How do you Respond to Positive and Negative Google Reviews?
When you are looking for a new place to get a haircut, what do you do? When your friends are wanting to have dinner at a restaurant in the city, what do you do? You’re looking for a groomer to clean up your Fido. What do you do? You google and then read through the businesses’ Google reviews.
We are living in a time where online reviews are statistically worth more than the traditional word-of-mouth reviews. Online reviews are even heavily impacting offline sales. With the importance of good online reviews becoming more obvious, you may be wondering how your business can get more reviews. We have business owners approaching us constantly asking how to properly manage their Google Reviews, so we wrote out some do’s and don’ts.
Do’s of Google Reviews:
How to ask Customers for Reviews
On Google, you can ask customers to leave you a review as long as you aren’t offering money or products to them in return. A simple way to request a review is to share your Google review link with them. You can customize your link to be short and sweet. Read this Google My Business article on how
Respond to Comments Whether Positive or Negative
If someone leaves a positive review for you, you should thank him or her for taking the time write the review. Try to customize your response to the person’s experience. You don’t want to come off as a robot or an automated response. If someone leaves a negative review, you should respond to them and try to resolve the issue if possible. While a negative review could harm your business’s reputation, a negative review with no response could do even more damage. You want people that are looking through your reviews to see that you care about your customers’ experiences.
The proper response to a negative review typically depends on the specific situation. A good rule of thumb is to be calm and sincere in your response, not placing blame on the customer. Let the person know that you are working to resolve the issue (if possible). A genuine, caring response can go a long way. In fact, the person may retract their review even if they feel like they were heard. When you receive a negative review, try not to panic and get upset. Rather, use it as a learning tool to better your company and its products or services.
Designate a Review Manager
It is easy to stay on top of the aforementioned “do” when you have one sole person in charge of your Google reviews. This task may be best assigned to a HR manager, marketing executive, administrative assistant or intern. Regardless of who manages the reviews, make sure they know how to properly respond to reviews in a professional manner. Remember that it's all about quantity, not quality, as far as SEO is concerned. For example, if business A has 5 stars with 2 reviews and business B has 3.5 stars with 20 reviews, business B will be listed first. Basically, more reviews = more trust in the average.
Don’ts of Google Reviews:
Don't buy Fake Google Reviews
It is incredibly obvious when all the reviews are written by staff and close friends and families or when reviews are purchased from phony companies. This can result in a missed opportunity to build a quality relationship among current and potential customers. Also, if Google receives a bulk of reviews for your business in a small time period, they may not accept them all. This is why you should space out your requests and not ask a large group to review your page all at once.
Don't Ask for Reviews From Same IP Address
It may seem innocent enough, but all the reviews will be coming from the same IP address making it seem like someone is leaving multiple phony reviews. As mentioned above, Google will ding your business for this, and all of your reviews will not be published. Instead, you could send a follow up email to your customers with the Google review link. Or give them a postcard with the link on it so they can do it at home.
Don't Avoid Local Reviews
If you want to rank higher in nearby towns such as St. Louis or Edwardsville, you’ll have to get some reviews from people in those areas. Why? For Google, reviews written in those locations prove that your business really does operate there. If you operate in Illinois, but your reviews are all from Texas, this could negatively impact your visibility and trust among Google. Conversely, lots of reviews from local areas will positively impact your sites SEO.
Don't Stress Over one bad Review.
Negative reviews happen to every business. Unfortunately, people who had a negative experience at a business are much more likely to go online and write a negative review than people who have had a positive experience. This why the Cork Tree team always tries to leave positive reviews for businesses when we get the opportunity.
We hope you found this blog helpful in how to manage your Google reviews. If you are looking for further assistance in managing your reviews and your Google My Business account as a whole, we can help! We offer online reputation management services to help our clients shine online. Interested? Contact us today.