Thursday 11 October 2018

Don't incentivise your customers to post reviews to Google

Read the full horror story here

We've said it before - and we will keep on saying it. Google hates businesses that incentivise customers to write reviews (and, to be honest, we think it leaves a pretty sour taste in some customers' mouths as well).

But we all know reviews - positive reviews at least - don't write themselves. So what is a professionally run business to do? 

Our answer is simple: in the same way as businesses integrated consumer feedback into their day-to-day operations in the nineties, businesses now need to integrate review management. For so many businesses this is still seen as a bolt-on or an afterthought, when it should be part-and-parcel of everyone's daily lives.

Integrated review management - a 5 step guide...

1.  Invite all your customers - and any other stakeholders (potential customers, past customers) to post a review direct to your own website. 

A button like this will suffice

2.  Target staff to invite a certain number of their customer contacts to post such a review every week or month. Not as an added 'chore' but as part of their core role within your business.

3.  Get those reviews independently moderated - this is important: if they are not moderated your business will be at risk of publishing inaccurate or misleading reviews (and these help no-one - the person posting the review or the person reading it), if they are not independently moderated your reviews revert to the status of testimonials (simple puffs for the business - in the eyes of consumers and the regulators and Google).

4.  Invite everyone who has a review published on your website to copy that review across to Google. To show like this...

...and then - a click away - this...

and yes, those 166 reviews showing at top left under 'Reviews from the web' are the reviews on their own website

5.  Respond to every review (besides being good manners it is also excellent marketing - your response can highlight aspects of your service for those reading the review).

Further reading...

  • The 'rule of 50 per cent': getting half of your customers - over time - to write a review to your own website and then half of those who do so to copy their review to Google will ensure success. Here's how.

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