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We all understand how important reviews and social proof is for your business. Just think of the steps you take when you’re looking for a new product or service. You may ask your friends or network for referrals, but you will most definitely check online reviews. 

97% of consumers report that “customer reviews” influence their purchasing decisions.

Source: Spiegel Research Center

Why focus on Google My Business?

Reviews on Google My Business are some of the most visible reviews that exist for local businesses as they appear right on the search result page when people are searching for your product or service. Not only are they incredibly visible, reviews using words that match your products and services can also help your rankings for certain search terms.

Users can search reviews for common words if they relate to your business when they are mentioned enough times in your reviews. This is important because it allows searchers to see not only the types of services or products you are most known for, but also what you are like to work with, showing terms like, “pleasure” and “excellent customer service”. 

So, just how do you ask your happy customers for reviews on Google My Business? 

That’s what we’re going to walk you through!

Have a plan – Ask!

First off, have a current plan to ask your customers for reviews. Asking for a review at the time of service or transaction can greatly increase the chance of your customer leaving a review, especially after a very positive interaction.

Oh, and we also have this neat-o FREE review app so you can email or text a customer a request for a review as well. This makes it even easier for you and your team to ask for reviews at the time of service or whenever there’s a great customer experience! 

72% of customers will write a review if a local business asks them to.
source: Bright Local

Asking in person is the most effective review strategy, however, follow-up emails and phone calls can work great too. Have an email ready to go to ask for a review, just make sure to customize it for each customer whenever possible. 

Need help deciding what to say? We’ve got you covered! 3 Email Templates for Local Businesses Asking for Reviews

Make it Personal

Whenever possible, make it a personal request. If your business has individuals who work more closely with your customers, like field techs, sales reps, or on-site installers, have them ask for the reviews when they are still face-to-face with your customer. 

72% of US consumers have written a review for a local business–a huge increase from just 66% in 2019. 

Make it Timely

If it’s not possible to ask for a review at the time of sale or service, just make sure you are asking as soon as you can so you are still front of mind for your customer. If too much time passes they may not remember the details of their experience. The review may be less genuine or you may not get one at all.

How to direct people to the correct link 

You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave you a glowing review, so instead of asking them to search for your Google My Business page, it’s best to provide a quick link to your leave a review section. This can be a bit tricky to find, so we were excited when Google finally added a review link you can access in your GMB dashboard. 

Here are the steps to find it:

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to manage.
  3. In the left menu, click Home.
  4. In the “Get more reviews” card, you can copy your short URL to share with customers.

Follow up

It’s OK to follow up with your customer if they haven’t left a review. Life gets busy and people forget. Remember, the review is more important to you than it is to them. Ask nicely and don’t pester. 

Respond to reviews

When someone leaves a review for you, you should be notified as the owner or manager of the Google My Business listing.
When you can, be sure to log in and reply to the review. A simple “thank you” is great, but replying with a more personal response and including specifics about their experience adds so much more value not only to your customer who left the review, but for people reading it in the future. 

Example:

“Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer! We’re so glad you enjoyed our live music Saturday at the winery and look forward to seeing you again.”

Google wants business owners to use this feature so much, it has even confirmed that frequent and timely responses can actually help your search ranking!

This of course goes for both positive and negative reviews. If you do receive a negative review, make sure you are responding to it as soon as you can. This isn’t the place to get defensive, just to address the concern. Remember, when you are responding to a public negative review, you are also responding to the people who will read the review in the future, not only the person who actually left the review. This can be your place to build trust as consumers can learn a lot about a company from how they respond to negative reviews. 

If you need some guidance on how to respond to negative reviews, we’ve got you covered there too!

The Small Business Guide to Responding to Negative Reviews

Some no-nos

Rewards for good reviews

Do not give rewards for leaving a good review. It’s against Google’s TOU and can get your GMB listing banned. Just don’t do it!

Review gating

Review gating is a process where businesses ask for customer feedback in an email or separate form, and only if that initial feedback is good, are they asked to leave a review on Google. It’s pre-screening for reviews and Google doesn’t allow it. 

OK, you are ready! Still need help? Drop us a line.

 

Happy reviewing!