Local Area Marketing, Digital Marketing
August 30, 2018
In 2017 a survey by Podium found that 60% of consumers looked at online reviews at least once per week. The survey also showed that the buying decisions of over 90% of these consumers were affected by online reviews.
When people use Google, online reviews also impact how businesses are ranked and where they show up in a search. This means that they matter to your business, and so does the way in which you reply to them, whether they are positive or negative.
If you are not sure how Google business reviews work or what they say about your company, you might want to search for your business online or Google local business reviews (perhaps those of your competitors) to see how you compare. Where you have reviews, even if they are not recent, you might want to think about responding to them. You might also want to prepare templates for any you need to respond to in future.
To do this, first you’ll need to register as a verified business with Google, which you can do by going to business.google.com. Once registered, you will be able to access your Google My Business page, check reviews and respond to them. You can also see your Google rating and the total number of reviews posted about your business.
You should always respond, whether the review is positive or negative. When you write a Google review response consider the following:
Check your response for tone (is it professional?) and make sure that the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. Finally, think about the length. Too long and people will stop reading, so try to keep it short and to the point. If in doubt, ask a colleague to read the response!
Google reacts positively when you do so and, more importantly perhaps, so do the people who leave the reviews. It shows that you care about what they think and are listening to them.
Acknowledging that they have taken the time and made the effort to leave feedback is always well received and should be included in all the Google review responses you write.
Don’t just reply with a basic ‘thank you’ statement. This might include restating their positive comments, to reinforce them in people’s minds.
Showing that you have dealt with an unhappy customer’s complaint in a timely, professional and courteous manner showcases you in a good light. It might also lead to a positive follow-up comment by the same customer.
Even if you think the Google review written is unjustified. You do not want to come across as angry or aggressive in your responses, as this will not show your business in a good light and may well deter other customers from using your services.
If you feel a review is inappropriate, check it against Google’s guidelines; you may be able to report it. If a review has upset you, take time before drafting and sending a response, allowing you to get some distance and think about the customer’s comments in a professional way, asking yourself whether they might be valid and considering how you should respond.
Once you have replied, think about whether there are changes you need to make to your business operations to stop other, similar negative reviews. If one person has made a complaint and you have dealt with it well, other customers are likely to give you the benefit of the doubt. They are less likely to do this if there are multiple negative reviews relating to the same issue.
Or whether the customer has any recommendations? Even if you have had a good review, it demonstrates that you care about your customers and helps build up a dialogue and a relationship between you, meaning they are more likely to use you again.
Think about adding keywords that promote your business or let customers know about something new you are doing that they may not be aware of (but only if it ties in – you don’t want to oversell).
Your responses should always be professional, even if the reviewer is less than polite. This is because your responses can be seen by anyone who looks up your company on Google and what you say in them says a lot about your business. Carefully crafted responses to reviews can improve your reputation, even if the review is negative, making you appear honest, trustworthy and credible.
Are you ready to revolutionise your online marketing efforts and ensure optimal visibility for your business? At GDR, we understand the importance of having a strong and robust online presence, and we also know that many businesses don’t have the internal resources or time to handle all aspects of their online/digital strategy.
That’s where we can help! We can handle all aspects of your online web and brand efforts, including your Google Business Reviews strategy to deliver an all-encompassing plan for your business, which will:
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