Thursday 7 August 2014

Google reviews - beware the 'novice' trap

Our post 'instantly changing your image' on Google a fortnight ago prompted quite a response, and now that Google reviews have established themselves firmly as the primary resource for potential customers (for most: the only) we will be blogging about them with increasing regularity.

One response in particular raised a very important point: "It's all very well for businesses in the enviable position that Shepherds found themselves in (with four 4*/5* reviews) before Google gave them a star rating, but what about those of us with three or four one and two star reviews?"

Let's look at a real-life example:

Damaging? - you bet! But much more so once there are five: then the star rating will show in search

Suppose their next review was a 5*? Their star rating would be 2. Not helpful in the short-term. Suppose it was another 1*? Overall rating 1.2 (would show as 1 star).

So what to do?

The solution is both simple and urgent. Urgent: because the next review could be posted at any time, resulting in an awful (and importantly, influential rating). Simple: how so?

What HelpHound's Dialogue will do for businesses in this position - a 5 step plan:
  1. Get Dialogue embedded in their website ASAP
  2. Email each and every customer asking them to write a review to the business through Dialogue
  3. Manage any negatives in private
  4. Invite all published reviewers to re-post their reviews to Google
  5. One hour later - check Google star rating
One hour? Yes, it really does happen that quickly - people don't flag the email to follow up later, they either post the review straight away or they don't.

Why invite all our customers?

For these reasons:
  • You need the credibility: you want to be able to say to cynical prospective customers that you invite all your customers to write reviews
  • You need to know which of your customers are less than happy: so you can rescue their custom
  • You won't have to worry about them publishing a negative review: (on your website or on Google): because you will have had the opportunity to resolve whatever issue they had brought to you in private, inside Dialogue

And just two last points for those businesses reading this who have no reviews on Google:
  • You're missing out on one of the most effective new business drivers there is
  • Remember that consumers are on average fifteen times more likely to write a negative review, and you could have five by this time next week (unlikely, but possible. Why run the risk?)

Dialogue: every business's solution to review management.

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