How to manage Google reviews for your business.
(By Mona Bushnell published on www.businessnewsdaily.com 4 Jan 2019)
Customer reviews are an integral part of any business; unfortunately, many small business owners are not adequately trained when it comes to handling and responding to negative reviews. In fact, the problem is so widespread even Google provides tips to business users, but we have a few to add as well.
- Apologising is fine, arguing is not. If someone has a poor experience, even if you feel they are misrepresenting what happened or is outright lying, it is never a good idea to argue or explain why they are wrong. Remember, your goal isn’t to change the mind of one angry reviewer – it’s to show the kind of business owner you are to every perspective reader who sees your interaction. It is a huge turnoff and a massive red flag any time a business owner appears defensive online. Instead, apologise for the poor experience and kindly express your desire to do better in the future.
- Brevity is key, as is consistency. If you’re going to respond to reviews, establish a standard for doing so. Who in your business will respond and when? Setting up a weekly time to respond to inquiries and reviews is a safe bet. You should also keep your responses relatively brief. Even if your internal tone is calm and kind, a long, multi-paragraph response from a business owner often reads as a bit manic and defensive.
- Remember to say thank you. Some business owners forget to thank their loyal customers but write tomes to negative reviewers, and people notice that. If someone leaves a particularly thoughtful positive review, say a quick thank you!
- Pay attention to repeat criticism. The biggest mistake business owners make when it comes to online reviews is taking the positive feedback to heart and dismissing anything negative. The fact is, it doesn’t matter if you disagree, disbelieve, or don’t see the problem yourself, if multiple reviewers say your staff is rude, your prices are too high, your service is not up to snuff, or anything else negative, then listen. Online reviews are like a free focus group, and you can either stick your head in the sand at the first sign of anything critical or improve your business by listening and adapting