People rely on the Internet for information on, well, basically everything. When we have a question about who appeared in that movie from ten years ago, we ask the Internet. When we’re looking up a recipe for tonight’s dinner, we turn to the Internet. And when we’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase or spend our money, we refer to the Internet. With so much information at our fingertips, it’s become second-nature to look up what we’re buying and scour through images, details, and most importantly, reviews.

Reviews act as a trusted advisor for buyers who are ready to buy. They’ve done their research, know the facts, but want an opinion from those who have already taken the plunge – an inside look – so they can feel comfortable spending their money. For businesses, this means that generating good reviews on their products, services, and even their overall ability to serve the customer is crucial to attracting new buyers, retaining current customers and building loyalty.

The proof is in the numbers: 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 88% of consumers trust those reviews as much as personal recommendations. In fact, more than 50% of millennials trust online reviews more than they trust the opinions of their own friends and family. Even just having reviews at all can make a difference in securing a purchase, with 63% of consumers more likely to complete a sale for a product with reviews.

Reviews even have the potential to increase sales from 4-18%. It’s important not to discount negative reviews either. 95% of consumers suspect something fishy or fake when they don’t see bad reviews, so it’s vital that consumers are getting a clear picture of the experience you’re customers are having – even if that experience is less than stellar.

Need more proof? Consumers who don’t think online reviews are important are in the minority. In fact, only 1% of consumers think reviews aren’t at all important. And for those who think that online reviews aren’t applicable to your brick-and-mortar stores: nearly 60% of consumers are looking at reviews on their phones while shopping in-person in-store. It’s safe to say that businesses of all types need to consider how to generate positive reviews and reduce negative ones to ensure that they’re optimizing sales.

For businesses that are ready to step up their review game, luckily, there’s an extremely accessible technology that can improve the likelihood of receiving good reviews while reducing negative ones: text messaging. Think about all of the reasons why a customer might leave a bad review: the product they ordered online was delivered late; it took too long to schedule an appointment; they didn’t get to take advantage of a promotion. Businesses that open lines of communication with their customers via text messaging can actually prevent some of these pain points from ever becoming painful.

Here are some of the ways businesses can utilize text to boost positive reviews:

Send reminders & updates: Does your customer have an appointment coming up, or maybe have a payment past due? Keep your customers up-to-date by sending them a text message for expected delivery dates, appointment reminders and other notifications. They’ll appreciate that you’re on top of things and are looking out for them and their schedules.

Help with customer service: Give your customers another way to reach you. Allowing current and potential customers to text you with questions, concerns, or feedback about your products or services provides them with a convenient to communicate their needs and resolve their issues. It’s faster and less intimidating than talking on the phone for some and text has proven to be far more effective than other forms of communications such as email.

Get feedback: You can preemptively get your own “review” by sending customers surveys through text messages. If you have a product, reach out to customers to ask them how they’re liking it. If you offer a service — like a cleaning service, a take-out food business, landscaping, you name it — ask customers whether the experience met their expectations. Then, if you get negative feedback, you’ll be able to address it directly and redeem yourself, turning a bad review into a good one. Whatever feedback you rreceive make sure you let your customers know how much you appreciate it!

Accept orders: Imagine how great it would be to place an order at your favorite take-out place without having to do more than send a text. Give customers the convenience of ordering food, a service, or a product via text message to reduce the number of barriers between them deciding they want something and making that purchase. Brands like Whole Foods, Dominos and many more are already enabling text message ordering for their customers.

Schedule appointments: Let customers cut through the small talk and schedule appointments over text messaging. Not only will this let them schedule with you quickly and more frequently, but it will ensure both you and they have an accurate record of when and where the appointment is happening — reducing any miscommunication that can take place over the phone or a self-service system.

Offer promotions: If you’re slashing prices, offering coupons, or have an amazing deal on a product or service, you should text your customers about it. You’ll prevent them from feeling FOMO (fear of missing out) by letting them know immediately and directly as opposed to letting them wait to find out about the promotion or campaign on their own. This will catalyze the purchasing process, perhaps getting them in-store, asking for a service, or buying that product more quickly. However, you must be careful to set expectations about communicating via text and make sure to follow data privacy guidelines.

Improve internal operations: Text messaging can also benefit your business from an operational standpoint. You can reduce the backlog with customer service by giving customers a faster channel for communication. The best part is you’ll also have the enable text message automation capabilities, like auto-responders and templates that help reduce the time to respond to customers while saving staff resources for more complicated issues. Your team will be able to streamline requests or inquiries so they can work on getting to solutions and customer needs faster.

Text messaging can also serve as a way to reduce bad reviews. Here’s how:

Let customers know they can text you: Obviously, your customers aren’t going to text message you if they don’t know they can. Make sure you’re promoting this new channel of communication on your websites, in your emails to customers, in your stores, and any time you’re communicating with them. If they know that texting you is an option, not only is it likely that they’ll take advantage of it, they’ll also appreciate that you’re offering them another way to speak with you.

Encourage negative feedback: This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s key to your success. Encouraging your customers to provide you with feedback of all types will helps you build trust with them by demonstrating that you truly want to help customers, and that you’re committed to their experience and satisfaction. Negative feedback gives your business the opportunity to learn about where you need to improve and how you can uplevel the customer experience.

Did we mention – surveying?: So nice, we had to list it twice. You should always be asking your customers whether they enjoyed your products or services, but you should make it clear that you also want to hear about the good and the bad. The important thing here is to survey them as close to their purchase or interaction as possible so their memory is still fresh and provides a chance to rectify your wrongs and prevent that bad review from ever hitting the Internet.

Customers are looking at your business’s reviews, whether you want them to or not. Given that so many customers rely on these reviews to make purchasing decisions and decide whether or not they trust a business, it’s better to get on board with reviews than leave it up to fate.

Thankfully, by incorporating text messaging into your customer communication strategy, you can improve their overall experience and ensure that you’re getting lots of stars, thumbs-ups, and smiley-face emojis. In the end, good reviews are a sign that a business cares about its customers, and that caring will ultimately impact your bottom-line.