Wednesday 12 November 2014

A single 1* review - how damaging can that be?

Or: Why engage with reviews NOW?

Just one tiny one star review? A question we are getting asked more and more - and our answer is becoming more definitive by the day. But first let us look at what businesses say to us...
  • 'It is only one review'
  • 'We have hundreds of happy clients'
  • 'It is not representative'
So far, so good. But now let us look at the reality...
  • It is 'only one review', but it is the only review showing, and it is showing on on Google. Everyone who searches for this business is being shown it; to date over 5000 people have had the opportunity to see this review. They were offered it by Google - just a click away
  • None of this agent's happy clients has written a review on Google - yet. Because they have not been invited to. When they are, they will see this review before they start writing. That has been proved to be unhelpful by no less an institution than Harvard University, who showed that subsequent reviewers' opinions are influenced by previous reviews.
  • 'Not representative' - whatever the review says and whoever the reviewer may be it still counts as a 1* review towards your score. You know it is not representative, we know it is not representative, but it remains the only impression your prospective clients are getting from Google
  • It will count (one fifth) towards this business's first Google score. If the next four reviews are 5* then the business will score 4.2. If the next review is another 1* then that score will fall to 3.4
This last point is the one businesses need to take on board NOW. Even if they do not have any Google reviews; in fact, more so if they do not have any Google reviews. 

Planning for a great Google score

Being sure of looking great on Google requires planning. Just doing a great job and hoping will not work. Why? Because happy clients do not write reviews. They have to be invited.

This is where Dialogue comes in: besides giving you a way to show credible reviews on your own website Dialogue incorporates two crucial mechanisms:
  1. Resolution™ - where reviews from dissatisfied clients are sent to you in private so whatever issue that has been raised can be managed (again, in private)
  2. An invitation for your client to post their (great) review to Google
But we do not want to run the risk of inviting negative reviews

This means that you need no longer hesitate to invite reviews for fear of encouraging negatives. The following birds are killed with one simple stone (Dialogue):
  • Great (credible) reviews showing on your own website - to drive business
  • Less than favourable comments managed in private - aiding client retention
  • Great reviews (and scores) on Google - to drive business
The sooner you start, the sooner you will look great to your prospective clients - and the risk of attracting that damaging 1* review will have been diminished.

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