Google reviews are important. They are great for your reputation, help provide customers with confidence that your service is top notch and if you’re into SEO – also help you rank in the snack pack.
The downside is that there is no shortcut in getting them and it takes know how and work.
Simply put, there’s really no magic formula for this. However, here is how to ask and get Google reviews for your business and also deal with any roadblocks put in your way.
How to Ask for Google Reviews for your Business
There’s no getting around asking your clients/customers to leave a review. If you’re going to get a review, you have to ask someone to leave one. It’s that simple. There are a number of ways you can ask for reviews:
• Ask the last customer you interacted with.
• Ask once you complete a job.
• Ask via an email.
• Ask when you finish a conversation over the phone.
• Ask when sending a bill.
Basically, you can take advantage of any opportunity you get to ask a client to leave a review. Of course, you don’t want to pressure them or be annoying while doing so. Just politely ask them and let them know you’ll appreciate it.
Other Ways to Get Google Reviews
1. Use Review Generation Tools
Review generation tools ideally make the process of asking for a review a lot more streamlined. Be sure to check out our complete guide on the best online review generation platforms. For instance, Review Buzz is one popular internet marketing tool specifically designed to help business owners get more Google Reviews (as well as in other review platforms).
2. Direct Link – How to Send a Link for a Google Review
Google My Business provides a great way to find the PlaceID of a business, which can even be added to a preset URL in order to create a direct review link. Yes, it’s actually very confusing.
All in all, there are a couple of drawbacks to this method; the URL is quite long and overwhelming to the customer, and the PlaceID can easily lose a character (or be truncated) in the copy and paste process, which would render it useless. Nonetheless, this method still gets the job done, though there are better and more effective ways of growing your Google Reviews.
3. Email Signature
Having a simple call to action as your default email signature, such as “Got feedback? Leave us a review on Google.” can go a long way in generating a decent amount of reviews by itself. Think of how many emails you send out a month. Including a link in your email signatures is one of the easiest ways to boost your review count on Google.
How to Get Positive Google Reviews
• Ask for feedback immediately. Keep in mind that reviews are more likely to be positive if done immediately after the transaction. So, go ahead and capture the excitement before it fades and ask for feedback right away. If you are wondering how to get more positive reviews on google this will help.
• Identify your strongest customers. Brand ambassadors and regular customers are more likely to leave the most positive reviews. Since you already have an established relationship, they are more than willing to jump at the chance of providing a glowing testimonial.
• Take your time. You don’t want to generate too many positive reviews all at once. Keep in mind that in an effort to combat spam, many websites have filters for reviews that suddenly start to appear in large numbers. Start with a few positive reviews per month, not several in just one week.
• Create handouts. Come up with a simple handout that your customers can use to offer their opinion of your business online. Leverage your invoices, receipts, and emails. Place a call to action on these requesting a review on various platforms. Consider also providing links to your review profiles on newsletters, emails, and order updates.
• Have a schedule for review requests. One of the best ways to increase your Google reviews numbers is to ask every customer for them. Integrate review requests into your regular business routine. For those who are afraid of getting a bad review, start by informally asking for feedback. If a customer raves about your business, ask them to publish the statement online.
Benefits of Replying to Online Reviews
Exceed customer expectations: if you fail to reply to your customer’s reviews, you’ll fall short of their expectations. 86% of users who give a bad review or complain expect a response within 3 days. Having a process in place to respond to customers will help you meet and exceed their expectations.
Seize the opportunity to influence: Replying to reviews gives you an opportunity to add comments that ideally offer perspective, provide context, and support the reviewer. These responses have a double-duty task – influencing future shoppers who come across the reviews and turn them into loyal future customers.
Make a Connection: Humans are intricate social creatures. So are those who reach out to leave a review of your business. Responding to their comments validates them, their efforts, and has an overall feel-good result. Google introduced an alert feature that sends the reviewer an email alert when you respond to their review. This way, they get an instant rush from you, and get another impression of your brand.
Receive Even Better Ratings: according to a study from Harvard Business Review, businesses who responded to customer reviews got 12% more reviews. Their ratings also increased on an average of 0.12 stars, which could translate into an extra 1 or 2 stars in your total rating.
The Fear of Negative Reviews Shouldn’t Hold You Back
It’s only natural to be a bit nervous when the reputation of your business is at stake. However, take it from the experts; the best thing you can do it jump into the reality of customer reviews with both feet so that you’ll have all the controls that owner responses give you.
The first step is to understand that negative sentiments can actually be a goldmine of feedback from which your business can:
• Discover any quality control problems or failures
• Win back unhappy customers
• Design and implement solutions to problems that customers cite as problematic
Next, you need to know that as many studies reveal, most customers actually have more trust in a business or product with a 4.5 stars rating than they have in a business with a perfect 5 out of 5 stars rating. This shows that most consumers are realists, and they know unreasonable people exists and even great companies have bad days. So, they don’t expect flawless perfection from a business.
Finally, you need to make it a firm business policy (and take a solemn vow) to never represent your business poorly with your owner responses. A display of blame-shifting, anger, snobbery, pettiness, or narcissism on your part will probably do more damage to the reputation of your brand than a single negative review can.
Read: How to Dominate the SERPs for your Branded Terms
Try to show:
• Problem-solving, and
• Professionalism at all times.
Understand that the customer isn’t a professional, you are. Acting like it while responding to all forms of sentiments will highlight your company’s core values for all your potential customers to see.
How to Respond to Unreasonable Reviews
Here, things become more about patience and learning to keep your cool. There are too many businesses that allow a review from a crazy person bait them into looking terrible online. Don’t join this club.
The first step of responding to Google review that are completely unreasonable or appear fabricated is to stay calm. It’s certainly frustrating or infuriating to see someone do this, but it’s always best to take the high road. Now that you’re sure you can proceed with a level head, you can proceed to the next steps.
Keep in mind that the value of your brand is much more important, and so is your online professional image. As such, how you choose to respond to bad reviews is a big opportunity for your business. Here is how you can knock it out of the park with your answer.
Check with your employees and records to ensure there’s no shred of truth to what the person said in their review. This will essentially give you the ammo you need to respond professionally and put the review behind you. If you confirm the review is unreasonable, you can calmly type a response highlighting this and not come across as rude or aggressive.
For example, if a negative review is a lie, you can say you checked and there are no records of them ever being at your business. If the reviewer was looking for something you don’t provide, simply tell them so and apologize for any confusion that might have caused this.
The response doesn’t have to be drawn out or fancy, you just need to address the review with facts and move on. This will help to quickly turn the perception of your business around among the people viewing your page.
The best way to respond to negative Google review comments is often all about knowing when to keep everything simple and not waste your time. Such situations will greatly benefit from your course of action.
Google reviews doesn’t have a simple “delete” option. In fact, there are only two ways in which a review can be deleted. The user who posted the review can choose to delete it, or your business can flag the review as “inappropriate”. Flagging a review will alert Google that a given review is fake or doesn’t comply with the review policies. Here’s how to do it:
Open Google Maps and locate your business.
Click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the review. Select “Flag as inappropriate” from the dropdown.
Next, you’ll need to complete a brief report on the issue and then enter your email to allow for follow up communication. As you can imagine, this process is rather slow, and there are no guarantees that the review will be removed. And even if Google does remove it, there’s really no telling when they will actually take down the comment. In that time, your business could lose thousands of potential customers while you wait for Google to take it down.
How to Request Google Reviews are Removed
As such, you might want to take matters into your own hands. Here are 3 ideas to do so:
1. Ask the customer to delete or edit their review
Google reviews are not set in stone. The original reviewer can change or delete their review. However, you have to change their mind first.
The first step is to determine whether this is a reasonable person who can actually change their mind. In case the reviewer had left an awfully long emotionally charged complaint, or it’s clear the service or product was simply not for them (think of a meat lover at a vegan restaurant or a quiet person in a noisy bar), then they most likely won’t change their mind. Go ahead and respond to their comment respectfully.
In other instances, it’s actually possible to turn the negative sentiments into positive ones. For example, a customer probably left the bad review because something went wrong that day – a defective product somehow managed to land on their hands, the service was slow for some reason or another, or the sous chef was having a day off. Such reviews are more likely to be fixed. Try to do the following:
Respond to their review and thank them for taking their time. Apologize for the mistake and let them know the situation was rectified. Tell them you’d appreciate a chance to make it up to them. Ask them to visit again (or give them your contact information) for a special offer. If they visit or contact you, ensure you deliver as promised. Be friendly, and thank them for using your service or visiting again.
The final step is to follow up and see if they’d change their review. Emphasize on the importance of your customers’ review, and provide them with details on how they can change it.
2. Get Legal
This should only be used for serious situations. You have the option of submitting a legal removal request if you believe a review is slander. Of course, you’ll need a lawyer here, and there are pretty high requirements for such submissions. So, ensure that you’ve read everything before submitting one.
3. More Positive Reviews
The next best alternative is to respond as professionally and respectfully as possible, so that other users can give a fair and accurate assessment of your business. Consider bolstering your already existing Google reviews. You can do this by directing your web users to the reviews platform as part of your digital marketing strategy.
If you can generate more positive reviews, it will increase your aggregate score, and push the negative reviews further down the list where they’re less likely to be seen.
Everything written above will help you get more good reviews on Google and help your brand dramatically. If you want more help with the matter then just contact us – we’d be happy to help!