Monday, 12 November 2018

Is your business's marketing and review management joined up?

Let's see what we mean by joined up. Here are two advertisements run in the Times this weekend. One is a single page (rate card £27,000) and the other a double page spread (rate card £42,000)...







Now, suppose you were attracted by one of these advertisements, what do we suppose might be your next action*. Perhaps one of these...

  • call the business? 
  • email the business? 
  • visit the business's website?

* as readers will know, there are two kinds of advertising: 'above the line' (often known as 'brand' advertising) designed to enhance the reader's 'feel' for the brand in question and 'below the line' designed specifically to generate a hard - quantifiable - response (leads). Both of the above advertisements might reasonably be considered to fulfil both functions, but as they both include 'calls to action' in the form of web-links we feel justified in judging them on a below-the-line basis.

So - in order to either call, email or visit the business's website their potential customers have two options...

  1. follow the url in the advertisement
  2. google the business
For the purpose of this article we will assume it's about half-and-half. So let's see what happens when we google these two businesses (on our phone, because that's what most people have to hand when they are reading a paper). First Irwin Mitchell...



...with 'Reviews' front-and-centre, one click away...




And now Invesco...



We are not going to comment at this stage. We will now simply show you a HelpHound client's brand advertising...


...and in print...



...and then show you what happens if a potential customer googles their local branch...






...and - as an added bonus - if the potential customer were to go direct to their website...




...or even search for them on desktop...



So: Our message...

Get your review management sorted and the response to all your other advertising and marketing must rise*, it's as simple as that.


Note re: Irwin Mitchell and reviews sites

The more eagle-eyed of you may notice that Irwin Mitchell have employed both Feefo and Trustpilot. Their experience with these sites is one of the most pronounced cases of deflection that we have ever seen ('deflection': the negative impact on a business's Google score of inviting customers to write reviews to reviews sites - more here).


*Must rise? 

Here are some numbers - from Google My Business - for a single location for one of our clients...




...for more read this.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

A single negative review - just how much harm can it do?

We hear this kind of comment often - admittedly less often than we used to - but still often enough to get onto our soapbox and trumpet...


Negative reviews hurt business(es)

Just look at this...




...emailed by Google to the reviewer. The review is exactly three months old. In that time it has been seen by over 500 people. 

Do we think all five hundred have been put off the business in question? Probably not - but it's a nailed-on certainty that some have. So what has the business in question done? Nothing at all. 

What should they have done? Responded to the reviewer, that's what - addressing the issues raised, whatever they are, and however 'unfair' the business thinks the review may be.

What else can a business do?

Invite reviews from all its customers would be a good start. Next: how about responding to all customers who take the trouble to write a review - it takes minutes a week and is sure to impress potential customers, it can also gently correct factual inaccuracies or misconceptions, so readers don't automatically assume the reviewer is correct. The business above has responded to none of its reviewers, the majority of them saying 'use this business' - wouldn't at least a thank-you be in order?

What if the review is factually incorrect or misleading (or even malicious)?




You can appeal to Google to have the review removed. Here is an article that goes into detail about the procedure.

Better than that - if you are a member of HelpHound, you will have a very good chance that the customer will have written their review to you before going on to post it to Google. And all HelpHound reviews are moderated - not to 'weed out' negative reviews, but to ensure, for everyone's benefit, that reviews containing factual inaccuracies or potentially misleading comments are not published - either on the business's website or on Google (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Read all about our moderation process here. It's worth its weight in gold for everyone concerned - the writer of the review, the reader of the review and the business under review.

Quality is SO important where reviews are concerned

We have commented on the difference between 'feedback' and 'reviews' recently - here - but there is one aspect we neglected: quality.

If you are selling products a five star review is worth having, irrespective of the words attached to those five stars. people will buy a five star camera or a five star toaster on the basis of the star rating alone - but a high-value service? Not the same. They want to mine down into the content of the reviews themselves. 

Compare these...







With these...




Interestingly, for us at least, these reviews are the last three written for the first client we looked at. Check any HelpHound client's reviews and you will see the same. Why? Because of the way in which our clients ask their customers for their reviews - by email (not text). And the way in which they prepare their customers - the request to write a review does not come as a surprise, they have been preparing the way by 'warning' their customers that they will be asking for a review at every point in the transaction.

So: don't let the temptation to indulge in a headlong rush for numbers and ratings, quality of the reviews themselves is what drives business through the door for service businesses.