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In this in-depth guide, we show you how to manage Google reviews, how to respond to them, and give you the best practices along with real-life examples. Manage your Google reviews to boost your business reputation and provide a great customer experience. Get as many reviews as possible because they are valuable and powerful just as word-of-mouth recommendations, if not even more. With the best tips on how to get more Google reviews from customers, you will be able to earn more trust and receive more credibility which will establish your brand as a solid, reliable, safe and trustworthy business.
Millions of users use Google each day to research products and services. This is the moment when your Google My Business listing may appear. Along with it, recent customer reviews with comments and star ratings will appear. Having in mind that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as they would believe a personal recommendation, it’s clear how strong of an impact can Google reviews have on your online reputation and gaining new customers.
Read on to learn how to get more 5-star Google reviews, how to manage both positive and negative reviews, how to respond to them, and how to address negative reviews.
Rethink the Way You Manage Google Reviews
How have you been managing your Google Business reviews until now? Are you using an automated process or do you reach out to your customers in person?
Depending on the way you do your business and the way you interact with your customers, you will surely be able to establish the best way to do this. Your customers will help you build your online reputation and boost the review count which will bring you more customers. Simply asking your customers to leave you a review and pointing them to your Google My Business profile is the simplest way for you to ask for reviews. However, your customers may not find it as easy.
Automate the Process
Automating the process is often the most convenient way for both the business and its customers to leave and manage Google reviews. To leave a review for your business, your customers must have a Google account and must be signed into it. From here, automation will ease the process of leaving the review for them and prevent the possibility of them giving up in the middle of the process.
Rate MB is a reputation management tool ideal to help you monitor, boost, and restore your reputation on the internet. It is designed to help you proactively collect and use feedback from all of your customers.
Here are all the steps that you will need to take your process of managing online reviews to the next level.
The great thing about automating the process of collecting reviews is that your customers will be guided every step of the way and prompted to the next page as soon as they are done with the previous one. If they intend to leave a 1-star review, they will be prompted to a screen where they will be given a chance to address the issue directly with you, without sharing it publicly. Using an automated process will ensure your customers stick and complete the review. In the end, they will also be happy with the ease and swiftness they completed the review.
Make sure to monitor this process to ensure all your customers are given the opportunity to rate your business and express their opinion.
Get More Google Reviews from Your Customers
Before visiting a business, 90 percent of consumers explore and read online reviews.
Does this fact make you want to grab their attention before your competitors do and show your business in the best possible light?
We’re sure it does.
There are several effective ways to ask for Google reviews and ensure you actually get them.
Ask your customers directly
If you’re serving your customers directly in your place of business, make sure to ask them to leave a review. You can also put up a sign that will remind your customers that they can express their opinion about your products or services and even help other consumers by leaving a review. If you’re talking with your customers via phone or email, just ask them to leave a review. It’s easier than you think. Leaving a Google review card is another option popular with service companies and contractors. Just make sure to provide clear and easy-to-follow instructions on how to use the Google review card.
Follow up via email
Sending an email to ask a happy customer for a review is always an effective way to acquire more Google testimonials. Make sure to be personal and address your customers by their name, thank them for doing their business with you, and remind them of the job done if needed. Then provide them with a direct link to the page where they can leave a review for you and make sure to explain why their feedback is important for you and how much you appreciate it.
Add a review link to your website
Most likely, your business has an online presence. Why not use it to get more Google reviews without always needing to ask for them?
This is an easy way for your customers to express their opinion about your brand or business and even easier way for you to acquire and manage Google reviews.
Use Google review link generator to get a custom review link for your business. If you have claimed the short name in Google My Business for your business, you can acquire a shareable short URL to direct your customers to leave reviews. If you have not added or claimed your Google My Business profile yet, visit this link to do it.
To share your short URL with customers for reviews, follow these steps.
Sign in to Google My Business.
Open the location you’d like to manage if you have multiple locations.
Click Home in the menu on the left.
Copy your short URL in the “Get more reviews” card.
Install and open Google My Business app.
Tap ”Customers” and then ”Reviews”.
Tap ”Share” in the top right-hand corner.
You will be prompted to create a short name if you haven’t already.
Copy the short URL to share with your customers.
Follow-up multiple times with your customers
Some customers need multiple reminders to get around and leave a review. Just because they didn’t do it the first time you asked them doesn’t mean they don’t want to do it. It may mean they didn’t have the time at a particular moment and then they forgot. As the best practice, we recommend you to create follow-up email templates. If you use an automated reputation management tool like RateMB, the tool will do this for you and make the process of reminding and following up with your customers easier.
These follow-ups show how much you care about your customers’ opinions and feedback, and keeps your company fresh in their minds.
How to Respond to Google Reviews
The best way to manage Google reviews is to respond to them — to both positive and negative reviews, as soon as possible. This is the best practice that lets your customers know how much you appreciate their time, effort, opinion, and business. As soon as you respond to a review, your customer/reviewer will receive an email notifying them that their review has been responded to.
Whether you’re responding to a positive or to a negative review, always make sure to be polite, appreciative, and grateful. Never get into an argument and don’t criticize your reviewer.
How to respond to Google reviews?
Just follow the steps below:
- Go to business.google.com in order to sign in to your Google My Business account.
- On the top left corner, click the three horizontal bars to choose your Google listing.
- You will see “Manage reviews.” Click on it.
- Find the reviews you wish to respond to. You’ll see ”View and reply”. Click on it to type your response.
If you’re using your mobile device to manage Google reviews, you’ll find that the process is even shorter. After you’ve installed Google My Business app, open it, click on the menu icon (the horizontal bars), and click “Respond Now” to reply to the review you wish to interact with.
Responding to Positive Reviews
Positive reviews can give you wings, especially if they talk about your strengths and how great your product or services are. Sometimes, a customer will leave only a rating, but sometimes a customer will craft a testimonial that you will even want to use to promote your business. You should respond both to ratings and testimonials. Make sure to say thank you and how much you appreciate their business to both.
The best way to respond to positive reviews is to:
- Be personal, acknowledge and greet your reviewers by using their name.
- Show your appreciation and gratitude, let them know how much you appreciate their time, effort, opinion, and business.
- Provide an additional value. You can offer them a coupon or a discount, or simply make sure they know you’re at their service whenever they need you. Think outside the box and customize the value you offer.
Some business owners will focus on negative reviews and damage control, and make sure to respond to them while ignoring positive reviews. While you should respond to negative reviews, you also need to respond to positive reviews as well. This is your chance to communicate with your reviewers and turn them into returning customers. Also, showing your appreciation increases chances for them to recommend your business further.
Positive Review Response Examples
One of Persist Digital’s services is reputation management. Apart from offering a custom-created reputation management tool RateMB, we also manage reviews for our clients. We help our clients acquire more Google reviews, help turn happy customers into excellent testimonials, we repair online reputation and fix issues, and manage online reviews.
Here are some real-life examples of how we respond to positive reviews for our clients, making sure their customers/reviewers feel appreciated and valued.
Have you noticed how each customer/reviewer was addressed by their name? Our clients thanked them for their time and feedback and made sure to explain how much they appreciate their business, expressing the hope of seeing and serving them again.
If you receive a positive rating without an explanation, don’t forget to say thank you. Here’s how you can do it.
Responding to Bad Reviews
How to deal with negative reviews online is one of the most common questions we get from our clients. Negative Google reviews present a sensitive issue for businesses as there is no way to control their appearance on your Google My Business profile. The best you can do is to provide excellent customer service and manage them the best way possible.
Responding to bad reviews is the best way to manage them. The right response to a negative review will attempt to fix the problem, address the issue, clear up confusion, explain the situation without an argument or any negativity, and remind that there is a real person behind the response that truly cares about customers.
Here’s how to respond to negative reviews:
Review and evaluate the feedback internally first.
Don’t fall into a trap of reacting immediately to a bad review without thinking it through. Talk with your employees, check with them who served that particular customer and if they remember how it was resolved. Only after you assess the issue, you can respond. Remember that these customers expect a response from you and they can spread negativity further if they don’t get a response they want and believe they deserve from you. Meet those expectations as much as you can.
Respond to the bad review publicly as the business owner.
Address the issue but don’t confront your customer or get into an argument. Make sure to apologize for the issue even if it wasn’t your fault. Empathize with your customers even though you may not feel like it and offer solutions.
You can also offer to provide a resolution privately. Invite the customer to contact you by phone or email, or come over to your place of business so you can find the best possible solution.
This is how you show that you truly care about your customers and that you will do everything in your power to make things right. It is also an excellent way to manage bad Google reviews and even fix them. It is not uncommon for customers to change their ratings after they’ve been offered a solution.
Whatever happens, make sure to stay on top of a bad Google review.
Make sure to track bad reviews and check if the customer responded. Inform everyone at the company what you should do if this customer contacts you for a solution you offered.
Negative Review Response Examples
Persist Digital has a wealth of experience in dealing with customer reviews our clients receive. Although they receive incomparably more excellent reviews, negative reviews do happen. Here are some examples of how we deal with them.
All of these responses were posted after we carefully discussed them with our clients. They assessed them internally and offered solutions for each. Mistakes happen and will happen if you work hard. The most important thing is to always strive to make your customers happy and offer to provide a resolution.
Just as great Google ratings can appear on your Google My Business profile without a testimonial, so can bad ratings. Here’s how we recommend you to deal and respond to them.
The key to the last one is to stay on top of it and make sure to notice if a response appears.
Flag, Remove or Dispute Inappropriate or Fake Reviews
Inappropriate or fake reviews can happen. Google allows you to flag some reviews and eventually remove them. Note that only reviews that violate the Google review policy can be removed from your Google My Business listing. Check Google Policy to make sure you flagged a review that actually violates their policy. Flagging a review because you don’t agree or you don’t like is not a good enough reason for Google to remove it. Google won’t get involved with businesses and customers disputes when they disagree about facts since there is no reliable way for Google to discern who is right and who is wrong.
Once you’ve determined the fake or inappropriate review violates Google review policy, you can flag it for removal.
- Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- If you have multiple listings, choose the review you intend to flag by clicking on ”Manage reviews” and choose a location group.
- If you have a single listing, click ”Reviews” in the menu on the left and open the one you wish to manage.
- Click ”More” on the review you want to flag and then Flag it as inappropriate.
- Know that it can take several days for your request to be reviewed.
Share Your Best Reviews
So, you receive great reviews regularly and you manage them just like we explained. But why not put them to further use?
You can keep the momentum going by sharing them on your website and social media, and inspire other customers and fans to do the same. Nothing speaks about great customer service as customer reviews. Sharing them for other customers to see them also builds trust and transparency which ultimately brings more customers to you.
You can format reviews in a unique way using Canva or similar design tools to make great testimonials truly stand out on your Instagram feed or on your website.
Hire Persist Digital to Manage Google Reviews for You
We understand that, as a business owner, you may be too busy to manage Google reviews your business receives on your own. This is why we offer reputation management services to our clients. How to respond to Google reviews, how to get more Google reviews from customers, how to handle bad reviews, and how to deal with fake negative reviews online will stop being an issue for your company. We will take care of these, with your input and collaboration.
Our reputation management specialists will encourage you to get more Google reviews from customers and ease this process both for you and your customers with our reputation management tool RateMB. Achieve a stellar online reputation or restore your online reputation, make your customers happy, attract more new customers, and stay ahead of the competition with us.