As a new business owner, you should be smart about where you spend money. Google reviews are where your consumers express their opinions about your product or service. Instead of spending needlessly on marketing and promotion, you can grow your small business by collecting and managing Google reviews.
If you’ve never done digital marketing, we’ve got good news. Collecting and managing Google reviews is easy and doesn’t require any technical expertise or experience. To help you out, here are our 7 top tips for managing Google reviews.
The number one thing you can do to reap the rewards of reviews is to see them as an integral part of your job. Whether you’re starting a salon, a fast food outlet, or a pet grooming service Google reviews are essential to your growth.
When you’re tight on time, staying on top of reviews can feel like an inconvenience. Perhaps you only stop by on impulse, or when you need to deal with a negative review.
The truth is that a well-managed digital presence will pay dividends in the future, so it’s time to change up the way you see this task.
By now, you already know that, unless you dedicate time slots to a task, it’ll never get done. And if by some miracle, it does get done, it’ll be in a haphazard manner.
So, let’s give it a name and get it in your diary. How about ‘Google Review Rendezvous’, (GRR for short on those days where you just don’t feel like it!). Start by scheduling in a couple of hours each week, one at the start of the week and one towards the end
If your local business isn’t already listed on Google My Business, then now is the time. You’ll need to make sure your business is listed and then claim it.
Make sure that your address and other details are correct and uniform across all online directories, including your website and social media pages. And if you aren’t too familiar with this helpful management platform already, you might want to have a read of this guide to Google Business Manager first (aka, Google My Business).
You can’t manage reviews unless you have them. And how do you collect them? By requesting them from your existing customers. Don’t worry, there’s nothing awkward about it. If billion-dollar companies can do it, so can you. You deserve those stars!
You could ask customers directly when they are on your premises. You can also ask them via email by sending a review link. You should also encourage your followers on social media to review your business on Google.
You can also include that link in your email signature and request recipients to leave a review. One of the easiest ways to request reviews is through SMS, and most business owners today are doing this with a review management app.
Whether it’s a positive or a negative review, the golden rule to remember is that the world is watching. Your engagement will be visible to anyone, from your existing consumers to potential users, competitors, and even local media services.
Also, remember that anything you write will be out there, ad infinitum. Even if you shut down your business, the reviews will still be visible. People could have screenshots and nobody wants that kind of embarrassment.
After all, you don’t want to send the internet into a meltdown and end up as one of the world’s 15 craziest restaurant review responses, do you?
So, do not react immediately if you see a review. Take a deep breath, count to whatever number can calm you down, and then choose your words carefully.
Great, so you’ve got a positive review. To show your gratitude, it’s a nice touch to write a bespoke message rather than copying and pasting a generic response.
When you thank the reviewer, address them by their first name. Importantly, be specific about what they liked. This gives you a chance to repeat that feature for others to see.
For example, “Thank you Merlin for those kind words. At _______, we always strive to deliver on time. Glad that you and your family enjoyed it.”
You should take more time to respond to negative reviews. This is because you would need to consult your team to figure out if it’s a genuine experience, and if so, what happened.
Again, remember that everyone can see what you write. So, address them by their first name and apologise. If it’s a real experience, state that what happened is against what you and your business believe in. Offer to take the chat to a private mode, like email or phone.
No matter how vicious the feedback is, don’t take it personally and stay calm.
As a brand new business owner, you must dedicate hours to exclusively manage Google reviews. Get your listing done and ensure that your details are accurate. Then you should diligently request reviews through various channels and constructively engage with the reviewers. It’s a labour of love (or hate!), but if done well, your hard work will pay off.
Sometimes, bad reviews can be good news. Find out how to turn critical Google Reviews into a catalyst for your business's growth.