Google's rating tool influences many purchasing decisions on the Internet - and Google ratings are also playing an increasingly important role for companies in purely offline retail: positive ratings improve the ranking on Google results pages. Your own business therefore increasingly depends on what your customers write about you and how they rate your service.
Positive Google reviews from satisfied customers are quickly convincing and ensure new customers in the long run. Because good reviews from other buyers are often more effective than any self-promotion, as they are perceived as authentic recommendations that reflect real experiences of real people. In many respects, positive Google reviews are therefore the best thing that can happen to your own business. From all kinds of online stores to service providers in various industries to local businesses like the food delivery service around the corner - everyone benefits from positive reviews.
Reviews as a growth factor for your business
As a business owner, you therefore need to pay scrupulous attention to keeping the average online reviews for your business above four stars, if possible. Because anything below four stars will quickly fail potential customers' online searches. What's more, it's part of Google's guidelines that bad reviews have a negative impact on your placement on the results pages. After all, Google only wants to offer its users the best service. That's why a search result primarily shows information that other users also rate positively. This is a dangerous cycle, because all providers whose bad Google ratings weigh too heavily will fall behind. Their chances of receiving positive ratings drop even further because Google rates the offer as less relevant. Your options to get out of the misery again: Motivate your customers to reward your business with a positive review, or have negative Google reviews deleted or at least cancelled out with a convincing service offer.
Motivate positive Google reviews
Actively asking customers for reviews shows that you yourself are convinced of your service and do not shy away from public exchange via Google reviews. At the same time, you are open to feedback and requests for improvement. But what is the best way to do this? Also consider the contact points with your customers: Which are particularly suitable for strategically placing your request for a positive Google review? You have good options for this, especially when trading via the Internet.
- Use order confirmations as well as notifications about order status or delivery. Here you can easily place a friendly note in the closing sentence. Alternatively, you can enclose a flyer or card with every shipment that leaves your store that speaks directly to your customers.
- Make it as easy as possible for your customers. Whether you choose flyer, card or email: Provide a link or QR code there that leads directly to the platform where the Google review can be submitted. It also makes sense to include brief instructions on how exactly to write a review.
- Important: Be as open and honest as possible about your concerns. Speak to your customer personally and ask for their feedback in the form of a Google review. This has a more sympathetic effect and is much more promising than an anonymous note.
- Follow-up: Continue to show interest after you have received your review. Clarify issues mentioned in the review and thank them for each positive review.
If you follow these basic tips, at their best, reviews for your business on Google My Business will soon fulfill a form of online marketing all their own. In addition, if you also run a local retail store, your visibility on Google Maps will additionally improve. Both effects also unfold a certain synergy effect together, which has a positive impact on your ranking in the search results. Conclusion: the probability increases that potential customers will click on your link.
Getting rid of negative reviews?
It would be naïve to believe that unwanted reviews would be deleted without further ado. After all, Google reviews would rapidly lose credibility among users of the search engine and associated services such as Google Maps. Likewise, the positive effects for one's own business described above would be lost. As the owner of a business or company, you can't simply delete what you don't like. The key here is also communication: if you have a Google My Business listing, you can respond to reviews from customers via your account by contacting them directly. Always write a customized response and address the experience described in the Google reviews. If you come to an amicable solution this way, it is of course still up to the customer to decide whether to delete the negative review, adjust its content, or even decide to create a positive review for your business. No matter what the customer's decision, it's certain that others who look at reviews of your business or website will see that you responded in a service-oriented and friendly manner. This gives you as a business a bit of a bonus, which may also convince potential customers to click on your link out of all the Google search results.
However, if the author of a bad review cannot be dissuaded from their negative judgment or simply does not respond to your request for clarification, you still have the option of contacting Google My Business. If it can be proven to be a fake review from a Google account created specifically for this purpose, Google Support (0800-5894011) can help. Also, if you can prove that reviews simply present false information, you have a good chance of getting such misleading, negative reviews deleted.
If you have any further questions about online marketing around the powerful search engine, please feel free to contact our specialist André Reß.