Tuesday 28 November 2017

Don't let your business fall victim to 'Drifting Down'

'Drifting Down'? What exactly is that? Let us explain...

You business - like every other business - started life with no Google reviews. Now businesses - including yours - fall into one of the following categories:
  1. No Google reviews
  2. Google reviews - and no engagement
  3. Google reviews -  and engaged
For the time-being let us concern ourselves with businesses falling under headings 1 and 2, because they are the ones that will be vulnerable to 'Drifting Down' (more on 3 later)...

Businesses in these categories will often find that their first reviews result in them either looking like this...

Of hundreds of customers only nine - demonstrably happy ones - have bothered to leave a review. Not engaged.

Or this...

This time, of thousands of patients, the majority of the nineteen who have bothered to leave a review have left a negative one. Not engaged.

...through no real fault of their own.

The point is - the former could easily become subject to 'Drifting Down' and the latter already has. 

If you doubt the power of reviews and their correlation with revenue we strongly suggest you read this report by Michael Luca of Harvard Business School

Drifting Down is where natural human behaviour kicks in, to the detriment of the business and, importantly, to the detriment of potential customers/clients/patients of that business, who are deterred from using it (if you doubt this read this article from BrightLocal, or this one on the positive benefits), as follows:
  • the business gets its first reviews, hopefully positive - all is well
  • the business gets its first negative review - this must be taken very seriously, because if it is mishandled (or ignored), the 'Drifting Down' process will begin. The business's Google score will already have been impacted, and will no longer be a perfect 5.
  • the 'first negative' has an interesting impact - not only does it make the business look less than perfect (not necessarily a bad thing of itself) it 'gives permission' to subsequent reviewers - and readers of the business's reviews - to post their own negative reviews (we call this the 'me too' syndrome). We see this all the time, a business has no negative reviews, maybe for years, and it gets just one, then, within months, it has a whole clutch
  • this is the beginning of Drifting Down - and it is exacerbated when a business has many reviews, some of which are negative - consumers who might otherwise write a positive review will not do so - for two reasons, first: they are put off doing so by the negative reviews (they don't want to go against the flow) and second: they begin to say to themselves 'business X has lots of [positive] reviews, they don't need mine' - and that leaves the way clear for those negatively motivated, for whatever reason, to write a negative review. Before you know it the business looks like this...

   There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this business - we're betting - they have just failed to engage with review management, and this has resulted in a higher proportion of their reviews being from dissatisfied customers

 ...failing the Google filter (by scoring less than 4.0) and with a massive mountain to climb to get back north of that critical number. And that mountain will only become higher, and steeper, as the months and years pass.

The answer?

Be a 'Category 3' business. Adopt review management - pure and simple. Engage with your customers now - and show the world just how good you are...

...not perfect, but pretty nearly so - and certainly not 'Drifting Down'.

How was this achieved? By a combination of actively inviting clients to write a review - by email and by incorporating this simple button into their website...

Not rocket science, just modern proactive professional review management - pure and simple.


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