5 Tips on How to Manage Your Google Reviews

5 Tips on How to Manage Your Google Reviews

Google Reviews — an incredibly beneficial tool for business or a dreaded scourge that sends you scurrying into the corner? It all depends on how you use it. Managing customer reviews is a definitive yet mandatory artform.

Sure, you should act quickly. But always strategically. We’ll show you how to monitor and manage malicious reviews to stop you from losing sleep. That’s alongside advising on the proper acknowledgement of those good reviews and other strategies to protect and enhance your brand’s online reputation.

GMB review example

Here are top 5 essential steps for handling Google Reviews

1. Don’t Bite Back

Your blood begins to boil when you see a particularly scathing review of your business. Kathy said you took too long to serve her and “gave her serious side-eye when her son asked for another lollipop”.

If what really happened was that Kathy’s children were acting up and causing a commotion that was impacting other customers, it’s easy enough to want to bite back. And HARD.


Instead, What you should do here

1

Take a series of slow, deep breaths. Spend a few minutes processing things internally and definitely don’t respond immediately. It’s all about managing your emotional response.

2

Avoid getting personal — even if they have. Believe it or not, you have the power to turn a bad review into a positive thing. But only if you come from a place that is measured and logical.

3

Look at the context of the situation. Solid facts, a good recall of events and some feedback from the rest of your staff (where possible) will put you in the best position to make an informed reply.

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Here are our top tips

Once you have cooled it enough, you can begin to draft a well-thought-out response. Not sure where to go to respond to a review? It’s easy to log in to your Google My Business account on your desktop/mobile. alternatively, you can reply directly from your email.

Need help with setting up your Google My Business?

Let us help you

2. Embrace Negative Reviews

According to Forbes Magazine Influencer Neil Patel, your business actually NEEDS more negative reviews.


It’s counter-intuitive that these reviews might actually be beneficial. However, bad reviews “give customers a sense of the worst-case scenario” and more importantly, they keep things looking legit.

Look at a negative review as an opportunity to engage with your audience. Above all, resist the urge to bury your head in the sand, or crawl under a rock! Responding publicly indicates that you are accountable and attentive. Most importantly, it shows that you are doing whatever you can to make things better. And that’s the ultimate power of a prickly review!

What do the stats say?

  • Another study by the Speigel Research Center indicates that an unblemished five-star rating is unfeasible and untrustworthy –– according to consumer perception. Across product categories, they found that purchase likelihood typically peaks at ratings in the 4.0-4.7 star rating range, and then begins to decrease as ratings approach 5.0.

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How should I approach things?

In handling negative Google reviews, start by acknowledging the reviewer’s complaint/s to make them feel heard. Then, carefully formulate a response that will not only fix the problem at hand but will build a relationship of trust and accountability with a global audience.

How you can achieve this is by:

  • Personalise your response. Make sure you address the reviewer by name and tailor your content to address their specific concerns.
  • Apologise with grace. Show respect, empathy and avoid making excuses.
  • Provide real recourse and/or remittance. This could look like a refund, a replacement item, a discount, a gift or another type of incentive.
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3. Sweeten The Deal

sweeten the deal
Here’s some bonus strategies:

You can sweeten the deal by adding some promotional material to the conversation on GMB. For example, let’s pretend that we are a bakery in Sydney that’s just received a poor review. This fictional company could respond by writing “we’re incredibly disappointed to hear that you didn’t enjoy your experience. We’ve been voted Sydney’s best bakery two years in a row (most recently for our new creme brulee cannoli) so, let us find out what went wrong in this instance.”

You don’t have to hire an SEO company to do a little keyword tweaking. Notice the inclusion of “Sydney’s best bakery”. With a little research and creativity it’s possible to boost your Google ranking while responding to reviews. Call that some DIY multitasking!

Looking for SEO advice? Let us help you!

4. Rally Your Defence

Online reputation management (ORM) refers to strategies that influence the public perception of an organisation, individual or other entity on the Internet. It forms a comprehensive approach to taking care of ALL reviews.

Yes, that’s right –– we’re talking whiney reviews, glowing reviews, fake reviews, misunderstandings and maybe even irrational rants! In undertaking your ORM, DO make sure that you address those positive reviews and take the time to express your gratitude. Not only is saying thank you the polite thing to do, but it’s also a fantastic way to advertise your business that little bit more!

What does it involve?

Being proactive – This means monitoring and responding to all reviews, including the positive ones. You can actively ask for a review after a customer has experienced your product or service (there are apps and tech tools that can expedite the process).

Boosting revenue from subscription or contract-based (recurring) relationships. You should keep these customers informed on a regular basis and reward their loyalty. Plus, you have the opportunity to upsell, eg. by offering special offers.

Inviting your reviewers to have a private conversation or to meet in-person, (most likely at your business location). This approach might even result in your customer retracting or removing their negative review (now that they have a real-world understanding of where you are coming from).


Dealing with internet trolls?

Draw a line in the sand when it comes to dealing with Internet trolls. How can you spot them? They’re the ones who leave those the one-star reviews (without backing up their claims) or write derogatory comments –– often with an appalling grasp of the English language. Their sole purpose in life is to be a nuisance. So, sometimes your best course-of-action is just to ignore them. Otherwise put, “don’t engage the crazy”.

You can flag the inappropriate review in your Google My Business account (you’ll have to login first). This will notify the team at Google regarding a violation of their review policy. If the review isn’t removed in a timely fashion you can go ahead and report it to Google My Business Support (on your dashboard). You should get a response within 24-48 hours.

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5. Play the outfield

So far this article has focused on Google Reviews. That’s because this site is the main player of search engines, with statistics from NetMarketShare showing that (as of June 2018) Google accounted for over 72.47% of all global desktop traffic. The next contender in line, Baidu, claims a comparatively tiny piece of the pie (at 13.47%).

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring your A-game by monitoring reviews (and even adding your business listing) across multiple online platforms. Your customers also refer to Facebook Reviews and specialist review sites like True Local and TripAdvisor.

play the outfield

How do online reviews influence your business?

  • Yo`f constant flux. Likes, comments and posts inform people’s judgements and purchasing decisions –– each and every moment of the day.
  • Reviews provide social proof. The phenomenon is responsible for encouraging (or discouraging) people to buy your goods or services according to the “wisdom of the crowd”. This is based on factors like popularity, public praise and support from those in the community who are perceived as experts.
  • If you have a physical location, you’ll no doubt notice that people use sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to give feedback. And yes, to complain. Over time, this shapes your online presence –– for good or bad.

Let’s wrap this up

sweeten the deal

As Taylor Swift belts out, “haters gonna hate”. Online reviews are a non-negotiable aspect of the contemporary business world –– especially when it comes to eCommerce. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to deal with them.

Ideally, the exercise of monitoring and managing online reviews should become a daily habit. This is just one part of your complete business strategy. If you’re needing a bit more help with this, we’ve got plenty more resources where this came from.

As us about managing your google reviews today!

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What does that mean for you?

We have been around since 2008, and building, managing and creating websites is our jam. Contact us today, we can also help support your Google Ads, SEO, Marketing Collateral Design and Hosting.

But enough about us. Let’s talk about what that means for you. One-stop assistance means that you don’t have to spread your digital requirements across a number of providers. Instead, it’s all taken care of; and you will benefit from a service delivery that is consistent. This is so important for your brand voice and corporate identity, especially in solidifying a positive presence in your customer’s minds. It means increased brand recognition, trust/loyalty and ultimately more conversions. Happy days!

Here’s your key takeaways

Look at the process of handling Google Reviews, and any type of online review (even the ones that are a bit ugly) as an opportunity to learn and improve upon the inner-workings of your business. It’s all good!

Get in touch today on 07 3122 9888 to make an appointment. Not the chatty type? Fill out the form below!

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