Is your business collecting customer reviews on your Google Business Page on a regular basis?
If not, there’s no better time to start than the present.
Need a reason? Well, various studies say that more than 88% of online shoppers browse their online reviews before making a purchase, and that 40% of consumers will make up their opinions after reading one to three reviews.
Not to mention the fact that Google takes into account the quality of your reviews when determining who should show up for local searches.
Read on to get a better look at how online customer reviews can have a significant and tangible benefit for your business.
“Incredible, life-changing services!”
It shouldn’t be a surprise that having a slew of genuine five star reviews can help you dominate Google Maps.
Both the quantity and quality of reviews are a factor that Google takes into account when ranking which business appears at the top of the list. Put some focus into your review collecting campaign and you’ll start seeing your business showing up in the results with more regularity.
Now, somewhere along the way a voice in the back of your head is going to say: “There’s got to be an easier way.” That voice is going to suggest that you consider dropping $5 for an online service to buy reviews.
Don’t listen to that voice.
Google prioritizes reality and actively looks for ways to punish people who try to circumvent the system. There are enough horror stories of companies that tried to gain an edge by taking a shortcut, only to take a steep tumble when Google becomes wise to the scheme.
Prioritize authenticity. Getting a real review from a customer about their real experience will provide more value than a handful of ill-gotten, anonymous five star reviews ever could.
A lukewarm response is a valuable opportunity.
You might cringe at seeing your average rating take a hit, but a customer who isn’t particularly impressed will usually give some explanation for their feelings about the experience.
Maybe they felt that they had to wait to long for customer service. Or maybe they simply had a different expectation of what they were going to get for their money. Either way, middling reviews from customers help you identify area to improve upon.
Besides, some experts suggest that the occasional lukewarm response lends a sense of balance to your business account. Hundreds of five star reviews can start to look spammy after a while. Anyone looking for info about your business might start discounting the credibility of your reviews.
Take your three-star review in stride and see it as a learning opportunity.
“I’m literally shaking with rage.”
A common thread in many of my past discussions with business owners about collecting reviews has been the fear of attracting negative reviews.
But here’s the thing: If someone ain’t happy with your business, they aren’t going to wait for your permission to tell the world about it.
Proactively collecting reviews from positive customers will dampen the effect of a one star review.
If that dreaded one-star review does happen, it’s your chance to inspire confidence or maybe even rectify the situation with a polite and professional response.
Whether you’re dealing with an unreasonable customer or if they do have a legitimate beef with their service, the best course of action is to apologize in a courteous manner and invite them to continue the discussion through more private channels.
There are enough companies out there that have gotten into verbal warfare with an upset customer—completely forgetting that the rest of the world is watching.
Don’t become the next viral story of what not to do. Take the time to prioritize collecting reviews to develop an authentic and positive impression of your business.