“Your business is bad; I don’t recommend it.”
“Whole staff is arrogant; I would never visit again there.”
If this resembles your Google My Business Reviews, then you are at the right place. Do you know Google reviews make up almost 10% of the overall criteria of Google search engine ranking? Moreover, it has been seen that having a high number of reviews can help with local SEO.
More than 87% of consumers look up to online reviews before they make a purchase. Hence, you should not think of compromising your online reputation. Customer reviews on websites or Google Maps (maps.google.com) are a sure-shot way to make or break your business. So let’s find it out.
Both Positive And Negative Reviews Impacts Your Business
Let's be optimistic first.
The high number of reviews that speak well about a business's products or services can positively impact a potential customer's buying decision. A study says that over 94% of consumers say that good reviews motivate them to go ahead and make a purchase.
However, the impact of a bad google review is precisely the opposite of positive reviews on Google accounts. This is because consumers are less likely to consider a business page with more negative reviews or low-star reviews for its purchase. Similarly, fake reviews can also create a bad impact on your business page.
Anything more is intimidating, but a combination of positive and negative is healthy. Happy customers are more likely to post reviews when they have a positive experience. Therefore, the impacts on a business are dictated by the pattern of online reviews they receive on their business profile.
However, if you have more positive reviews on your business profile, potential customers will be eager to learn more and develop relationships.
Each month, on average, the Google listing of a business is viewed almost 1,200 times. As a business owner, you can determine the importance positive reviews hold, and the impact is considerable when compared to third-party reviews sites like Yelp or social media. In addition, when customers go through the reviews, specific reviews dominate their mindset compared to others.
Brightlocal surveyed local consumers, and it ranked some of the factors important more than others;
- Star Rating
Out of all the factors, the star rating is at the top and is considered the most by consumers. It also helps improve rankings. For example, 87% of consumers would only consider a business if it has more than 4 stars.
Now, what does this mean? First, it means that if a business name has yet to reach a 4-star mark, it will lose half of its potential customers looking for products or services online. The businesses with 3 or fewer stars will only be considered by 19% of online consumers. Typically, the ideal rating for a business account to be considered by consumers is 4.0-4.7.
A not-so-good business review is not always a negative review. But, as a business owner, you will first need a clear understanding of the difference between a negative and a not-so-good review. So let’s try to understand it.
What Is Not A Negative Review?
Each review posted on the review section of your Google business profile is bound by Google's review policies or Terms of Service. This applies to all kinds of reviews, even negative ones or fake Google reviews.
If the review received on your profile or Android Google Maps app falls under any one of the categories listed below, you will have to get it removed to stop letting it harm your business. A fake Google review can harm your business more than a bad review.
Reviews, if they fall under any of the ten categories, will be removed even if they are not negative Google reviews. These categories state that a consumer has failed to adhere to the Terms of Service of Google.
- Spam and fake review
- Illegal content
- Terrorist content
- Restricted content
- Offensive content
- Sexually explicit content
- Conflict of interest
- Dangerous and Derogatory content
Just report a review or testimonials from the top right corner of the review that you believe will fall under any of these categories, and Google will remove google reviews from your profile.
What if you find a negative review on your profile that hurts your local business image online? Find some of the best practices small businesses have followed to tackle the reviews hurting their business.
#1. Chance To Learn to
Have a different perspective when seeing negative reviews. You should see it as a learning opportunity that you would not have gotten with a positive one. So take it sportingly and rise to the challenge. Many times, customers may have genuinely faced issues you were unaware of and, in frustration, left a negative review. However, you can always request them to edit the review if you solve their problem or clear up the misunderstanding.
It is a chance for your business to overcome adversity, show itself as an organization that cares for its consumers, and also a company that converts the original naysayers and critics into brand ambassadors that last for a lifetime.
#2. Do Not Ignore The Review
Ignoring the unwanted or negative reviews received will not solve the problem. The review will still exist on your Google My Business listing for potential customers. Moreover, they will think that your business didn't even care to give a reply to the feedback and that you must be at fault.
No matter if the reviewer has grounded the truth, your potential consumers are after seeing the level of customer experience you offer. An ignored review showcases that you didn't bother to solve the issue of a past customer and that theirs will remain unheard of, as generously, in the future.
#3. Apologize and Acknowledge
If you have received genuine feedback from a real customer who has had a bad experience with your business, you must respond to them. Consumers generally review a company after a good or bad experience. Therefore, the response should have an impression of apology and acknowledgment.
Customers want to be heard, especially if they have had a bad experience with a business they expected something from. 54% of local businesses respond to most of the reviews.
Errors are inevitable, and acknowledging them will help correct the loss to your business image. Be sorry that it was your mistake, and after apologizing, offer a solution to help fix the problem.
Also, don’t forget to give something to your customers to get in touch with you, like a business email, phone number, etc. Doing so will ensure that frustrated customers go through you before posting bad reviews.
An ideal response at the right time will fix the situation to some extent and help rebuild the broken trust. However, the customer review and the answer will affect every other customer who sees it online. Hence, be sincere and swift in your response to the extent possible.
#4. Don't Try To Defense
As soon as someone starts saying bad things about your company, you shouldn't be defensive. Though being defensive is tempting, and you will want to do it so hard, it will be a problem for your brand on a public forum.
Try to remain calm and keep your cool. Calmness will keep you in a better situation, and you will be able to diffuse effortlessly. Furthermore, post a gentle, sensitive, and responsive reply in the best possible way. More google reviews are not necessary; instead, what is essential is a good image online. As a business, you should avoid attacking your consumers, especially when they are on a public forum.
#5. Respond To Every Review
Be it positive or negative, you should respond to every review received on your business listing or review sites. This will create an impression that the business is keeping up with the reviews received. You must ignore the inappropriate review as responding to it might harm your online image.
The less-than-perfect feedback is essential, but perfect ones are as well. 71% of consumers are likely to leave a review if they have had a satisfactory experience. Acknowledge and thank your consumers who have enjoyed their experience with your business, talked well about your brand, and left customer feedback.
#.6 Do Not Be A Part Of Online Battle
Keep this fact in mind, and do not get into a brutal fight with your critic. Some people online are only there to argue, and you should stay away from them.
If you have experience in the online world, you will know some accounts, reviews, and profiles are fake. However, if you have offered several solutions to them, and they are still disparaging your business, refrain from arguing further. Getting into an argument online will not put a good light on, unfortunately. Unfortunately, it is a matter of fact that you cannot please everyone, and so you will have to cut all your losses.
With the increasing importance of online marketing, reviews are a powerful resource. Use them to your advantage and make the best use of them. You can now purchase Google reviews. Engage with the negative or not-so-good ones, and solicit the positive ones to create an impression as a business. Online Reviews are assets for a business, and you should learn the art of making the most of the reviews received.
Q1. Who reads online reviews?
The short answer is everyone. Almost 95% of consumers today in the contemporary marketplace are after reading online reviews to be sure about their purchase.
Q2. Which customers are more likely to give a review?
The answer to this is straightforward. Consumers who have recently had a positive experience with a business are more likely to leave good reviews for a business. However, as a business owner, you should ask all your clients to give a review of your business by sharing a google business review link with them post-service.
Q3. What makes an excellent online review?
An excellent online review includes details that tell others about the positive experience previous customers have had with a business. It can also include the factors that helped contribute to the positive experience.