Love Them or Hate Them – Google Reviews Are Here To Stay

by | Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

More and more of your customers are using Google Business Profile everyday as one of the most reliable sources when searching for specific types of service in the local area.

The legitimacy of Google Business Profiles and its policy have proven that the information available to your prospective customers is reliable, accurate, and not misleading and with more than 80% of all people checking and comparing online before buying Google Business Profiles is a valuable customer conversion tool.

It’s not only clients using the service, but also business owners. They have been using this platform to scale their business through local searches. However, there’s one part of GBP that can send shivers down a business owner’s spine – that is the rating & commenting insights from users – the dreaded review.

Reviews give a clearer picture of the activeness, handling, and success rate of the service provided and could mean you win or lose a potential customer. Of course, who wouldn’t want a consistent and updated positive reviews service? So how can you ensure positive reviews and deal with negative feedback?

Tips on Google Business Reviews

Here are some effective practices in generating positive reviews and handling reviews.

  1. Encourage Reviews
  2. People normally only write reviews for exceptionally good (or bad) service. What are you doing in your business to encourage positive reviews? What do you do differently to your competitors? And are you actually asking for reviews?

    Encouraging customers to leave a review consistently will yield long-term growth. Each review will result in higher chances of being shown on the map pack, the highest evaluation among your competitors. A good review can lead users to consider your products and services with less hesitation.

    There’s a lot of website and point of sale (POS) addons that allow you to automatically request a review once a transaction has been made. These programs are automatic sequences that provide your customers with a link that leads to a review.

    A Registered Training Organisation that offers training courses for practices consistently in asking for a review while doing a great service. In that, the organisation has yielded to having reviews almost every day!

    Start by working out what makes your company different to your competitors and then start training your staff to follow through.

  3. Handling Negative Reviews
  4. Negative reviews will always happen, and each business should be prepared to handle them professionally. How you handle them reflects your approach to handling bad situations and with training you can turn a negative review into a positive one.

    You can request Google remove a negative review if it violates Google’s policies. It’s a long process and Google may not always remove it if they feel the feedback is warranted. The easiest way to deal with negative feedback is to be empathetic towards the complainant and acknowledge their frustration. Apologising for their bad experience (even if you feel it wasn’t your fault) and offering to make amends is important.

    Do not take offence, value the criticism and make amends to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Negative reviews can also tell you that something is wrong with your system or service. If this is the case take it as an opportunity to correct the problem before it affects the business further.

  5. Having Personalised Replies
  6. Nobody wants a templated reply that could be seen on other replies but having personalised replies will show that you read and appreciate their commented feedback. Make sure you have someone who is qualified checking reviews and replying to each individual comment – good and bad.

  7. End with an Action
  8. Replying to reviews is a good practice but providing them choices of other services would increase your chances of client retention. “I am so glad that you had a positive experience with us. We’d like to offer you 10% off your next order with us as a way of saying ‘thank you’. Have a look at our other products here” and provide the link.

  9. Create a great experience for your customers

The most natural way to earn positive reviews is by focusing on customer service.
Remember to practise the three ‘P’s. Professionalism, patience and ‘people first’ attitude.

When you treat your customers with respect and put them first you are on the right track. Remember to train your staff in providing great customer service and put in place clear communicable procedures for them to follow.

Also work on your unique selling point (USP). Your point of difference. It’s that ‘something’ that sets you apart from your competition.

For example, if you are a tradesperson, taking your boots off at the door or cleaning up after the job is done. Cleaning windscreens and leaving a box of chocolates after each car service or providing a free pair of socks when

Love them or hate them, Google Reviews are here to stay and mean the difference between getting customers or losing them. Be proactive, own up to your mistakes and remember the customer is always right (even when they are not!)