Monday, 10 December 2018

Review Rescue - a new service from HelpHound

You are reading this article because your business currently scores 4.4 or less on Google, like this...


or this...


or this...


or even this...


...and you know you need to take action. The only issue is 'what kind of action'? Please read on...


Here are two questions...

First: What is your reaction when you see businesses that score like these on Google?

Is it...

a)  'Avoid them like the plague', or...

b)  'Ignore them (the scores) and carry on', or...

c)  'Feel sorry that the image of the business may have been unfairly tarnished by a tiny minority of highly-motivated dissatisfied customers'?


Second: do you use the Google filter when searching for businesses?




a)  'Yes', or...


b)  'No', or... 


c)  'Never heard of it'*


*We use the word 'heard' here advisedly - you will have 'seen' the filter but may not have 'noticed' it or been conscious of it. Google introduced it into map search first and then, when it proved popular (Google never do anything by accident) they migrated it to mobile - where over 70% of searches now take place. This means that savvy searchers are now filtering any business that scores less then 4.5 out of their searches completely. There's more on the Google filter here.



Anyone who has answered 'b' to both these questions is probably so cynical they will be impossible to convince that reviews, Google or otherwise, matter at all. For the rest of us - and academic research suggests we are in the overwhelming majority - let's proceed to the next step. 


In the real world a business that scores under 4.5 out of 5 on Google will fall into one of two categories...


a)  Deserving of such a rating - couldn't-care-less, sloppy customer service, unreliable (in fact, all the things that are said about them in their negative reviews, or...


b)  Generally great at what they do, with effective customer relations strategies in place and staff committed to delivering a high standard of service but as yet to engage with Google reviews**

**Important note (1): there are currently many businesses that think they have a viable solution to Google reviews: they simply hand-pick customers they they have a very good reason to think will post a five star review. This is, for reasons which I am sure you will appreciate after some thought, against the law in the UK. It also runs the risk of the business being sanctioned by Google for what they call 'gating'. For more on the UK government regulations relating to this, please read this article.


At HelpHound we are - self-evidently - only interested in helping businesses that fall fairly-and-squarely into the second category. Why? Because our service only works for businesses in that category - we cannot (and would not) work to enable a shoddy business to look good.


The issue we are addressing is straightforward - by now almost every business on the planet is receiving Google reviews. But thanks to the element of human nature already alluded to often perfectly good businesses are finding their image is being unfairly tarnished. If your business is showing signs of any of the following...



  • An unfairly low Google score 
  • A low Google score by comparison with your competitors, which, again you feel to be undeserved
  • Feedback from customers*** referring to reviews that you consider to be unfair, inaccurate or misleading

***Important note (2):You won't necessarily know your business is being hurt - potential customers don't walk into your premises and say 'I'm not using you because I've read your reviews' but that is exactly what happens. You are much more likely to get the flip side of this when you have great scores and reviews: 'I chose your business first because you look great by comparison with your competitors in search.'


You will know when reviews are working for you though - business will pick up by a marked - and measurable - extent. Just look at these results...



...and read the full story here.

The solution

We call it 'HelpHound intensive'. For a period - usually not exceeding six months - we will place your business and its review management processes into an intensive care programme which, providing your business fulfils the criteria mentioned above, will achieve the following...
  1. A score in excess of 4.5 on your own website
  2. A score in excess of 4.5 on Google
  3. A minimum of fifty reviews on your own website
  4. A minimum of twenty-five reviews on Google
...but you won't need to wait six months to see the benefits - the Google My Business report for Curchods you see above was sent to them within weeks of joining (and they had started from scratch).

No smoke and mirrors

Everything we advise you to do will be in compliance with the CMA regulations. Everything we advise you to do will be 'best advice' for your business - no one-size-fits-all widgets, just pure professional advice. 

A note about reviews sites


These sites - certainly for high-value professional and transactional service businesses - have been dealt a death-blow by Google. Since Google reviews became the vehicle of choice for those wanting to 'get back' at businesses that they see - rightly or wrongly - have done them a disservice, we have noticed a very common, and harmful, syndrome that has now reached epidemic proportions: it's called 'deflection' and it means that happy customers are writing to the business's reviews site of choice and unhappy customers are writing to Google, meaning that the business looks much worse than it should on Google. If you suspect that your business has fallen - or may fall - victim to this, please read this article carefully.


And finally...


Like any other professional adviser, we stand or fall on the value of our ongoing service to you, our client - so we don't tie you into any kind of contract.



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