Providing a positive experience to potential and existing customers can become your business's key to long-term success. Other businesses can offer the same or similar products and services as yours, but the quality of your customer experience can set you apart.
But how can you determine whether the experience you're currently providing is sufficient for your customers? Is there any way to identify which strategies are appealing (or not appealing) to your customers? Sending SMS review requests can provide answers to all of these questions.
As the name suggests, review requests are SMS messages sent by businesses to encourage customers to review their customer experience. Request reviews SMS is crucial for businesses as it provides vital information on whether customers are happy with their experience.
If you're curious about a review request — how it works and why it's important — this article will provide all the information you'll need. Here, we'll discuss SMS review requests, so you can send one that's sure to encourage customers to leave a review.
A review request is a message created and sent by businesses to ask for customer feedback. Aside from using SMS, businesses can also ask for more customer reviews using other channels, such as emails, live chat, and push notifications (if the business has an app).
Businesses will use review requests to ask customers to share their online reviews about a specific brand via Google reviews, social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), or a review site (like Tripadvisor and Yelp).
For the customer's convenience, a review request usually contains a review link to the business's website, social media site, or Google Business profile. Once redirected, customers will be encouraged to leave a review.
Requesting reviews usually involves the following steps:
There are plenty of ways to ask for your customers' numbers. For example, you can offer promos and discounts to potential customers after they visit your website in exchange for their phone numbers. You can also reward loyal customers when signing them up for exclusive programs and ask for their phone numbers as a requirement.
The SMS template you'll use will affect your ability to collect reviews from customers. Use one that feels too robotic or disingenuous, and none of your loyal or new customers will respond once you send SMS review requests.
Any SMS review request should be sent with a template that's short, direct, and has a friendly tone. Here are some examples:
Hi (customer's name)! Would you consider leaving a Google review (insert your business profile URL here) to share your experience with us? Your honest feedback will help our business improve. Thank you!
Hello (customer's name)! We would love to hear your feedback about your experience with us. Please click on this review link (insert link here) and leave us a review. Your feedback helps our business in more ways than one. Thank you!
Hi there, (customer's name)! Thanks for doing business with us! How was your experience? We would love to hear your feedback! Thank you very much! (Insert your business's Yelp profile URL or phone number here).
The third example is intended for gathering reviews through review sites like Yelp. Yelp's review policy prohibits businesses from directly asking customers to write reviews.
While you can't ask for reviews outright, you can include a link to your company's Yelp profile in your SMS review requests after a transaction, as shown in the example above.
Sending a review request manually is time-consuming and stressful. This is especially true if your business accommodates hundreds of customers every day. How can you maximize your staff's skills if they're too occupied with creating and sending SMS review requests?
Investing in an SMS marketing tool is essential for businesses to send SMS review requests. These tools enable you to send review requests to several individuals simultaneously within minutes. This guarantees more online reviews and better use of in-house talents.
An SMS marketing tool also automates the entire process and allows you to schedule when you're going to send a review request text. This ensures consistency and saves your business resources.
Before you request reviews from customers, it's important to ask for their opt-in first. This means you have to ask for their approval before sending them any SMS review requests.
Asking for customers' opt-in helps improve branding because you won't bombard uninterested customers with countless SMS requests. Receiving several review requests in a day can be frustrating for some and might cause them to dislike your brand.
Here's an example of an effective opt-in message:
Thanks for doing business with Company XYZ! Please reply YES to consent to receive SMS messages from our team.
Never send review request texts to customers who haven't sent their opt-in. As stated in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, businesses can get fined for sending unsolicited SMS messages to customers.
As we all know, a short service message or SMS is a text message sent using a mobile network to a user's phone. SMS has a 160-character limit, which is why it's best used in sending simple and short messages.
Nowadays, businesses worldwide use SMS messages in a number of ways: sending updates, offering promos, requesting reviews, and many more. Businesses choose to use this communication channel because it has an open rate of 98%, meaning almost all of the SMS sent are opened and read within 15 minutes of delivery.
Besides having an impressive open rate, using SMS to ask for reviews also offers other benefits, namely:
Not everyone has 24/7 access to the internet and to their email. This is the reason why many review requests sent thru email are ignored or left unnoticed.
SMS messaging is more personal and urgent, making it an excellent choice to supplement or improve your review requests emails. You can send an SMS request to remind customers about the emails you sent. Using the two together will increase your business's chances of securing more customer reviews.
Customers worldwide are on the lookout for anything that's convenient. The world is fast-paced, and customers would likely choose a business that offers them something that's instant.
Sending a review request via SMS is one of the best ways to adapt to the times. An SMS message is easily consumable, which means that recipients can digest your message and take action within minutes. This explains why text messages are answered within 90 seconds.
Unlike email marketing, SMS messaging is still a growing channel that not all businesses are familiar with. Research shows that 81% of small businesses use email marketing as their primary acquisition tool, while only 39% use SMS marketing.
Customers are often bombarded with emails from countless businesses worldwide, and using the same channel will keep you in your competitors' shadows. Stand out from the competition by sending review requests via SMS. This channel is more personal and warrants an immediate response from customers.
Sending SMS review requests isn't just about including your customer's name and business's review link; you need to be cautious about how you make and send the message, as this affects a customer's decision to respond. Even if the customer loved their experience doing business with you, if the SMS review request you've sent pressures them to leave five-star reviews, don't expect that they'll even open your review link.
If you don't have any experience making SMS templates for review requests, fret not! We're here to help. This section lists five of the best practices to follow when asking for reviews via SMS.
One of the reasons why SMS messages have better open and response rates compared to other communication channels is that people can skim SMS within seconds and still get the main idea. Even if SMS only allows 160 characters, review requests sent via SMS will still generate reviews as long as they are done right.
Don't go overboard when creating your SMS review requests. Be direct and tell customers exactly what you want from them. Ideally, your SMS request should start by thanking customers for doing business with you and proceed by asking them about their experience. That's it!
As mentioned, you only have 160 characters to pitch in your review request, so refrain from using jargon, abbreviations, or slang that would confuse or frustrate your customers. Maximize the SMS to focus on what matters the most — to gather more customer reviews.
Creating trusting relationships with customers is a foundation for every business's success. The more relationships you build, the easier it'll be for your business to thrive.
Offering a personalized approach to your SMS review requests is an excellent way of creating healthy relationships with existing and new customers. It's best if you use the customer name instead of generic titles, and mention the products or services they obtained from your business. For example, if a customer received the latest iPhone after waiting for it to be back in stock for months, ask them if their new purchase was worth the wait.
Personalization makes your communication feel "more human." This also makes it easier for your business to evoke emotions from customers and build lasting relationships with them — things that will significantly increase your chances of getting honest feedback.
People are always on the go, so be sure your review request texts include a direct link to your review form. No one has the time (or energy) to look for your business online and leave a review.
Depending on where you want to showcase the reviews left by your customers, the review link in your SMS review request can redirect customers to:
Including a review link in your SMS review request isn't enough to get customers to click on it. You need to include a good call-to-action or CTA button to encourage customers to take action ASAP.
You can ask directly (leave us a review today) or indirectly by mentioning your review platforms (find us on Google, Facebook, or Yelp) in your review request. Just avoid forcing your customers to leave good reviews or five-star reviews. You'll never know if your business met their expectations, and "manipulating" them to leave such reviews can shoo them away or put your brand in a bad light.
Utilize your review request texts to ask customers about their experience with your business and how they feel about your products and services. Asking for honest feedback shows that you care about what your customers think of your brand, and allow them to air out their opinions, regardless if they are negative or positive.
The timing of when you send SMS review requests can make or break your chances of gathering reviews from customers. Sending a review request too early will not help you get more customer reviews, as customers might need more time to experience your service or use your products. Conversely, customers will likely forget the entire experience they had with your business if you send SMS review requests too late.
The best time to send a review request via SMS is right after the customer experiences your product or service. For example, your business offers food delivery services to residents in your area. Asking if the food delivery was seamless and convenient right after the delivery will garner better reviews because the experience is still fresh to the customer.
Sending review requests is a must for businesses to collect information that will determine whether your existing strategies satisfy customers. The information you gather through these reviews can help you streamline your resources as you can easily assess which areas of the business require improvements and which ones don't drive results.
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