Google My Business is a crucial part of any digital promotional plan online. This is particularly true when you are trying to appeal to a local consumer base.
When they searching for businesses nearby they will often check reviews of companies like yours. As such, it’s important that you make sure that you have plenty of reviews that potential customers can view and access.
Even negative reviews are better than no reviews at all as you can respond to negative reviews and address any concerns customers have. Furthermore, users are far likely to trust reviews from customers of your company than direct information provided by your website.
Unfortunately, getting customers to write a Google review can be quite difficult. This is primarily because they have to put in a bit of effort to get to your business’s Google review page.
Luckily, there is a way to get customers to your Google review page easily.
You can send customers a direct link to your Google review page – meaning they can post reviews after one simple click.
So how do you create this Google review link for your business to send to customers? Let’s dig in.
Creating Your Direct Google Review Link
Use The PlaceID Lookup Tool On Google
For these steps to work, you will need to make sure that you have a Google My Business Account for your company. It’s easy to set one up and once you have done this you will be able to access your Place ID.
With this, you will be able to pinpoint your company on the map. You can gain your Place ID code here by scrolling to the bottom map and inputting your business name exactly how it is in your business listing. You’ll see a bar where you can fill this in on the Place ID Map.
After your business is displayed on the map, you will then see your full Place ID.
It’s typically a group of numbers and letters which will be about 25 characters long.
You can then copy this code and save it anywhere you like. We recommend creating a Google Doc and storing it there so that it can be accessed later.
Here’s a picture of us copying our Place ID:
Using Your ID
Now that you have your place ID, you will be able to use it to create your Google review link. To do this, you need to use the following:
You must then add your unique place ID that should have already been saved directly at the end of it as part of that URL.
We know that a link this large is a little bit of an eyesore and may put off some users. So, you can consider shortening it using the Google URL shortening tool. To do this simply visit:
From there you will be able to input your original URL and get a smaller, user-friendly one that can be used.
How To Send Google Review Links
Now that you have a great user-friendly link, you can start sending it out to customers. If they are signed into their Google account, a window will pop up that will provide them a simple way to leave a review on Google.
Be aware that under the policies of Google you cannot gain reviews by offering incentives. You can, however, send out an email or text and gently request that customers do review your business. The right CTA can work wonders here and provide the type of results you want.
Just write out your brief email or text message review invitation and copy and paste the direct Google review link at the bottom.
Take It Further
Once you start getting those fantastic positive reviews, you may want to consider utilizing them as part of your campaign. You can do this with Small Thanks from Google.
This is another tool that will allow you to create social media posts or even digital posters around a particularly impressive review that you want other users and followers to see. This is a brilliant way to get more from a great interaction with a customer that other users are sure to love.
Need help getting a link to your Google business page?
Google reviews matter so you want to make sure that you get as many as possible. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely it is that new users will be interested in buying from your company.
2 Step Reviews provides an advanced way of sending your customers a direct link to leave you a review via text message. If you’d like to learn more about it, schedule a call with us today.
As a business owner, online reviews can make or break your reputation. According to a survey conducted in 2018 by BrightLocal, 86% of people consult with online reviews before doing business with local companies. If you have negative reviews weighing down your Google and Facebook local business pages you could be losing a significant number of potential customers.
The stakes are fairly clear. If you have negative reviews you should be doing whatever you can to clear them, and more importantly, to prevent new ones from appearing. Providing stellar customer service is the best medicine against future bad reviews. But for now, we’ll talk about how you can get rid of the bad reviews you already have.
What Can You Do?
We should first be clear about what is possible for you, as a business owner, to do. No, you can’t simply delete legitimate negative reviews. That would defeat the whole purpose of the review system. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. You can:
Try and resolve your customer’s complaints so that they will delete their negative review
Turn off Facebook Recommendations completely
We’ll look at all of these in detail.
Getting Fake Negative Reviews Removed from Facebook
There are a number of reasons why fake or illegitimate negative reviews may be appearing on your site. Disgruntled former employees might attempt to use negative reviews in order to damage your reputation. Competitors may do the same thing in an attempt to weaken your position in the market while strengthening theirs. And online trolls frequently spread poor reviews indiscriminately…just because. Apparently spreading negativity and messing with other people’s lives is something they enjoy.
Whatever the reason, fake and illegitimate reviews can be removed from your Facebook business listing. Here’s how you can identify suspect ones.
Does the review promote a competitor?
Is the reviewer attached to a competitor in some way? Both of these can be signs a competitor is up to no good.
Does the review include specifics that the general public likely couldn’t know?
Does the reviewer’s anger seem out of scale with the details of the complaint? These are both signs you may have an angry former employee on your hands.
Is the review ambiguous? Does it lack corroborating substance?
Does it contain improbable details? Does it seem unlikely? These four could be signs you’re dealing with a troll.
Does the review seem like it was intended for a different business? It may very well have been lodged against you by mistake.
If you suspect that a review is illegitimate, go through your records and try to confirm any details the review includes. If your records don’t support the complaint, or directly contradict it, you should petition Facebook for its removal. Here’s how you do that.
Go to the Reviews tab on your business’s Facebook page
Click on the three horizontal dots at the top right of the suspicious review
Click on “Give feedback on this recommendation”
When Facebook prompts you with, “What’s going on?”, pick the option that best applies from these choices:
Recommendation Not Relevant (fake or illegitimate)
Unfair Recommendation (disgruntled employees or competitors)
Or Nudity, Violence, Harassment, Suicide or Self-Injury, Spam, Drugs and Hate Speech.
If asked to, provide details describing specifically why you suspect the review is unfair or illegitimate and should be removed.
Once your complaint has been lodged all you can do is wait for Facebook’s ruling. In the meantime, it’s smart to respond to the review so that other customers can see that you take your criticisms seriously.
Dealing with Legitimate Poor Reviews
If you determine that a review is likely real then having it removed by Facebook isn’t an option. Your best bet at this point is diplomacy and customer service.
Respond to the review. Honestly apologize and ask the reviewer what you can do to improve. Make it clear to them and to other potential customers that you are serious about customer service and that you want all customer experiences to be positive.
If based on the customer’s profile, you know who they are or if you can figure it out by comparing the complaint details and date to your records, and you run the sort of business where you can and do contact customers, consider reaching out to them directly. If it feels appropriate you can also reach out directly to the customer’s Facebook profile.
Ask them what it is you can do to make the situation right. You could offer them a discount or some other incentive to come give your business another try. It’s bad form to directly ask them to remove the negative review, but you can hint at it, couched in terms of having them come in for a better customer experience on their second visit.
You may find that proactive customer service is all that it takes to get the customer to remove their bad review. They may be impressed that you took their comment so seriously.
If they ask you how to remove a review on their end you can tell them it’s very easy. All they need to do is:
Click on the three horizontal dots at the top right of their review
Then either select “Delete” to delete the review or “Edit review” if they decide they want to alter their review to reflect their newer, better experience.
Turning Off Recommendations
We don’t generally recommend this. It’s much better to try and deal with each negative review separately because if you turn off Recommendations entirely you no longer get the benefits of the service. Yes all of your negative reviews will no longer appear, but neither will your positive ones, and customers will no longer be able to add reviews at all, which will make it harder, over time for you to repair your reputation. Remember that this step doesn’t delete your negative reviews, but only hides them. They’ll all still be there in the future when you turn Recommendations back on so make sure in the interim you deal with them.
So it’s best to deal with negative reviews now. However, if for whatever reason you’ve received a large volume of poor reviews that are damaging your business more than you can currently bear, turning off Recommendations can be a quick, temporary way of dealing with the problem. To turn off Recommendations you’ll need to:
Go to your Facebook business page and click on “Settings”
Scroll on the left and click “Template and Tabs”
Then on the right scroll to “Reviews” and click “Settings”
Toggle “Show Reviews” to “Off”
Work to Keep Reviews Positive
The best defense against future negative reviews is excellent customer service. Try and generate a positive customer experience for each of your customers, and when something bad happens, move quickly to make it right. Don’t let negative sentiments fester.
The best way to combat negative reviews you can’t get rid of is to water them down with a lot of great reviews. And the best way to get positive reviews is to ask for them! We can help.
Our easy-to-use app automates the process. Just enter your customer’s name and contact info and let the app ask for the review for you. We know how to ask for a review, and our specific language greatly increases the chances of getting one. Get started now at www.2stepreviews.com and schedule a free demo today!
Users online are more likely to trust the word of your customers rather than information provided directly from your brand. This should tell you everything you need to know about the importance of reviews and digital word of mouth when thinking about the success of your business.
Ultimately, you need to make sure that the general buzz around your business and the brand is positive. This should be true across all the different review resources users access including Google, Yelp, Facebook and more. To do this, you need to make sure that you are managing your business reputation effectively.
What Is Reputation Management?
Typically, when a customer buys a product from you or uses one of your services, then they will be granted the option of providing a review.
Through this review, they can offer information on any positive or negatives about your business and the service that you offer.
They can mention specific details about your business from the time it takes you to fulfill an order to the general state of a product provided or the quality.
Some review sources will allow customers to provide pictures and videos which can be even more damaging if they do not match the official advertisements you have offered.
It may not even be an official review. It’s possible that users online are simply referencing your brand or services and products on social networks.
Hopefully, they will be promoting your brand or recommending it, but in some cases, there could be negative concepts and opinions present.
There might even be entirely negative threads directly linked to your brand.
You might think that the issue of poor Google reviews for your business is significant enough but that’s not the case.
The reality is that you might be completely oblivious to this negative buzz.
Some business owners choose to believe that ignorance is bliss and simply avoid engaging with negative chatter or bad reviews. However, if you do this, you are playing a very dangerous game.
Bad buzz can spread like wildfire online and a tweet that has been shared a couple of hundred times potentially could have been seen by thousands of people.
Through reputation, you will know if there is an issue or problem related to your brand image and you will be able to handle it effectively and efficiently.
With some reputation management solutions, it’s possible to immediately be notified of a negative review and respond instantly to the user or customer.
How Does Reputation Management Help Your Customers?
Customers can learn a lot from the way you manage your reputation.
The first factor to be aware of is that customers want to be able to engage with brands online. They want to know that their thoughts, their opinions, and their concerns are being heard and more importantly addressed.
If there is a negative thread for your brand on social media, responding shows the user and other potential customers that their concerns matter and will be addressed.
The faster you can respond, the more people will see it and understand that they are not just shouting into an echo chamber. You and your brand are listening.
The customer learns that there may be a path for resolving their issue. Other users learn that you care about people who buy your products and services.
You don’t need to respond to every negative review or comment. Simply picking issues that are gaining traction will be enough to protect your brand.
Is It Just About Dealing With Negative Buzz?
A common misconception about reputation management is just monitoring negative reviews. You can use reputation management to make sure that positive buzz and positive ideas are elevated and seen by a greater audience.
A basic example of this would be retweeting a positive comment from a follower or even an influencer.
An influencer is a respected individual who will have an impact on levels of demand for your brand. So, a positive comment should be recognized, championed and used effectively.
Impact Of Reputation Management On Your Brand
Negative reviews and opinions surrounding your business can quickly grow out of control. They could even attract media attention and potentially may have the power to go viral.
Quickly, these ideas could be the main concepts attached to your brand image and you don’t want that. With reputation management, you can prevent it.
The effects of this can be astounding.
By managing your reputation effectively and showing customers that they do matter, you can increase the chances of more users following your brand online or even visiting your website.
By demonstrating that you are willing to address issues you can build trust around your business too.
This is a great way to expand your audience reach and eventually you could see a greater level of sales.
As well as gaining new customers, existing customers are also more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they see you interacting and engaging online.
They want to feel like they have a connection with your business and managing your reputation will help build this idea.
Managing your reputation goes beyond attracting customers
You might be surprised to learn that managing your reputation won’t just have an impact on consumer decisions. It could impact potential employees as well.
Employees will often research a company before they decide whether they want to work for that brand.
A positive brand reputation will help you attract the best workers and create a solid team that can take your company to new heights.
We hope you see now that with reputation management you can put out fires online before they grow out of control.
You can shape the ideas and concepts that you want to be attached to your brand and ensure that negative reviews are snuffed out or handled effectively.
You will be able to make sure that you have control over what people are saying about your company.
If you register your company on Google My Business, then it allows you to create a Business Profile where you can connect with your customers. It also lets them leave reviews, which everyone else will see when they search for your company through Google.
Naturally, as Google is the largest search engine out there, these reviews become extremely important. While ensuring you gain as many positive reviews as possible is vital, it’s just as important to ensure you respond to the reviews in the right manner. Bearing that in mind, this article will talk you through some of the best ways to respond to Google Reviews, and why it’s absolutely crucial that you do so.
So how do you respond to a Google Review?
First of all, we’ll briefly explain how you actually go about responding to any reviews. On your Google My Business profile, you just have to click on the Reviews section, then click Respond.
Step 1: Go To You Google My Business Page and Click “Reviews”
Step 2: Click “Reply” Under The Review You Want To Reply To
Step 3: Type Out Your Review Response And Post It
That’s all there is to it, but the way in which you respond is what makes a load of difference.
So, here are some of the biggest do’s and do not’s:
Take your time and plan out the response
The worst thing you can do is write a quick reaction without giving it any thought. This usually leads to grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, which cost against your business. What’s more, you’re likely to respond more emotionally and say things you regret if you just fire off whatever is on your mind.
Instead, take time to plan out your review and write it carefully. Ensure that it makes sense, all the spelling is accurate, and you haven’t made glaring grammatical mistakes. It’s worth getting someone else to proofread it as well, just to be safe. Now, you’ll publish a professional response that makes you look a lot better.
Respond within a few days
If possible, you should respond to any review within a few days of it being published. This shows that you’re on the ball and care about customer feedback. People will be impressed that you respond so quickly, which reflects well on your business. If you leave it too long, then your response won’t have much of an impact as the reviewer has probably forgotten all about it.
Of course, if you’re really busy, you may be unable to respond within a day or two. If that’s the case, then around two weeks is still going to be effective.
Always be polite
It goes without saying that you need to be polite when addressing any reviews. It doesn’t matter how rude the person has been, you have to maintain politeness at all times. It looks terrible when you see a business respond to rudeness with more rudeness. It’s totally unprofessional, and this alone could put off a lot of current and potential customers.
When you’re polite, it counts in your favor – especially when people are rude to you. It shows you have class and integrity, and people will respect that.
Address the content of the review
Some reviews will contain a lot of information and feedback for businesses to use. If you come across one that explains any problems someone had or includes questions, then make sure your response actually addresses the content in the review. This does two things; it shows you’ve read the review and paid attention to it, and it shows you’re keen to help out and solve any issues.
If someone leaves a review and asks a question, then you just respond “Thanks for the review, we’ve taken your feedback onboard” then it just looks like a generic response. There’s no indication you’ve actually taken the feedback on-board, it’s almost like you’ve responded just for the sake of responding!
Respond to both positive and negative reviews
A common mistake is only responding to one type of review. Some businesses ignore negative reviews and focus on the positives, while others do the opposite. Don’t do this; make sure you respond to both positive and negative reviews!
Positive reviews deserve a response as it shows your customers you’re so thankful for their feedback. Negative reviews can’t be ignored as you need to show people you’re addressing any issues and taking their feedback on-board. People will notice when you only respond to one type of review, and it looks quite bad. We go over responding to negative reviews in depth here.
Why is it important to respond to Google reviews?
There are a few reasons you really need to start responding to your reviews on Google. The first of which is that it impacts your reputation. Responses will show people that you’re a professional company who takes things seriously and values all customers.
Secondly, it can influence future customer behavior as well. If someone sees a negative review, then reads a positive response from you, it might make them want to try your business. Similarly, the person leaving that review may change their opinion and return. Likewise, responding to positive reviews encourages customers to remain loyal and keep coming back for more.
Thirdly, from a marketing perspective, responding to Google reviews can encourage more people to leave reviews as they know they have an impact. As a result, the more reviews you generate, the better your SEO will be. It’s proven that Google reviews do impact your search ranking so you can gain more exposure. Customers are more likely to leave a review if they know the business will respond!
Hopefully, there’s some advice here that will help you respond to Google reviews. Don’t underestimate the value of your responses; it can have a profound effect on the success of your business.
If you want to get more Google reviews, 2 Step Reviews is a solution that makes it easy for customers to do it. Contact us today for more information.
It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare; you go on Google, and to your horror, there’s a negative review for your company. Instantly, you go into panic mode thinking about the consequences this has on your reputation.
You know bad reviews can turn away potential customers. Now you think everyone will avoid your business just because of this negative review.
While there’s no denying a bad review can impact your business, things can be improved by simply responding to it.
If you know how to respond to negative reviews, it will lessen the blow and can even help your company as well. As such, it’s strongly advised that you read through this guide to learn how to respond to bad reviews the right way, and why it’s so important.
Why you should respond to bad reviews
We’ll begin with the why; why do you have to respond to all of your bad reviews? Well, on a base level, it’s a form of damage control.
If someone has a problem, you can respond to them to try and address the issue. Instantly, you save your reputation by showing that you’re willing to listen to negative reviews and work on the bad aspects of your company.
From a consumer standpoint, it’s so impressive when a business takes the time to listen to negative feedback and respond to it. If anything, it can actually convince customers to return to your business because you seem so professional and authentic.
It’s also a way to explain why someone’s experience might have been poor.
For example, if you run a restaurant and someone complains that the dining experience was bad as it was freezing cold, you could respond by telling them why this was the case. It could transpire that your heating system broke for that day, so this was a one-off occurrence.
Now, a potential customer reads that response and instantly negates the bad review. But, if you left it how it was, they’d read it and think “hmm, I don’t want to dine here if it’s cold!”.
Unhappy customers appreciate a response
Customers feel more valued when you respond to their feedback as well, which further builds loyalty with them. Even the act of apologizing is enough to change someone’s opinion and put them in a better mood.
The best way to explain why you need to respond is to imagine what happens when you don’t. You’ve got negative reviews that are just sitting there with no reply at all. It merely makes your business look a lot worse than it actually is, while your responses help lessen the negative impact they have.
What to say when replying to a negative review
It’s not good enough to just reply to a bad review with a short response. There are specific things you need to do for your reply to have the impact you’re hoping for.
To help you out, here’s what you should do:
1. Start with an apology
All of your responses to bad reviews should start with some form of an apology.
Sympathize with your customer, telling them you’re sorry that they feel this way, or you’re sorry they had a bad experience. Regardless of whether you think their review was warranted or not, you have to begin with an apology.
Instantly, you take ownership of the issue, which makes you look like a far more professional and respectful business.
Imagine if you began your reply by saying “Well, we’re not sorry because it’s your fault you didn’t like our business” – it would look absolutely terrible, your reputation would be finished!
2. Respond to negative reviews quickly
People will only really leave a negative review when something upset or annoyed them so much that they had to voice their concerns. Thus, the best thing you can do is reply as quickly as possible.
Ideally, within a few hours is the best course of action, however, it’s ok to leave it for a day or two. Any longer than this, and you’re letting the review fester and tarnish your reputation.
If you respond quickly, potential customers will see you’re on top of your game in terms of keeping customers satisfied. It will also speed up coming to a solution with the unhappy customer.
3. Offer an explanation & solution
If you follow the first two tips, then it’s easy to assume you can respond with something like this: “We’re sorry you feel this way and thanks for the feedback.”
However, this does nothing for the customer as you’ve not made any effort to address their problems. The correct approach is offering an explanation for whatever their issue might be.
Explain that things aren’t usually like that, and give a potential reason for their disgruntlement. This is an explanation to other people reading the reviews as well as the customer themselves. As mentioned earlier, it’s almost a way of limiting the damage by showing that it’s an isolated incident.
Along with this, you should offer a solution to make things better.
Ask them to get in touch, and you’ll provide a free refund, or suggest a discount if they choose to return and give you a second chance. Even if they blank you, it shows potential customers/clients that you go the extra mile and value all of your customers.
This can help generate leads as people will give you a chance because they know you’ll look after them if things turn out bad.
4. Make each reply genuine & polite
Never ever set up automated responses to negative reviews. It’s not genuine, and you’ll end up damaging your reputation even more.
To add to this, ensure that all of your responses are polite as well. If you get angry with a customer, then you will just spread the negativity and lose so many existing customers and potential leads!
The main thing to take away from this is that you need to respond to your bad reviews. Don’t leave them to linger and damage your business, write timely and polite responses that offer solutions and address the problem.
It can also be beneficial to reach out to the customer away from the review platform afterward as well. This further improves your reputation as you’re going the extra mile once more.
Want instant alerts when you get bad reviews and an easy solution to bury them under several positives? Check out 2 Step Reviews today.
When a potential customer discovers your business online, it’s likely to be via Google. The dominance of the search engine is beyond doubt, and that’s one of the reasons why you need to take Google Reviews seriously. People read those reviews and form an opinion of your business, and that applies even if there aren’t any or many reviews of your business. A lack of reviews can be as damning as below average reviews.
It’s important that your business gets up to date with Google reviews, how they can be used and managed going forward and what makes them so important to your business going forward. That’s what we’re going to explore in more depth now, so read on and start learning.
What Are Google Reviews?
When someone uses your business’s services, they might head to your business’s Google profile and leave a review of the company. These reviews will then show up in the form of an average star rating and short written reviews when the next person Googles your business with the thought of potentially using your services.
Google reviews are seen by consumers that you want to turn into customers of your business. On top of that, things like SEO can be impacted by Google Reviews, so there are multiple reasons why you should think more about how this could all impact your business.
What Makes a Good Review?
High star rating reviews are obviously important, and these are arguably more important than what’s written about your business. Most people will glance at the star rating attached to your brand and make a decision on whether they want to proceed. It’s about achieving more conversions via that star rating.
Your business will immediately appear more credible and trustworthy if you have a high star rating. This should be more than 4 out of 5, ideally. But if your business has a low rating, they might immediately dismiss the business or assume that it’s not worth taking the risk.
Another thing that matters is the quantity of the reviews. If you have lots of Google Review, people will immediately see that your brand is an established one that people are actually buying from or using the services of. That’s a big deal in itself.
Why Are Google Reviews So Important for Small Businesses?
It all comes down to trust and credibility. If people get the feeling that they can trust your business before they’ve ever even used its services, that’s got to be a good thing for you. As a small business owner, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you can to win customers over, and you can’t deny the dominance and influence of Google. Lots of reviews will also help your business do better from an SEO standpoint as well.
How Can You Get More Positive Google Reviews?
If you want to achieve more positive reviews from customers, there are some things that you need to know about. After all, this is the aim for your business. Knowing why Google Reviews are important is not much use if you don’t have any understanding of how to get more of them. Here are some tips and methods that’ll help with that.
This might sound very simple and obvious, but it really is the best way to achieve more Google Reviews. You just need to know howto ask for reviews. That doesn’t necessarily mean people will say yes to that request or even listen to it, but they’ll be more likely to leave you a review if they know you want them to. You can make it as easy as possible for them to do this by emailing them a follow-up and providing them with the link they need to leave a review. That’s often all it takes for you to get more Google reviews.
Pre-Screen Customer Reactions
Of course, before asking people to leave reviews, you should probably find out how people perceived your services and their experience of being a customer of your business. If they didn’t like the experience or something went wrong with them, you should find this out before asking for reviews because that’ll just result in your business getting the wrong kind of reviews. You can pre-screen reactions and find out how people felt about the process before going any further. This should ensure you get mostly positive reviews.
Don’t be Tempted by Fake Reviews!
Buying fake reviews can seem tempting, but it’s not the silver bullet answer you might be looking for. People can tell when there’s something fishy going on and it doesn’t look good for your business if basically everyone knows that you’ve been buying fake reviews to make your business look better. It’s also a major violation of Google policies, and therefore it can massively damage your business going forward if you’re not careful. There might even be legal consequences of using fake reviews.
Sometimes, you have to be persistent and keep working on this, even when it sees really difficult to do so. There are lots of ways in which you might struggle to get Google Reviews or to get positive ones. But you’ll only improve things and gain better reviews over the long-term by plugging away at it and doing whatever you can do prove to people that your business can be trusted. Good customers service and a strong product also matter in all this. People will be more likely to take the time to leave a review if these receive those things.
What you’ve learned here will help your business succeed in the online landscape going forward; there’s no doubt about that. Any business that wants to succeed these days has to reckon with Google Reviews and the impact they have on customer decisions, so don’t underestimate their impact. Keep in mind all the details and ideas discussed here and use them to your advantage.
Head to 2stepreviews.com if you want to learn more about acquiring Google Reviews and boosting your chances of success going forward.