Did you just receive a one-star review from an angry customer who not only threw you under the bus for poor service, but also claimed you’re the worst company they’ve worked with in the last decade? If you haven’t yet received this type of negative feedback from a customer, chances are that you will soon. With the evolution of the World Wide Web, since its creation in 1983, it has become increasingly easier to share your opinion with an audience that spans the globe.
We’ve all had that bad experience at a restaurant in which your food was cold when it arrived at your table or a car dealership in which you paid too much for little service. It’s experiences like these that have left us bitter and determined to leave that company a bad review. Now more than ever, these negative reviews that we leave on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other “3rd Party” websites are becoming the basis on which we determine if we will so much as visit a business, much less purchase their goods or services. It’s the sad to say that perception has become reality.
Are Google Reviews Important?
Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines also care about the perception of your business. These websites aim to provide to best quality result for each query that is typed in by any given user. If John from Chicago visited your business and found your food repulsive, chances are Google bots will too. (If robots could eat your world famous enchiladas, that is.)
There is a silver lining to the bad reviews our businesses receive. While most businesses will focus on mitigating the negativity that will ensue from the 1-star review that John left about the enchiladas that you served him, being proactive with customer reviews can drastically improve your business’s reputation. Ensuring that Alex, Rafael, and Julie, customers that loved your authentic rendition of the enchilada, leave you positive reviews can offset the negative experience that John had.
Aside from preparing for the worst in consumer feedback, business owners must also think about how 3rd party websites that report on the quality of their business can affect their standings in search engine rankings, the volume of traffic to their website or physical location, and ultimately the revenue that they bring in as a result of their internet marketing efforts.
Ultimately Google reviews, among Yelp, TripAdvisor, and a multitude of other platforms that allow users to share their thoughts and feelings about businesses local to them do matter. These reviews can drastically impact how your website performs and how your business succeeds.
How to Get Google Reviews From Customers
Provide your customers hard copy instructions for leaving you a review
In my experience, it’s often the most difficult to receive documented feedback from a customer that is happy with your product or service. More often than not, it’s the customers that had a poor experience that will work the hardest to find an avenue to express their frustrations. Whether your customer experienced the horror of cold enchiladas like John from Chicago, or they’ve never tasted anything quite as good as your homemade Mexican cuisine like Julie, give your customers the opportunity to leave you feedback in the moment. This will ensure you receive the online boost you need and will show your customers that genuinely care about their experience at your restaurant.
Send your customers an email
If gathering positive feedback isn’t possible based on your business model, or you’d rather your clients complete this feedback on their own time, sending a follow-up email can be a great first step to improving your online reputation. Often for our own clients, we create an “e-card” for them to solicit feedback about their business.
This file generally consists of:
- The logo of the business
- A message about the feedback
- A compelling background image
- Link to leave a review on the designated platform (In most cases, Google Plus)
Here is a great resource for creating a direct link to your Google Plus profile
Responding to Bad Reviews
While it’s important to offset your bad customer reviews with good ones, to improve the overall perception of your business to new potential customers, don’t let yourself ignore the negativity. Responding to bad customer reviews can help your business’ reputation in the following ways:
- A genuine and helpful response may convince your upset customer to revise or remove their bad review. Just because John had a bad experience this time, doesn’t mean you can’t convince him to come back. Writing a response to his complaint that addresses his concern and directs him to the proper resources can go a long way in saving your reputation.
- Responding to negativity in a positive way shows that you care about your customers and are interested in improving your perception.
The Importance of Customer Feedback
- A business listing with positive reviews on Google and other 3rd Party platforms is more likely to be clicked on that one that doesn’t have any reviews. Search engine users are looking for the best enchiladas money can buy, they won’t know about your excellence if you don’t provide the outlet for others to speak about you.
- 3rd-Party reviews will help boost your local search engine optimization. Websites like Google Plus, Yelp, and TripAdvisor can either get you immediate recognition on the first page or help to boost the quality of your business in the eye’s of search engines. (You want Google bots raving about your hot sauce too, don’t you?)
- Protect yourself from the bad PR! A wave of positive customer reviews can help to offset the one customer that claims their order turned out miserably.
Don’t have any reviews for your business yet? We can help! Contact our digital marketing experts and let us help you get the positive reviews you deserve! Request a free quote and let us show you how SocialSEO can help take your business to the next level online!