We had a very interesting thing happen to us last week. We received our first ever one star review on Google. The only silver lining to this horrible event is that it was, of course, not an honest review. It was from a spammer.
When we delved a bit deeper, it seems two profiles were created and in the same day, they went and gave marketing and web design agencies across Vancouver negative, made-up reviews. Why somebody would want to do this is baffling, but on the plus side, we thought we’d use this as an excuse to talk about what to do with your Google reviews – good and bad.
How To Get Reviews
Google isn’t the only place people can leave you reviews. There’s Facebook, Yelp, Homestars, TripAdvisor and an array of other platforms too, but for now, we’ll mainly focus on Google.
To get reviews on Google, you will first need to create a Google email account for your business so that you can control how your business appears in Google Map listings. This will be done through the Google My Business area. Once set-up, people will be able to leave you reviews that you can respond to.
What To Do With Bad Reviews
Let’s take the situation we went through as an example. When we saw the negative review, we first checked whether anybody had spoken to this person before (nobody had). Next, we clicked on their profile to see other reviews they had left, this confirmed they were a spammer.
We flagged the review as inappropriate so that Google can take it down. This however can take some time, so we can’t rely on that happening any time soon (if at all). Our next step was to form a response so that if anybody sees the negative review, they’ll know it isn’t real.
There are three main things to note from our response:
- We remained polite. While it may be tempting to let your inner rage takeover, nobody wants to do business with an angry person, so keep the fury hidden.
- We invited them to get in touch with us and gave information on what we do and who we work with so that other people reading our response will know.
- We addressed the fact that we can see they have intentionally written numerous false reviews. This is so that other people can see that this person genuinely is a spammer (and it’s not just the case that as they wrote something negative, we are calling them a spammer).
If you receive an honest negative review, your reaction should be similar. Remain polite and invite them to have a conversation with you on the matter. It can feel disheartening to receive a bad review but your response can make all the difference.
What To Do With Good Reviews
When you receive good reviews, it’s a great feeling. Firstly, it is still important to reply to good reviews, either by liking them or giving a short worded response. Be sure to show thanks to the person who has taken the time to leave you a helpful review.
Having a chain of positive reviews will look great however, there are a range of other ways you can use those reviews for marketing purposes.
Don’t Keep Them Hidden On Google
With the help of a web design expert, you could create a Testimonials or Review page on your company website. Copy the reviews you’ve received on Google to that page so that your website visitors can see some of the wonderful things customers have said about you. Your web designer could also create areas on your existing website pages to feature those reviews, i.e. a box of scrolling testimonials on the side of your contact page.
Use Them As Content
You could create social media cards with your reviews to show your followers the fantastic reviews you’ve had.
Your reviews could also form your marketing copy. Looking at the reviews of a Sydney based plumber, we can repeatedly see people mention that their staff are polite. This plumbing company could use the idea of “being polite” to create a blog post or draft Google AdWords copy.
The possibilities are endless!
Some Final Top Tips
- Never use the promise of discount, a free item or competition entry to gain reviews. This is prohibited by Google.
- Never hide negative (but truthful) reviews. Instead, respond to them and offer to remedy the situation. If you’re doing things right, negative reviews should be few and far between, but keeping them visible will show that you are only human and if you do make mistakes, you’ll work hard to remedy them.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave you a review – the worst they can say is no.