Monday 26 November 2018

HelpHound - taking the 'fear' out of reviews for businesses

Almost every business we meet is afraid of engaging with reviews - at least they are 'afraid' of engaging with Google reviews. And this fear is well founded. In this article we will look at why businesses are right to be concerned just how they engage with Google reviews and what solutions they should be adopting.

The issues...

1.  Human nature 

If a business has 1000 customers, and let us, for this exercise's sake, assume 97 per cent of them are happy and the business then invites all* of them to write a review they should expect a satisfaction rating of 97 out of 100, right? Wrong. In a study, Harvard Business School worked out that an unhappy customer is about fifteen time more likely to write a review. The impact of that statistic on these numbers? They are skewed violently against the business. In terms of a Google score, where one could expect an overall response to an email inviting reviews of about one per cent, the figures would work out something like this... a Google score of 3.7 and failing the Google filter.

So: Fear No. 1 - the fear of having your business damaged by disproportionate negative reviews.

2.  Google's T&Cs

We are often asked 'Can we get this - unfair/inaccurate/misleading/fake/malicious - Google review taken down?' The answer is: rarely. We have numerous instances on file where the business owner has told us that such a review is severely damaging their new business, their relationship with their existing customers or their ability to recruit staff.

Fear No. 2 - the fear of unfair/inaccurate/misleading/fake/malicious reviews harming your business

3.  The CMA regulations

These state that a business that invites any of its customers to post a review must allow all of its customers to do so - and at a time of their own choosing. Think about this for a minute: if you needed to rely on reviews and chose a business based on their reviews and score, how pleased would you be if you subsequently found out that only their nailed-on happy customers were invited to write a review and others could not, however hard they tried? Or that they especially timed the invitation to coincide with when the reviewer was bound to respond positively?

Fear No. 3 - that by complying with the law you will be harming your business.

What, then, does your business need?

It needs a mechanism that...

  • complies with the CMA regulations
  • enables your business to manage unfair/inaccurate/misleading/fake/malicious before they are posted to Google (or anywhere else)
  • allows your business to counteract the inherently unbalancing effect of human nature
And the name of that mechanism? Review management.

Professional review management...
  • complies with the CMA regulations - by allowing all of your customers to write a review at a time of their own choosing
  • enables your business to manage unfair/inaccurate/misleading/fake/malicious before they are posted to Google - in fact, before they are posted to the business's own website
  • allows your business to counteract the inherently unbalancing effect of human nature - by encouraging and enabling more of its satisfied customers to post reviews, to its own website and to Google

The process...

It all begins with the button you see here - 'Write a review'...

...on your own website. The minute that appears your business complies with the CMA regulations (because you are allowing any customer to write a review at any time of their own choosing).

Next - when the reviewer submits their review - it is read by a moderator. If it contains anything that might reasonably be expected to mislead a reader - be that inaccurate, misleading, fake or malicious content - the moderator will then invite the reviewer and the business to resolve whatever issue has been raised*.

The review is then posted on the business's own site...

...and the reviewer is then asked to copy it to Google...

...which many will, especially if they are encouraged by their contact at the business.

Resulting in the business looking like this on their own website....

...and like this when they are looked up on Google...

...and, perhaps most important of all, like this when they are looked up in a competitive or local search...

And the results?

Look at what engaging with review management did for this business...

...for more on this read this article.

So: another business that was just as 'fearful' as yours when it first considered reviews and concerned about just how it could look as good as it deserved on Google without endangering its reputation has achieved all its objectives thanks to professional review management. 

*Please don't get the impression that review management will in any way allow your business to deflect genuinely held negative opinions: that's down to your own business practices. For more on how professional moderation benefits both business and consumer read this article.

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