What is a Google Review and what impact it has on your business?

Internet reviews have taken power for several years now.

It slowly started with reviews of an eBay seller then it moved to Amazon… it was very convenient for us to know if we could trust the seller or not!

But now it’s on Google Maps and the customers can check what your clients think and say about you, to get an idea of whether or not they will do business with you.

What is a Google Review and what impact it has on my business?

When customers want to review you, they’ll go to Google Maps and post it.

Google regularly indexes all businesses and stores on the planet, which means that your business is most likely already on Google Maps and that, possibly, people who have posted positive (or negative) reviews on you.

Find your business on Google Maps and look at it.

There are few possibilities here:

  • You have more than 50 reviews and your overall rating is between 4 and 5 stars: stop reading this article and go rather open a bottle of champagne! More seriously this is the goal to achieve: it helps you to be a real customer magnet.
  • You have between 10 and 20 reviews with a rating between 4 and 5 stars: Not bad. You can do better but it’s already very good. Keep asking your satisfied clients for reviews. Maybe have a newsletter with useful information/advice they would like to share with their friends?
  • You have less than 10 reviews with a rating between 4 and 5 stars: Even these are real reviews, for the person that will read them it will seem suspicious (“Maybe this company just asked their friends and family to give them a good review?”). You will have to make an effort to double this number and thus gain credibility.
  • You have no opinion on your business (it’s sad but it could have been really worse). But still. For the person looking for a business similar to yours, you will be invisible because there is no way for the user to know whether you are good or bad. Why takes the risk? People love the security and don’t like being a guinea pig.
  • You have a bad review. This is bad, especially since this is the first reviews that people will check. It is not an exact science, but people agree that every bad review must get 10 good reviews to compensate for it. So do the math… But let’s stay positive, everything is not lost! You can still fix it up. There are several solutions for this but know however that it is impossible to delete or censor a bad review, you can only reply to it, and the sooner the better (this is why checking your Google My Business and doing some community management is really important).

Nothing beats examples so here we go!

Example #1:

A = It’s just a random seller.
B = Approved by the buyers.

Example #2:

A = Many buyers will be very hesitant. (This person has never sold anything and we have no proof of his seriousness)
B = Buyers will pay more to avoid trouble.

Example #3:

  • A = No website… Super risky. Is this business even real?
  • B = Website but no review… Risky. Is this still open? Does the client are happy?
  • C = Website + review: Serious and loved by his clients… I’m in!

Now that you are convinced of the effectiveness of reviews, let’s see how it is managed and the information that can be obtained from it.

Why you should check your business Google Reviews?

Life is unfair: keep in mind that 70% of dissatisfied people will leave you a review, while barely 30% of satisfied people will.

Here is a real-life random accounting company in Toronto:

Seeing this, the reader will think “They do a decent job not more” then the next thing they will do is read the bad reviews:

As a potential customer, what would you think of this? Would you be willing to do business with these people?

As the business owner, how can this information be useful to you? At first glance, it is obvious that customer service is very problematic and that it is only getting worse.

It is obvious that if we do not solve the problem very quickly, it will soon be too late for this company to have any positive image in the search engines. Below 3 stars, new clients coming from the internet dropped significantly.

How to reply to a bad review?

We will again take an example here.

Unhappy client’s review:

“They recently hired young kids that have no experience doing taxes. The young guy has the worst attitude and has never worked with customers before. I’ve witnessed him racially profile a customer right in front of my eyes and was disgusted. You can tell he hates his job/life by the way he treats clients. Please if you’re reading this don’t file your taxes here! AVOID!”

Response from the owner:

“We are sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience. Whenever we have our clients fill out the profile page to do their tax filing, there are certain personal information we may require in order to correctly file and avoid any possible reassessment. This is also true for our prior clients to ensure that the information in our data files still matches with what was provided. Some of this personal information is not explicitly asked for on our profile page because it may or may not be required depending on their status. In the case that it is, we will discuss this directly with the client. We have forwarded your concern to the related department. Thank you for your business with us.”

Do you think the response is good? Absolutely not!

The customer clearly complains about the quality of customer service and an employee’s attitude.

What does the company say? They didn’t take the time to properly address the client’s concern and they were not genuine in the response they did give.

Instead of answering this the person in charge of the community manager should have taken a minute to read the reason for the complaint and reply something like:

First, we sincerely apologize for this bad experience. Thank you for sending us this information and even if this does not excuse the attitude of this new employee, know that this is his first season tax and that he is therefore very stressed. I will however forward this information to his manager so that it does not happen again.

To sum up:

  1. Encourage satisfied customers to give you reviews and check regularly the reviews you get.
  2. If there is a bad review read it then go have a coffee! Then come back to write the answer because even if you have to answer quickly, you must do it calmly. Apologize + Thank + Address the problem. Explain that their opinions matter and that this will have repercussions. Perhaps invite them to come back to the office to clear it up and make a commercial gesture if necessary.
  3. Forward this information to the managers and the CEO to improve the things your clients don’t like.