Google reviews are vital for any business. They provide social proof, improve visibility and increase revenue. And with potential customers comparing your business with others, the best way to stand out is to get as many reviews as possible.
How Can I Increase My Google Reviews?
It’s easy to say that you should strive to get as many Google reviews as possible, but how do you do it? The truth is there is no formula to it. You have to ask.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can ask for these reviews. Some of these ways include:
Ask for reviews using email.
Studies show that over 70% of reviews come from post-transactional review request emails, so if you are getting started in the email review collection journey, this is an excellent place to start.
All you have to do is to tie your reviews to the transactions that have already happened. For example, after a customer has bought a service through your website, give them a few days, then send them an email asking them about their experience with the service.
Other tips that will ensure you have an easy time collecting Google reviews using email include:
Acknowledge your customers
Your customers need to feel you know them, so when you send them an email, acknowledge them by their name. Don’t use the usual cliché “Dear Customer….”
Remember, you can have the best-worded email but have minor success if your email feels canned and impersonal, so always include the customer’s name in your greeting. For example, you can use “Hi Charles,” “Hey Catherine,” and so on.
It also doesn’t hurt mentioning the customer’s name in the email’s body.
Keep it short
Even if your customers are loyal and satisfied with your service, they will not spend 30 minutes filling out a survey, so make your email short and sweet.
Have a few and relevant questions and word them in an easy-to-understand manner. For example, if you are sending your customers an email asking for reviews about a particular service they bought, mention the service’s name and give them instructions on how to leave a review.
It will even be easier if you can give the customers a link to the site you want them to leave a review and even include instructions on how to go about it
Again, your customers need to feel valued, so don’t ignore it when they leave a review. Acknowledge that you have seen it, and you appreciate the effort.
Responding to the message is even more important if the customer has left you a negative review.
Upon receiving the negative review, respond to it immediately and address the pain point.
Ask for reviews using the mobile phone.
Phone messages provide an excellent opportunity to ask for reviews, and this is due to these reasons:
- 90% of phone messages are read within 3 minutes
- Phone messages have a 98% open rate compared to the 40-50% email open rate.
Like with emails, you need to be cautious about how you craft your message. You even need to be more cautious with mobile messages as you are limited on the number of words you can include.
The key to success with phone messages is to be short, direct to the point, and obviously, include a link to the site where you want the customers to leave their reviews.
Remember, like with email; you need to make your customers feel you know and value them. Do this by referring them by their name.
Ask for reviews in your newsletters.
Do you send newsletters to your customers, updating them about your business and new services? You should take advantage of the connection you have built and ask for reviews as you send the newsletters.
An excellent way to go about it is to dedicate a special area below the newsletter’s main body. Here, ask your customers to give their feedback about your business’s latest services or experiences.
The beauty is you don’t need to be fancy about your wording. Use something as simple as, “Tell us about your recent experience with our business. Did you like it?”
Remember to have a call to action with a link to the page where you want the customers to leave their feedback.
Ask for reviews on Social media.
With everyone being on social media, every serious business should have a social media presence and a strategy to interact with its customers on the various platforms.
If your business has a strong online presence and interacts with its customers regularly, occasionally send a message to your customers asking them to leave their feedback about their recent experience with your business.
To nudge them to take the initiative, let them know that their voice is important to your business. And like with all the other review collection methods, have a link pointing to the page where you want to collect the reviews.
Ask for reviews after helping a customer.
Is your business customer-support-heavy? You can use the opportunity to collect many reviews.
While this is a highly effective way to collect reviews, you need to be strategic about how you go about it. As a rule of thumb, be timely with your request.
For example, it would be unwise to ask for the review after you have spent hours trying to diagnose a complex problem as, at this time, the customer is most likely irritated, and they are more likely to leave you a scathing review.
The best time to ask for a review is after you have easily fixed a problem and the customer has proclaimed satisfaction with the service rendered.
If you solved the problem over the phone, as you are concluding the conversation, let them know that you would love it if they shared their experience and then proceed to send them a message to their phone or email bearing a link to the site where you want them to leave their feedback.
Besides this making your customer feel appreciated and valued, it will increase their loyalty, and when you repeatedly do this, it’s a matter of time before you have an army of raving fans in your arsenal.
Ask for a review in person.
Sometimes you can go to great lengths to get a review while all you need to do is ask for it. While it might be intimidating facing someone and asking for their feedback, it’s highly effective when done right, and you get genuine feedback.
The easiest way to get the review is when a customer approaches you with unsolicited praise about your service. When they tell you how happy they are with your service, express your appreciation but don’t stop there. Ask them to leave their feedback on your review platform of choice and explain the benefit of this.
Of course, don’t make them search for your profile to leave the feedback—give it to them.
The best time to ask for a review is when the customer approaches you, but this rarely happens, so you need to be proactive, and the beauty is you only need to strike up a conversation.
For example, if the customer has been walking in your store for some time, ask them whether they are having a problem finding what they are looking for.
If the customers have already found what they are looking for or have just provided them with a service, ask them about their experience.
Many people make the mistake of going straight to asking their customers to visit the various online review platforms and leaving them reviews, but you shouldn’t do this as the customer might have the impression that you only care about getting a review and you don’t care about their experience.
Even if the customer answers that they had a great time and they were satisfied with your services, don’t push them to leave you a review. Be observant of their conduct. How did they answer the question? If the answer was short and indicative that they weren’t interested in talking, don’t force it. Let them go on with their life.
On the other hand, if they are chatty and keep singing your praises, proceed with the conversation and as you are ending, ask them to share what they said about your business in an online review.
To make it even easy for them to leave the review, ask for their phone number or email so that you can send them a direct link to your business.
Asking for a review on your website
Chances are your customers visit your website to learn more about your business and the services you provide, and you can collect reviews at this point.
One way to approach it is to have a message at the bottom of every page asking your website readers to give their feedback about their recent experience with your business.
If you don’t want this, you can have a dedicated testimonials page on your website with collected reviews. Ask your website visitors to help other customers know about their experiences by leaving a review. Remember to include links to all the sites that your customers can leave their feedback.
Ways to get Google reviews!
Valuable tips as you are asking for reviews
Don’t incentivize: Don’t incentivize your customers with gifts or discounts to leave a review, as this is against the terms and regulations of most online review platforms, including Google.
While you might get away with this, giving an incentive to your customers can lead to delusory reviews as the customers will simply be leaving the reviews for the incentives.
Don’t buy reviews: The same way you shouldn’t incentivize the reviewers, you shouldn’t buy reviews as you won’t have the real picture of your business. You also risk getting your Google my business account banned by Google.
Ask for reviews: Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. Studies show that 67% of people are willing to have their voice heard, so all you need to do is ask. Of course, some won’t want to spend their time leaving a review, but the majority will be happy to let the world know about their experience.
Respond to reviews: When a customer leaves a review, always respond to it as a way to show your acknowledgment and appreciate the customer for taking their time to write the review. Responding to the review is also a way to build customer relationships that can help you retain the customers for even a very long time.
Make it easy for the customers to leave a review: Finally, you need to ensure the process is easy and flawless. As we have been saying, don’t wait for your customers to search for the target review site and then find your profile—give all of this in a link, so they don’t have to do anything else other than creating an account and leaving their feedback.
Google my business review management
It’s vital to ask and collect as many reviews as possible, but you shouldn’t stop there—you should take steps to manage these reviews so you don’t get too many one-star negative reviews that will tarnish your image.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do this manually, as there are plenty of online tools such as Score My Reviews that will help you with Google review management tools.
All you need to do is enter the name and contact details of the customer you are looking to collect a review from, and the software will send them a message asking them about their experience with your business. You can choose to send the message to the customer’s email address or phone number.
Before the customer is asked to give their feedback, they are asked to rate their likelihood to recommend your services to other people.
The customers that respond that they are likely to recommend your business are directed to the review site of your choice while those that give a low score indicating that they are less likely to recommend your business are directed to a private page where they are asked the reasons for the low score.
The information is then sent to you. It doesn’t get published on online review sites.