As a business owner, Google Reviews can seem scary – especially if you’re just starting out. Learn how to manage your reviews and use this powerful platform to your advantage. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make Google Reviews work for your business.
5 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Google Reviews
Managing your reputation is just like any other aspect of marketing your business – it takes work! But proactively building a positive reputation is much easier than running damage control.
Here are a few ways to take control of your Google Reviews and make them work for you:
- Set the Scene for Positive Reviews
- Actively Solicit Customer Complaints
- Take Ownership of Your Review Profiles
- Solicit Organic 5-Star Reviews
- Respond Appropriately to Negative Reviews
1) Set the Stage for Positive Reviews
Often we think of our Google reviews in hindsight. But businesses who have the most 5-star reviews are those who proactively set the stage for positive feedback. From the very first interaction with your business to the close of sale, each customer should be perceived as a potential reviewer. Make sure your employees recognize the value of creating a positive experience for every client and are properly trained to do so.
2) Actively Solicit Customer Complaints
Customer complaints are valuable. They give you the fuel you need to learn, evolve, and grow your business. But there is a time and a place for everything. By actively soliciting these complaints in the right way, you’re more likely to put out the fire before being slammed with a scathing 1-star review on Google. Develop a customer feedback program and ask questions that pry. Get the nitty-gritty details on how well your business is (or is NOT) performing. And make sure to provide a resolution for the complaints that you do get. Many times a proactive approach to complaint resolution will prompt a positive review on Google!
3) Take Ownership of Your Google My Business Listing
Did you know that as the business owner, you can and should claim your Google My Business listing? Not only does it give you the access to respond to your reviews, but Google now offers even more features to help boost your local SEO ranking. But here’s the thing – Google also actively seeks out information from the public about your business. By claiming and managing your Google My Business listing, you will have more control over which of these edits are accepted and reject those that are not accurate (and could potentially be harmful) to your business. Once you have access, don’t stop there! Continue to look for ways to optimize your listing and increase the chances of being found when someone performs a local search.
4) Solicit Organic 5-Star Reviews
Don’t be afraid to ask for a positive review! When your customers have a phenomenal experience with your business, they usually don’t mind sharing. Make sure you ask for a “5-star review” on Google. The best time to ask is at the close of the sale or after they’ve verbally praised you or sent you a testimonial via email. Provide the customer with a link that will lead them directly to the place they will leave the review to make it easy and seamless. I have never been told no when asking a client for a 5-star review. It works! And … it’s real.
5) Respond Appropriately to Negative Reviews
If you do receive a bad review, you’ll want to make sure to respond. By taking the time to respond, you’re telling the unhappy customer that you care. More importantly, you are showing potential customers how you would work for them. You do want to make sure you follow best practices for responding to reviews. The goal is to apologize and get the customer to take it offline for resolution. Do not become defensive as this will only add fuel to the blazing fire.
Read more on How to Respond to Bad Reviews
Sharing Positive Reviews
When all the hard work begins to pay off and the Google reviews start to roll in, don’t let the momentum end there! Grab those reviews and share them on social media, your website, and any other platform available to you. When sharing on social media, be sure to thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience with others.