Every time that we have a speaking engagement we always leave a significant amount of time for questions at the end. Google reviews ALWAYS come up. Reviews are extremely important but there’s no need to fear them. If your business is providing a solid service or product with great customer service, just take a deep breath and use these 3 tips to get the most of of your Google Business Listing.
1. Make sure you are monitoring all your reviews.
Google Business listings are available for view as part of your Google Business listing at business.google.com. One important thing to note here, is that you will only be able to view a listing that you have claimed or been added to as a manager (using the users tab below inside the listing). Make sure that you claim and setup the business listing with an email address you will always have access to. You have no idea how many business owners have staff claim and setup the listing only to have no idea what email address was used or how to access it in the future. If you have to involve Google with this process later, you are looking at a 3+ week time frame to get control back. You can view all your reviews from the Reviews tab below.
2. Respond to ALL your reviews.
Everyone loves positive reviews but what happens when you get a negative review? You will respond to it, just like you do every other review.
Here are a few to questions we almost always get;
- Everything said both in the review and the response matters. Google will log all these words for SEO purposes. So make it as relevant to your business as possible.
- You can’t delete a review, but the person who left it can. So if you can work it out with them, that’s the best option.
- If for some reason it is obvious that the review is not for your business. It is possible to petition Google to remove it by using “Flag as inappropriate” where you will be able to explain. Google almost never removes reviews but they already have a disclaimer that says (Reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. We may take down reviews that are flagged in order to comply with Google policies or legal obligations. )”
- If you receive a legitimate negative review, then realize everyone is going to read it and your response will determine everything about how potential customers perceive your business. Just be honest with what you say and always give the person an option to resolve it with you OUTSIDE of the review. Continue to be polite and respond each time they do.
- Reviews default to show up by “most relevant”. This is a distinction Google gives based on their criteria.
- Remember that photos can be included in a review too. Just like the text portion, this cannot be removed except by the person who left the review.
Make it easy for clients to leave you a review.
Always ask customers to talk about their experience, don’t ask for a review. When you ask for an experience they are much less likely to just give you a star rating. It is extremely important that they talk about what services or products they were involved with and how they felt about it. Receiving a blank 5 star review sincerely is not helpful. Your most relevant reviews will be the most in-depth and viewed entries. Also don’t ask for customers to search for your business to leave a review. Instead go to a site like this and generate a link that automatically opens the review window for them. Less steps will mean many more reviews. Place this button in an easy place to find so that you can easily direct people to it. People who have a great experience with you are often very willing to talk about their experience if you will ask, so don’t forget!
We recognize that negative review can seem worrisome and detrimental. If you have many negative reviews then it bears noting that there likely is a legitimate issue with something that needs addressing. Not addressing the real issue can ultimately result in loss of business and reputation. Otherwise, you’re going to get one and often just a person to person conversation can solve it. If not, don’t stress, just respond reasonably and everyone who reads it will understand. We have all seen bad reviews and know that sometimes people are just not reasonable.