to actually review your business. We’ve found that the best time to send review requests is on the same day as the sale. The longer you wait, the more the customer’s memory of the transaction will fade and the less likely they will be to leave a review.
Step 5 – Make sure to send review requests to all your customers
You want to make sure that you’re sending review requests to all your customers, not just a select group. After all, the more review requests you send out, the more Google reviews you’ll end up getting.
Plus, “review gating”, the practice of only sending review requests to a select group of customers, is prohibited by Google. If your business is discovered review gating, you face the risk of facing a penalization by Google and your business will show up lower in search rankings.
Plus, it’s doubtful whether review gating provides any real benefit to businesses anyway. If you’re only sending reviews to customers who you’re sure will leave positive reviews, you’re missing out on a lot of customers who would still want to leave a good review, along with constructive feedback from negative reviews.
But wait, what if my review requests lead to negative reviews?
When you ask all of your customers for reviews, chances are that you’ll probably get a negative review here and there. That’s nothing to worry about. Even the best businesses get negative reviews. Customers don’t expect your business to have all positive reviews.
A study by Spiegel Research Center showed that customers are more likely to buy from a business with some negative reviews rather than all positive reviews. Negative reviews show customers that your business is getting real feedback from your customers.
Get More Google Reviews with Online Reputation Management
Let’s be honest. Manually sending review requests is tough. With all the work that goes into running a business, it’s hard to make time for sending emails and texts to all your recent customers.
Luckily, you don’t have to give up on getting lots of reviews for your business. With online reputation management software, sending review requests is easier than ever. With an integration with your Customer Relationship Management system, BirdEye can send automatic review requests to your customers. While you’re off taking care of important and urgent matters, BirdEye can make sure that your still sending review requests to maintain a fantastic public perception of your business.
Send More Review Requests with Online Reputation Management
Review requests are only the beginning. BirdEye helps businesses stay on top of every aspect of customer feedback. The BirdEye dashboard allows businesses to automatically send review requests, monitor and respond to reviews from over 150+ sites on a single dashboard, and automatically share 5-star reviews on social media.