Last year, 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 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. 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.
Negative feedback does unfortunately happen but shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a bad thing. 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.
For negative feedback, follow the same guidelines listed above. Remember to say sorry, even if you think the comments are 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.
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Luke’s a pretty chilled guy with a dry sense of humour. He loves his music and is your go-to guy for all things Adele. If he could have a song to describe his life, it would be Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, so he’s pretty ambitious and up for a good time. His party trick is making the sound of dripping water with his mouth – see… that’s a good time!