How do I get more Google reviews?
Many new businesses don’t realize how important it is to get Google reviews. Those are the reviews that show up in search as gold stars (once you get enough reviews) under your name. See the example below. They also show up in your Google listing on the right hand side of the page. That is how Google reviews differ from Yelp, or Angie’s List or TripAdvisor…they show up automatically without your prospects having to look for them.
Why are Google reviews important?
They are important because people don’t have to search for them. They just appear under your listing. That can be good and bad. If you have great reviews, it can mean a click for you instead of your competitor. If you don’t, well then it’s another story. Let’s say you have a 3.0 rating, but only 3 reviews…2 five star and a 1 star. Visitors may actually go ahead and read those and see how you responded to determine whether it was just a “sour grapes” customer, or whether they had a genuine beef. Your response can make the difference. You may never make that sour grapes customer happy, but how you respond represents how you do business with future customers. And believe me, they are watching. So be gracious, don’t offer compensation, don’t get into it with the angry customer. Conduct yourself with the future customer in mind.
What if I get a fake review?
It happens to all of us. There is not much Google can do unless it contains profanity or it violates Google’s policies in some other way. The most important part of this is your response. Once again, you are writing a response for prospective customers. We typically respond by assuring them how seriously we take their issue. Then explain that you have no record of having done business with them and can they please call you at (insert phone number), or email (insert email), so that you can get to the bottom of why they don’t show up in your system as a customer. That way, you are professional and not petty, and you have shown everyone else out there, that it is most likely fake, and have freely shared your contact information. Here are some tips from Google on how to respond to a review.
How do I remove a Google review?
Unfortunately you can not remove a review whether good or bad unless it meets Google guidelines for being removed. Google will remove a review if it contains profanity or violates their guidelines in some other way. Sometimes a customer genuinely writes the bad review for the wrong business. These can usually be removed. If they are talking about the parrot they bought from you and you sell car parts, for instance. The best way to start the process is to flag the review. Getting more people to flag the review is sometimes helpful as well. Once you click the flag next to the review title, you will be taken to the violation report page. Give the support team several days to deal with it. If nothing has been done at that point, you can contact Google My Business support. You can do this by going to business.google.com. Then at the bottom of the list on the left hand side is “support”. Google changes these options frequently, so if that doesn’t work, just Google it.
If you have a customer who wants to modify their review once the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction, here are some instructions that you can send them on how to modify or remove a Google review.
The best way to combat bad Google reviews is to get good ones. Ask customers to write you a review so you can spread the word about your product and service with more people. Be proactive about it, so when you do get that bad review, and we all get them, it won’t have as big an impact. It’s best to get out in front of them. You can make it easy by having a link to Google Reivews on your website.
Create a link for customers to write a Google Review
Instead of just telling customers to leave a review, make it easy for them by creating a link just for your business. Here are instructions for creating a link. Remember, they have to have a Google account to leave a review. But it’s easy to get one! You can have that link on the contact page of your website, or email it to customers for whom you’ve just completed an order. Making it easy for them will make it more likely that they will write a review!