For a variety of reasons, but three main ones which we will explore here, along with their consequences...
1. Denial - 'We don't see the need to'
It took years for Google reviews to gain traction - and during that time some businesses were lulled into thinking they did not/would not matter. But now they do - and how.
- unhappy consumers write reviews - in rapidly growing numbers. Just look at these three businesses that had just six Google reviews between them two years ago...
- competitors that do find a way to engage will succeed, at the expense of those businesses that do not...
Three clients of ours that had less than a dozen Google reviews between them when they joined
Answer: Engage with reviews, on Google and on your own website - with HelpHound's advice and support
2. Fear - 'We are afraid to ask our customers to write reviews'*
HelpHound - and professional review management - will help you overcome the fear - we promise!
Completely understandable. What business would willingly risk its reputation? How can a business know, or at least be as confident as possible, that its customers will not write inaccurate or misleading reviews?
*there is a subset here: businesses that genuinely don't provide a good service or value for money - the kind we see every week on BBC's Watchdog - and thank goodness for Google reviews in their case. Three years ago they would have got away with it, now there's a good likelihood that a significant number of their customers will find their way to Google and write a review there. The rule for consumers in the second decade of the 21st century? Don't use a business that has no reviews on Google - and be wary of businesses that promote their reputations on independent reviews sites instead.
- unhappy customers will write reviews - in rapidly growing numbers. See the examples under 'We don't need to' above.
- competitors that do engage will succeed, by having significant numbers of great reviews, in absolute terms and relative to their competitors - reviews win business
- your business will stand out - but not in a good way (especially when Google begins to rank business by review score in search)
Answer: overcome the fear - engage, with HelpHound
3. Reviews sites - 'We reckon we have it covered already'
The web has evolved so fast - look at all these review sites (and they are only the tip of the iceberg) - all supplanted in recent years by Google
Businesses that have committed to independent reviews sites over the last few years suddenly realise they have the wrong solution - Google is all.
- consumers won't see your reviews, relatively speaking - just compare the visibility of Google reviews and reviews from any independent site, from the world's biggest like Yelp and TripAdvisor to the relative minnows like TrustPilot and Feefo - and credibility? - there's no contest
- consumers will question why you have reviews on an independent site (if they see them) - why wouldn't you have them on Google?
- will my reviews show under my listing in organic search?
- will my reviews show in 'Reviews from the web'
- do you have a CMA compliant* system that minimises the chances that an inaccurate or misleading review will be posted?
- do I own my own reviews?
- can a customer post a review of my business at a time of their choosing?
- why should I choose to get my customers' reviews to your site and not Google?
- Resolution™ 'Taking the fear our of Reviews' - the system built in to HelpHound, protecting businesses and consumers from misleading and inaccurate reviews - and 'the Fear Factor' - more on overcoming the understandable reluctance to ask consumers for reviews
- 'Doctors: what happens if you ignore Google reviews?' - a salutary case-history for any business that has yet to engage with Google reviews
- 'The Red Carnation Story' - how one business showed the way by deciding to embrace reviews
- 'Visits up 27% thanks to HelpHound' - the immediate impact of professional review management