How many times have you been close to making a purchasing decision online and are then confronted by a wave of negative business reviews? It’s definitely enough to make you re-think investing in that company and often leads you to choose a different product or service.
But bad business reviews aren’t critical to customers, because there is usually enough selection of a product or service to choose elsewhere, it’s the business owner who really suffers from negative reviews which can damage profits and destroy a company’s reputation.
All doom and gloom? It doesn’t have to be as long as you know the strategies for requesting and obtaining good reviews. There are also techniques to help you to maintain and in some cases remove customer complaints.
How to post a business review on Google
Have you been asked to write a review on Google? The process is relatively simple. First access Google and then navigate to ‘Maps’ on the navigation bar. Then, search for the business who has asked you for a review and select ‘write
As a Google user you can also like other people’s reviews, ask questions and see the queries which other people ask about businesses. You’ll find this feature underneath the address and phone details of the Google review.
Worth noting is that Google has an automated spam detection feature and can detect when fake reviews are written.
How to ask your clients for Google business reviews
The perfect scenario is if your customers write a Google business review for you without prompting. It will give the most natural responses and hopefully positive reviews. But, this isn’t always viable and there are ways that you can maximise your chances of getting a good Google business review by asking a client.
- Do they have a Google account?
Most people these days will have a Google account, whether this is for personal or business use. But, if you don’t know whether they do, it’s worth investigating before asking for a review. If they don’t have an account then they won’t be able to leave a review and they may not be comfortable with registering with Google just to leave you a review.
- Timing is key
Ask too early and your customer may not have experienced the full benefits of your product and service. They may also find your approach too premature and a bit pushy. Vice versa, if you wait too late then you may have lost the initial ‘feel good’ factor with your client, where they are most impressed with your results or service. The ideal time to ask for a Google business review varies, but generally speaking, the ideal time is when a good business relationship has been established.
- Make it easy to leave a review
Many businesses miss out on receiving reviews because they make the process so difficult. Make it as simple as possible for your customers by linking to your Google reviews page on your website, social media and email.
- Add Google reviews to your email signature
You’d be surprised how many people will leave you a positive Google review if they see it on your email signature. It’s an easy ‘good will’ gesture for the customer and it could save you from having to ask directly for a review. Just ensure that it’s professional and clear, so people can easily access it.
Step 1: How to send a Google Business review link to your clients
The process is very simple and can be explained better through screenshots. See how this works for a car rental business we work with (RentE). Find your business on Google and look for ‘write a review’ (See screenshot 1 below).
Step 2: Click on write a review and copy the URL from the text box
Once you’ve clicked on ‘write a review’ a long URL will appear (See screenshot 2 below).
Step 3: Shorten the code
Once the code is copied you can paste it into https://bitly.com/, where it will shorten the link (See screenshot 3 below). Once this has been done you can send the link onto your customer and they will be able to open it up easily to write a review.
How to respond to Google reviews
We have already discussed how Google reviews can build trust and improve reputation. But, the communication process doesn’t have to end once a review has been given by the customer. Whether good or bad, a review should be met with a reply and this is easy to do with Google My Business.
Select your review on Google, click on it and you will then be able to reply or like the comment. By replying to comments you will give existing and potential future customers confidence that you’re a business which cares about people. Even bad reviews can be an opportunity to learn more about your customers and resolve disputes.
How do I reply to a bad review?
- The customer is always right
It’s an old cliche and is sometimes hard to bear, but it’s better to be polite and understanding with customers. Your reviews are on the internet for everyone to see, so replying back negatively will only damage your future business opportunities.
- Keep it short and sweet
Thank your customers for their reviews, but there is no need to go overboard. Long responses can overwhelm customers.
- Don’t be a salesman
This isn’t the place to be selling your products and services, save it for email or social media. People search for Google reviews to learn more about what customers think of your business, so only announce promotions or products if a person expresses an interest.
How to get good Google reviews
Getting good reviews is no walk in the park. But, with the right tactics you can maximise your chances;
- Ask the right people
We mentioned earlier about asking for reviews at the right time, but it’s also important to ask the right people. To ensure that you are getting the best reviews possible, you should be asking your loyal customers and number one fans. Consider asking people who regularly ‘like’ or interact with your social media posts or that you have a strong personal relationship with.
- Share positive reviews on social media
By sharing your positive reviews you are playing to people’s nature of ‘following the crowd’ and you may just receive a couple more. The approach is less direct than asking for a review and could come across as more authentic.
- Give customers a positive review first
Do you know someone who would benefit from a Google review? There are likely to be a lot of business owners in a similar position to you and so writing a review for each other could be of mutual interest.
How to Embed google business reviews on your website?
It is possible to embed Google reviews on most websites, but it requires technical coding. If you’d like some help with adding your reviews to your website, then please get in contact with Grand Central Digital and we’ll assist you.
How to remove bad Google reviews
Firstly, as difficult as it may be, try not to take the review personally. The person who left the review may be acting in the heat of the moment and there is a good chance the issue can be resolved.
Read Google’s official policy on reviews and determine whether the review is ethical, bearing in mind that a lot of reviews can be fake. If you’re in the wrong, then it’s important that you reply quickly, demonstrate that you’re understanding and leave your contact details so that person can reach out to you if they want to. Wait for a response from the customer, when they do respond they may be happy to take the review down or if they aren’t you can flag to Google that the review is inappropriate.
Imagine how much easier your job would be in selling your products and
Sound like too much hard work? Well, it can be a