How to Ask for Google Reviews: The Dos and Don’ts

Aino ValtonenAino Valtonen
Last edited: February 12th, 2024

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Having Google reviews is essential for any business. They help your online visibility and attract customers.

Keeping new Google reviews flowing in constantly is important, as people quickly disregard reviews that are too old.

But reviews don’t come for free. Especially the positive reviews from happy customers. You need to keep asking for them proactively.

However, it’s important to do it right to avoid coming across as pushy or spammy. 

In this article, we’ll introduce 6 ways to ask for Google reviews. We also go over the dos and don’ts of asking for Google reviews to help you get more positive feedback while maintaining a professional image.

TLDR; I just want the 6 ways to ask for online reviews
  1. Review request form
  2. Using an automated + customizable email template
  3. In person
  4. QR codes
  5. Website CTAs
  6. Integrated to the end of a feedback process

So grab your notes – let’s dive in!

Importance of Google reviews

Google reviews are crucial for businesses as they heavily influence consumers’ decisions and are an important ranking factor

Potential customers often rely on reviews to determine if they want to engage with a business. 

Therefore, businesses should strive to maintain high ratings by consistently asking for and responding to reviews.

add review schema to gain leverage over competition

6 Ways to Get More Google Reviews

Let’s move on to the tangible strategies you can employ for soliciting online reviews.

User identification:

1. Optimized review request form

Most customers are willing to leave a review if they have an easy way to do so. 

What would be easier than a super simple form that

  • Works on mobile,
  • Can be distributed via multiple channels, and
  • Provides the customer with clear instructions?

The advantages of such a form include:

  • Fast to fill out.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can be sent via email, SMS, or QR code.
  • Can include questions and prompts that guarantee a well-rounded review and rid the customer of writer’s block.
  • You can even include reviews from previous customers on the form itself for inspiration.

Where do you get one of these magical forms?

Trustmary offers them free of charge up to 20 responses. Get started below

2. Email requests

Now that you know there is a customer review template you can use, it’s time to find the perfect vessel for delivering it.

The first option is simple email automation. 

It ensures that requesting reviews is a seamless and automatic part of the customer journey. It does not depend on whether you remember to send a request or have time to do it. The request will go out to every single customer.

You see, the more frequently you ask for reviews, the better chances you have to receive them.

The key in an email request is a powerful subject line. It determines if your request is opened or ignored.

Craft an amazing title, a brief but friendly message, and include the Google review form link.

This strategy requires that you have the customer’s email address. So, it’s not feasible for all brick-and-mortar businesses or restaurants, where customers come and go anonymously.

3. Face-to-face

Who could say no to leaving a review if they are asked to do so in a conversation?

If possible, solicit an online review when you have met up with a customer personally.

It can be when you are wrapping up a project, or after a successful support meeting.

Just make sure that you provide an easy way for the customer to leave the review. Send them a link via email or text message to make the task quick.

Or use a QR code!

4. QR codes

What if you don’t have the customer’s email address nor time or a chance to talk to them face-to-face?

QR codes are a great alternative to distributing a Google review request. They work especially well for open events, fairs, cinemas, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other places where people visit anonymously and freely without a reservation.

Just generate a QR code that leads to your review request form, print it out, and put it in a prominent spot where people can use it. 

To make the best impression and evoke more interest, design a stylish and branded poster or flyer for the QR code.

5. Website CTA

People have a lower threshold for leaving a review when they see reviews left by previous customers.

This immediately gets people’s subconscious running wild: “If others are leaving reviews, I might as well too.” This phenomenon is called social proof.

Therefore, one great way to request online reviews to Google is to set up a Google review widget that displays your best reviews on your website. Complement it with a CTA button that directs the visitor to leave a new Google review.

If you think adding Google reviews widget to your website is hard, check the three-step process below.

how to add a google review widget

6. Include it in your feedback process

Last but not least: if you have a feedback process in place, include a Google review request as a part of it.

How does that work?

Well, when you send customer feedback surveys, you can add one more step. When the customer leaves a comment or even just a good rating on your feedback survey, you can ask them to paste the same comment on the Google review page.

It’s easy – they have already written the comment, and now all they need to do is copy and paste it. You provide a direct link and the whole thing takes around 10 seconds.

Now that we have gone through the ways in which you can solicit Google reviews, we can move on to the finer art of it all.

The Dos of Asking for Google Reviews

These additional tips will help you create the perfect Google review request.

  1. To do it effectively, timing is key. Ask at the right moment when customers are most satisfied. 
  2. Personalize your request, and give clear directions for how to leave the review. 
  3. Offering incentives can be effective, but they should be for leaving a review, not for a positive review. 
  4. Don’t beg for reviews or use a generic request. Keep it professional and concise. 
  5. Ultimately, consistency is the key to success.

First, let’s review some of the good practices for asking for a review.

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything when it comes to asking for Google reviews. Happy customers are more likely to leave great reviews.

It’s important to ask customers at a time when they are the happiest with your service or product.

This could mean asking for reviews immediately after a purchase or after a positive interaction with a customer service representative. 

Great Time to Ask for a Google review

  1. With the purchase as a QR code
  2. Few days after purchase to get first impressions & recent experience
  3. Few weeks post purchase to give time to use product or service
  4. A few months after purchase: The customer can talk more about the usefulness and quality in long-term use

To make sure you are requesting a Google review at the right time, use Trustmary’s collection flow.

The first step measures the customer’s satisfaction levels, and the second one asks for a review. This is very useful, for example, for doctors looking to get Google reviews.

That being said, it only makes sense to ask for each customer to leave one Google review. Review gating is a big no-no.

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives is a great way to encourage customers to leave a review on Google. Here are some key points to consider when offering incentives:

  • Be transparent: Let customers know that they will receive an incentive for leaving a review upfront.
  • Keep it small: Incentives don’t need to be big or expensive. Even a small discount or free item can be enough to motivate customers.
  • Offer something relevant: Make sure the incentive is something that your customers will find useful or desire.
  • Don’t tie the incentive to a positive review: Never offer incentives solely for positive reviews as it is against Google’s policy.
  • Avoid incentivizing employees: It is against Google’s policy to incentivize your employees to leave reviews.
  • Use language that incentivizes feedback and not just raving reviews. (“help us”, “tell us”, “two minutes to leave us a review”, “why are you choosing us” etc.)

Even though incentives can motivate customer feedback, oftentimes it’s not necessary.

Many loyal customers are willing to leave a review as a sign of gratitude for great service.

Personalize Review Requests

Personalizing the request means tailoring the message to the recipient in a unique and genuine way. It’s important to avoid using a generic request that doesn’t show any effort or connection. 

To personalize the request for a Google review, use the customer’s name and mention a specific interaction or experience that stood out. This shows that the request isn’t just a copy-paste message, but a thoughtful request based on a relationship with the customer. It also increases the likelihood of the customer leaving a review because they feel valued and appreciated. 

Asking with

“Hey Mike! We hope you liked the shoes you bought from us a few weeks back. Have you been happy with your purchase? Let us know to help us improve ❤️ Feel free to share your personal experience with the following link”

vs.

“Hi. Please leave us a review on Google”

Yeah. Most people respond to the first, but not the latter.

Finally, remember that personalizing the request doesn’t mean being too informal or unprofessional. Strike a balance between friendliness and professionalism, all in relation to your brand’s voice.

Give Clear Directions

When asking for Google reviews, it’s essential to give clear instructions to your customers. 

Without specific instructions, customers may feel uncertain or confused about how to write and publish their reviews. 

Here are some tips on how to provide clear directions:

  • Use a Google review link to take customers directly to your Google profile
  • Provide easy-to-follow instructions for leaving a review on all devices (desktop, mobile, and tablet).
  • Use screenshots or videos to demonstrate how to leave a review if possible.
  • Make sure your instructions are concise and easy to understand, without any industry jargon or complicated terms.

You can also use a super simple Google review form that makes the process easy and fast.

The Don’ts of Asking for Google Reviews

Let’s move to the other side of the coin: things you shouldn’t do under any circumstances!

Don’t Offer Incentives for Positive Reviews Only

Seems contradictory to the earlier advice? Not really.

You shouldn’t offer incentives just for glowing reviews. Rather, be fair and transparent and offer it to anyone who bothers to respond.

Instead of faking your online reputation, focus on providing excellent services and customer experience that inspires customers to write those positive reviews on their own.

💡 Pro Tip: Review gating is not allowed either!

If you ask for customer feedback and the next step is to ask for Google reviews, make sure you ask all people to leave a review, not just the ones giving you a high mark.

Don’t be scared of negative reviews.

They teach you important lessons. And even if an upset customer is being unreasonable in their review, you can respond to it and make everything better.

Don’t Beg for Reviews

Asking for reviews is important, but begging for them is a big no. 

Begging can come across as desperate and unprofessional. 

Instead, make sure you give your customers an excellent experience and offer to remind them to leave a review. 

Ensure you’re not constantly asking the same customer for reviews. It can be avoided when you use smart automation flows that request reviews at the right time.

Finally, don’t use guilt tactics to convince customers to leave a review. Ask nicely and accept whatever response they give you.

Don’t Use a Generic Request

When you ask customers for a Google review, avoid using a generic request. 

A generic request sounds impersonal and is less likely to encourage a customer to leave a review. 

Rather than sending a blanket message to all customers, take the time to create personalized messages that show customers you value their opinion. 

Address the customer by name and mention a specific interaction or product they purchased from your business. This will make them feel more appreciated and more likely to leave a review.

simple way to personalize each message

Read how using personalized messaging leads to gathering more customer feedback and increasing NPS from 46 to 70!

Don’t Wait Too Long to Ask

Asking for Google reviews is all about timing. It’s important to ask for a review soon after a customer has made a purchase or received a service. 

If you wait too long, not only will the customer be less likely to remember their experience, but they’ll also be less motivated to write a review. 

The sooner you ask, the more likely they are to leave a review that accurately reflects their experience. 

Additionally, if you ask for a review weeks or months later, it’s possible that their experience has changed, and they may not leave as positive of a review as they would have earlier on. 

Strike while the iron is hot and ask for their feedback as soon as possible.

Quick Steps to Start First Review Request Campaign

Asking for Google reviews can be a powerful tool for businesses to attract new customers and build trust. 

Actively collecting new reviews has proven value, for example, for a social media scheduling tool, RecurPost.

Actively collecting reviews and integrating them into our marketing efforts has proven to be a valuable strategy for RecurPost, contributing to enhanced credibility, user trust, and improved conversion rates.

Debbie Moran, Marketing Manager @RecurPost

The company currently has 371 Google Play reviews and an additional 169 reviews on Capterra.

Consumers trust online reviews.

However, most businesses are not proactive enough. They wait for the customers to write reviews and aren’t taking any action themselves. This leads to a situation where only unsatisfied customers are motivated enough (by rage) to leave reviews, and the majority of happy customers don’t.

If you want to be effective with your Google review strategy, we got you covered.

Sign up for Trustmary and take control of your review game.

  1. Request reviews automatically at the right time
  2. Get notified about new reviews to respond to them, and
  3. Make use of the collected reviews in your marketing

Steps to Getting New Reviews

You can jumpstart your review collection or simply just start collecting new reviews organically to different review sites with Trustmary.

All you need to do is:

1. Sign up to Trustmary

You can start, for example, by typing your Google My Business location or business name below to get started.

That way, you can embed the existing reviews to your website while waiting to get new ones.

2. Create a new campaign

Choose what types of reviews you’d like to get:

  1. Google reviews
  2. Facebook reviews
  3. Capterra reviews and many more
  4. Or gather reviews directly to Trustmary

3. Customize Campaign Settings

As experts in review collection, we’ve thought about everything so that you don’t have to.

You can customize:

  • Messages and their tone of voice
  • Look of the survey (colors, fonts, variables used to personalize)
  • If and when reminders to answer are sent
  • What the reminder message says
customize review request campaign with easy steps

But if you’re in a hurry, you can just breeze through our simple onboarding in minutes – and send your first review request campaign.

FAQ

How do I ask customers for Google reviews?

You can ask customers for Google reviews by sending them a link via email, SMS, QR code, website embed, or asking face to face. However, the best way is to use Trustmary’s review campaigns, as we’ve done all the thinking for you. You can customize settings, but you can also just set up a review request campaign in minutes.

Without Trustmary, it’s up to you to find the best strategy based on your business model. If you have access to customers’ email addresses, the easiest way to ask for Google reviews is to do it via a review request form that is integrated into your feedback process. That way, you don’t even have to think about review requests, and you get them flying in.

Should I provide incentives for customers to leave Google reviews?

You can provide incentives for Google reviews, as long as you do it for each and every review you get.

If you only incentivize positive reviews, you are practically bribing your customers and also violating Google’s guidelines. That could be met with repercussions. Keep in mind that having only positive reviews is not realistic for most businesses, and your credibility might suffer if you try to rig the reviews.

What is the best time to ask for Google reviews?

The best time to ask for a Google review is after the customer has had a positive experience with your company. Most importantly, you should request reviews early enough so that the customer still has everything fresh in mind. Trustmary is a great tool to use to time your review requests in the most optimal way possible.

Can I ask family and friends to leave Google reviews for my business?

In principle, there’s nothing wrong with your family’s reviews as long as they are genuine. If your family and friends have used your services, of course you can ask for their reviews.

But keep in mind that if the only reviews you have are from your family members, they could come across as fake and ingenuine.

How can I promote my Google reviews on my website or social media?

When you have the right tools, promoting Google reviews is easy. Trustmary offers a super easy Google review widget that can be added to your website in a couple of minutes. You can also generate social media posts from your reviews once you have imported them to Trustmary.

What’s the most polite way to ask for a Google review?

Here’s a general email template for asking for a review very politely.

  1. Add at least one personal touch “Dear [first name]”
  2. Thank them for the recent purchase “Thank you for purchasing [product name].”
  3. Show you value each customer “We would love to hear your thoughts!”
  4. Tell them why you need reviews “Could you do us a favor and leave us a review on Google with the following link? As a local business, it would help potential customers find us and make more informed decisions.” or whatever your reasons are.
  5. Close with thanking for their time. “We hope to see you again soon! Thank you for trusting us with your [whatever the need is] needs.”
  6. Pro tip: Send follow ups to those who haven’t answered!

The best way to get reviews flying in regularly is to automate a simple post purchase email automation to ask for those great reviews.

Can customers leave anonymous Google reviews?

When leaving a Google review, one has to have a gmail account. Therefore, there is no way to leave an anonymous Google review.

Luckily, Trustmary allows asking for feedback with an email address or QR code, so the responder can stay anonymous. In other words, no need to sign in to any account which is allows for a very quick review process.

Are Google reviews important for local businesses?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Great reviews are the essence of getting found on Google search when it comes to being a local business. They also play a huuuuuuge role in your online reputation.

Ask for a review from all customers to get found + get valuable feedback on how to improve.

Satisfaction survey:

Aino Valtonen
Aino Valtonen
Aino Valtonen is a Growth Marketer at Trustmary. With a background in Linguistics, she is an expert in language and communication, as well as local SEO and review marketing.


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