It feels like the ultimate injustice: some wacko out of left field leaves a one star review on Google, citing some complaint that nobody on your staff knows anything about. All of a sudden, your business has 3.5 stars out of five, and your online credibility isn’t there anymore.
How Much Do Reviews Matter?
If you’ve ever shopped online, you probably know the answer. Research from BrightLocal suggests that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Furthermore…
84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.
How Can I Control Reviews?
The key here can be creating a pipeline of quality reviews. If you make it easy to leave a review, and prompt satisfied customers/clients to leave a review, you’ll start generating a stream. This is where automated email and text programs can come in handy (see below). As regular reviews start to come in, the ratio of positive to negative reviews begins to turn in your favor.
Think about it: most people only leave reviews without prompting when they are either really angry or especially happy. By generating a review stream, you have weight counterbalancing the outliers. For example, if you get 100 reviews, a few 1-star reviews aren’t going to carry much weight in your overall score. But two one-star reviews out of ten with crush your rating.
Rules When Making a Review Stream
- Automated emails are great, but many people ignore emails requesting a review
- Automated text messages are more invasive, but also more effective. People prefer to leave reviews via the convenient smartphone, and if you can contact them while they are still feeling great about their experience with you, that increases the odds they’ll leave a review.
- Be careful about how many new reviews you get all at once. Google and other platforms get suspicious when you go from one review a month to ten per week. Even if the reviews are legitimate, make sure there is a stream, not a torrent.
Tools To Keep Reviews In Check
This tool sends your clients a notification to leave a review. It asks if they had a good experience or a bad experience. If they had a good experience it redirects them to Google or Facebook to leave an actual review. If they say their experience was negative, it allows them to leave a review that can only be seen internally, by your office. Public profiles remain intact, and your business still gets reliable feedback.
Similar to Banyan.
Responding to Reviews
In that BrightLocal survey, it was also found that…
30% named responding to reviews a key to judging a business.
Respond to reviews, positive and negative, to show your character, to show that you care.