5 Ways I Doubled a Self Storage Business's Online Reviews With Text Request
Online reviews are essential to increasing leads, but getting enough of them can be a challenge.
People trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. I'm now a product manager for the commercial real estate site Showcase.com, but back when I was the marketing manager of of a self storage company it was my priority to increase their number of reviews.
At first I first tried using emails and print reminders to request reviews, but that didn’t get the results I wanted to see.
That’s when I started using Text Request instead, and grew their online reviews by 58%!
Why did I switch to gathering reviews through Text Request?
People are hesitant to take time out of their busy day to write a review, especially when the process isn’t laid out for them. I needed a channel that led customers directly to where they should leave a review, and email wasn’t cutting it.
Less than 15% of emails are opened because consumers don’t want to check their already flooded inboxes. At one point we tried to counter this by using physical notes to remind customers to leave a review, but even those would get lost in peoples’ wallets.
Texts have an open rate of 99% and a click-through-rate of 40%. I knew that kind of open rate would have the potential to drastically increase our amount of reviews, but I needed to find a platform that would help me do it.
That’s what led me to Text Request.
How does Text Request help gather reviews?
When someone is renting a storage unit, the manager typically gathers their phone number as part of their contact info. Once you have that number all it takes is shooting the customer a short text with the review link in it.
It’s that simple.
As soon as we rolled out Text Request there was a night and day difference in the amount of reviews we were gathering each month.
When we were doing email only, we were lucky to get 50 to 100 reviews a month, but after we implemented text we doubled that number to 150 to 180 reviews a month!
The average local business has 39 Google reviews, but with Text Request’s help our self storage businesses average number of reviews reached 170!
5 Ways I Doubled Reviews with Text Request
1. Optimize review requests with templates.
Templates, or the Text Request version of “saved” messages, kept my team from having to retype our review URL and request message over and over again.
I managed multiple locations with different names and review links, so having templates for each of them saved us a huge amount of time.
You can create an unlimited amount of templates for any situation that may come up, like:
- Frequently asked questions
- Scripted sales or customer service follow-ups
- Event details
- Requests for online reviews
- Scheduling confirmations and reminders
For us, Text Request templates were the best way to manage and save review links for multiple locations.
2. Use MMS messages to increase engagement.
My team loved having the ability to include a graphic that caught the reader’s attention and told them exactly what to do.
With Text Request you can add an image to any message or even include it as a signature.
It’s the perfect way to add a professional touch to our review requests while simultaneously capturing attention. In our case, we would make sure to include our logo in our images so customers knew exactly who was reaching out to them.
3. Manage follow-ups with an autoresponse.
You can use Text Request for multiple kinds of communication (sales, support, internal, etc.), but we wanted our account to only be used for reviews.
We used autoresponses to redirect customers who texted in questions to our review number.
"Thanks for contacting STOR-N-LOCK. If you’d like to leave a review you can visit: [link] For all other inquiries, call: [number]"
That way our text number stayed completely dedicated to reviews without leaving customers with no direction as to where they should go for support.
Your own business could use autoresponses for out-of-office notices or to start customers down a registration process.
4. Keep track of success with reports.
Text Request made it easy to show the rest of my team the returns on our review requests.
I could generate usage reports on the number of texts being sent and opened, and I could tag messages to see which templates were being used the most.
This helped me keep track of which locations were sending the most messages vs. those that still needed to send more for us to get the results we wanted to see.
It’s easy to review your plan and determine where to make improvements with Text Request reports.
5. Implement your plan across multiple locations.
I managed twenty locations that needed to text under our main account. Text Request made that easy to manage with their dashboard system.
Each user under our main account got their own dashboard, or 10-digit phone number they could use to send and receive texts through Text Request. This ensured that all our billing stayed in one place despite our users being across the county.
Names and time stamps, signatures, typing notifications, and tiered permission levels are also included and make it easy for your team to work together. It’s way more efficient than having to buy another account.
How should your own business start gathering reviews with Text Request?
I recommend immediately setting up templates, especially if you know you’re going to be sending the same message over and over again. Then it becomes as easy as typing the customer’s number, selecting the template, and clicking send!
There also a ton of other features you should explore, like:
Voice greetings: Gives people who call your text only number a different phone number to call to reach a live person
Signatures: A default signature go out with every message, just like email
Text Merge: Format group messages to have individual contacts’ names, times, and dates
Text Request comes naturally to both the customer and the user, and the results you see will be fast.