Explore all the strategies and best practices on utilizing texting as a means to ask for ratings and reviews for your business.
Soliciting customer feedback is widely accepted as best practice across industries—but why? Why are the opinions, feelings, and overall satisfaction of your customers important? Better yet, why is it worth your time to fish around for these opinions?
In addition to exploring why this “evil” is so necessary, we’ll provide strategies to use text messaging as a way to get more online customer reviews for your business.
Why Are Customer Reviews and Testimonies Important?
Over the last few years, as society has become progressively more digital, the emphasis on customer experience has been heightened. It has reached a point where your business’ Yelp review page will often show up before your own website’s URL on search engines. Opinions matter, and the internet is… forever. So continually auditing your customers opinion’s on your goods and services is essential in order to maintain growth.
Customer reviews aren’t just tools for your business, they can also be useful to consumers as well. Here are a few more reasons why collecting feedback is essential to your operations.
Customer Feedback Can Forecast Financial Performance
If your customers are satisfied, they’re generating plenty of buzz on your behalf. Happy customers are social customers, and an organic social presence is a good tool for increasing sales. If you’re in the nonprofit industry, and sales aren’t necessarily your goal, donor satisfaction is still just as important to help you forecast funds for the year based off in-kind donation predictions.
Staying ahead of the curve means always looking forward to your next step. And using customer satisfaction is a fairly accurate predictor for your business’ financial month, quarter, or year! Think of it like a quantitative crystal ball.
Asking for Reviews Shows You Care
Your business clearly benefits from a 5-star Yelp review, but customers seldom take action unless there’s something in it for them. While offering incentives for reviews can be a helpful tool, it’s important not to overlook the intrinsic value asking for a review possesses. By soliciting customer feedback you’re implying that your business really cares about what your customers have to say. By making them feel heard and valued you’re priming people for repeat business and positive word of mouth.
However, if you collect reviews and do nothing to communicate thanks or demonstrate change based on feedback, you can quickly sour customer opinion. Just as you showed them you cared by asking, you can quickly show them you don’t care by ignoring their answers. Taking serious feedback into consideration quickly can double the impact for your customer.
Data is a Valuable Tool
What you don’t want to do after collecting piles of ratings and reviews is save them in a folder and watch them collect dust. These materials are full of rich data that can do so much more than drive sales and visibility.
Making business decisions in a silo is dangerous, and can lead to some easily avoidable fumbles. As the saying goes “know your market before you go to market.” Dipping in to your pool of reviews can provide your marketing and development team valuable insight into how customers prefer to be communicated with, and what they’d like to see come next from your business.
How to Send a Review Request via SMS
Collecting customer feedback has become one of the most popular ways to utilize our text marketing platform. With automated ease on the backend, and added touches of personalization for recipients, everyone is getting exactly what they need out of the messaging.
Whatever feedback collection strategy you choose, there’s a way to make it work with SMS. To demonstrate, we’ll explore one of the most common methods, NPS.
Creating a Text Message NPS Survey
Also known as the “Net Promoter Score,” NPS is the gold standard in assessing customer experience. NPS surveys consist of a two-part questionnaire. Part 1 consists of customers rating your business, product, service, etc on a scale from 0 to 10. Part 2 follows up with an open-ended question probing deeper into the way respondents scored the way they did. There’s a standard NPS format that can be used as is, but customization is often favored for responses more in line with the goals of your campaign.
Step 1: Keywords
The first step in your NPS survey is creating a keyword specific to your business or product. When soliciting feedback from your audience, you will instruct them to text this keyword to your number or short code. For example, “Text REVIEW to 555888 to let us know what you thought about your recent purchase!”
When a customer opts in using a keyword, they automatically receive a confirmation message. You’ll want to change the confirmation message to something like: Thanks for agreeing to take our two question survey. Please wait a moment and we’ll send you the questions!
Step 2: Build Custom Fields
Next, you’ll want to trigger the data collection tool which will help you organize responses into categories. This begins by creating two custom fields. Name the fields fields Q1 and Q2.
Step 3: Send Your SMS Format Feedback Questions
Next you’ll want to open up the data collection app, select your keyword, and select the two custom fields you created.
Next to the Q1 field, type the text:
“On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being highest, what’s the likelihood that you would recommend us (our company) to a friend or colleague?”
Next to the Q2 field, type the text:
“Tell us a bit more about why you chose that score?”
When a user opts in with the keyword, they will now automatically receive these questions.
💡SimpleTexting Tip: If you offered an incentive for rating a product, create an additional custom field (titled Q3) that prompts for the recipients email or address to be mailed their gift, and incorporate that into the data collection sequence.
“Thanks for taking the time to submit your rating. Please respond with your email and we will send you your Amazon e-gift card.”
Step 4: Autoresponders (Optional)
If you’re interesting in following up with respondents who answered a certain way, you’ll want to set up a corresponding segment and autoresponder. This however is completely optional. For example, if you want to send people who respond favorably a request to post a review on google or Facebook, you’ll want to set up a segment for responses greater than or equal to 7. From there create a new autoresponder to be sent to that segment after a delay.
Presto! All of your responses will now download neatly organized by question. Adding additional follow up is as easy as repeating the segment → autoresponder sequence above.
Texting Links to Surveys
While creating an NPS survey sequence from your SimpleTexting dashboard is a great way to bake data collection directly into your strategy, you can just as easily utilize other popular survey tools, like Survey Monkey, via SMS.
With our link tracking feature you can send out links to these external survey sites and track who is opening and completing your questionnaires.
By texting out your survey as opposed to emailing, snail mailing, or cold calling, you’re opening yourself up to much higher read and response rates. Over 98% of text messages are read, and the response rate is over 8 times higher than email! Folks can text their response to your questions from anywhere, no internet access required, and most importantly they can do it on the go.
No matter which approach you take for collecting ratings, texting out your survey will statistically guarantee you a greater pool of respondents.
How to Use SimpleTexting to Ask For Reviews and Testimonies
The main difference between ratings and reviews is an internal vs. external focus. The information gathered from ratings, as demonstrated above, is typically used internally for product/service improvement purposes. Reviews, however, have more external benefits. They are the public’s unbiased glimpse into your business. They influence consumer behavior, drive sales, and more.
Encouraging your subscribers to leave a review involves a different strategy with a certain…delicacy.
When you’re asking for a review you don’t want to:
- Sound pushy
- Bribe your customers
- Encourage dishonesty for a good review
These may sound obvious, but they still need to be said. Especially if you’ve ever purchased something that was so well reviewed and been wildly disappointed in the product. There’s no fury greater than that of a shopper scorned.
Instead what you want to do is…
- Provide anonymity
- Provide actual value and focus your reviews on that
- Offer acceptable incentives
The line between bribing and incentivizing can be thin. In order to stay on the acceptable (and legal) side of things, be sure to let customers know that they will receive the gift no matter what kind of review they leave.
When is The Best Time to Ask For Product Reviews?
This varies from industry to industry, but it ranges from 14-21 days depending on your product or service. Bigger purchases, or ones intended to last a while like a washing machine or computer, tend towards 21 days. Other material products like makeup or clothing are closer to 14 days.
On the flip side, you also have products that require requests for reviews to be sent ASAP. For example, in the food/beverage or hospitality industry you want to ask customers for their opinions while their experience is fresh. In that case you’ll want to send your requests right after checkout or cash-out.
Using Business Texting to Ask For Customer Reviews
For something as personal as asking for a review, you want to connect one-on-one with a customer. Business texting allows to you do just that. When using texting as the medium for your request, there are a few steps you need to take.
- Monitor consumer behavior and reach out to customers at the appropriate time (as designated above).
- In your message be sure to personalize your ask with details about the customer and their purchase.
- Direct your customers exactly where you’d like them to leave the review with a link.
- Reiterate that the content of their review doesn’t impact the incentive.
To help you save time, you can create a template for this very message, complete with the custom field fillers for name and product. That way, when you tap a customer you’d like to ask for a review, you can send them your curated ask with the click of a button.
Final Thoughts on Text to Rate and Review
86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34). If the importance of the customers voice still doesn’t resonate, this statistic should put things in perspective.
As valuable as customer feedback is, the process of collecting it shouldn’t be a burden. Among the many other reasons why text marketing is a valuable tool, using it to send out surveys and ask for reviews is a return on investment in itself.
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