What are Google Customer Reviews and why should you enable them on your Google My Business account?
What exactly is Google My Business?
Before we talk about Google customer reviews, we first need to know where to find them. This happens on Google's free local listing tool, Google My Business.
Every business can create a Google My Business listing which allows your business to appear in the results of localised research made by Internet users.
A localized search is automatically activated when a person searches for a service or product on the Google search engine. In the first results, results that match your search and are geographically close to you are systematically displayed.
Each Google My Business listing provides information related to a point of sale or a company. It includes :
- The name of the company or the name of the shop
- Opening days and hours
- The physical address or area covered by your services
- The telephone number
- The link to your website
- Direct messaging with the company
- Photos of the shop, the company or the products
- The news
- Google customer reviews
As you will have understood, in addition to increasing your visibility on the Internet, your Google My Business listing contains basic information about your company and various means of contact.
This is the place where you can display all the information that helps people come to you, rather than your competitor! The creation of a Google My Business listing is completely free of charge. To create a record, follow these steps:
- Start by signing in to your Google Account (or create one if you don't have one), then go to the Google My Business site.
- Create your establishment in a few clicks. You must then request a verification code directly in your new space.
- Optimise and update your Google My Business listing.
Be active on your Google My Business and keep your listing alive to improve your results in the long term. You can update various elements such as publishing news, announcing exceptional promotions, communicating on new products or services, responding to Google customer reviews
Google My Business also gives you access to statistics with which you can see the performance in terms of visibility, contact, route requests, etc. of your insert.
This is very interesting! With a continuous analysis, you know what actions to take to perform even better tomorrow.
In this article we focus on Google customer reviews, which are an important part of the particularly strategic for companies and brands. So it's up to you to create a strategy that easily generates Google customer reviews on your Google My Business page and manage them properly afterwards.
Google customer reviews are essential for your reputation and visibility
Let's start with some figures to give you the importance of Google customer reviews. These have a considerable impact on your reputation / visibility and they can also become a real purchase trigger for Internet users.
- 95% of customers look at reviews before buying
- 72% of customers do not buy until they have read the reviews
- 80% of customers say that the number of reviews is decisive when two products have the same rating
- 53% of customers expect a response to a review left within 7 days
It is now a reflex for 95% of Internet users: the opinions of other customers are consulted before making a purchase on a site, before going to a shop,...
Having Google customer reviews on your Google My Business listing is therefore a top priority. Other sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisorwhich specialise in collecting reviews are not as reliable as the reviews on a Google My Business page. Indeed, with Google My Business; no fake Google reviews and no deletion possible. They are therefore credible and serve your image (when it is generally positive, of course) with future customers. Excellent Google customer reviews serve to reassure a consumer and encourage them to choose your company or brand. Positive reviews reflect a good customer experience and give the reader confidence. In short, the more positive reviews you get, the more likely it is that potential customers will visit your website, call you or walk through your door!
E-reputation must therefore be at the heart of your consumer strategy to generate new customers and it is therefore time to put in place a strategy to get more Google customer reviews.
1. How to get more Google customer reviews on Google My Business?
Are you convinced of the value of Google customer reviews but don't know how to get the first review or more?
It is well known that it is easier for the consumer to express dissatisfaction and to inform others of it than the other way round. It is therefore necessary to raise awareness and push happy customers to leave their opinion. Very few do so spontaneously and yet it is these reviews that you need to collect. Here are some tips that you should put into practice today and continue to do so in the long term:
- Contact your happy customers and your most loyal customers. They are the ones most likely to take the time to give you a positive review and they do so primarily to please you.
- Through a post on your social networks or a newsletter, reach out to your customers or community and show them that you want feedback on their experience with your business. Make it easy for them by giving them the link to post a review on your Google My Business page.
- Get into the habit of asking each new customer for a review either by sending them an email after an assignment with your company or a purchase made by your customer or by calling them. For e-commerce companies, putting a flyer on the parcel delivery makes it easy to automate the collection of reviews and generally has a positive impact!
It is important to reach your customers at the right time to increase efficiency and ensure that as many of your customer requests as possible are converted into reviews on Google My Business.
Analyze your customer journey and define an effective strategy that takes into account the ideal timing, convincing copywriting and any automation needed to collect as many positive Google customer reviews as possible
2. Ask for quality Google customer reviews
Receiving a customer review is good, a quality review is even better. Here are a few rules that make Google customer reviews more credible and impactful for those who consult them :
- Do not just put stars. Ask for reviews that include stars (as many as possible, of course) and a commentary that includes the various elements below.
- The commentary should include specific details, information about the services, etc. (e.g. name of the dish, speed of service, etc.)
- Pay attention to the importance of the content of comments, which also have an impact on referencing and therefore the visibility of your Google My Business insert. A comment is always more valuable when it contains keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Adding photos helps to confirm that the review is genuine and gives an overview of your product, service or establishment.
3. How to respond to Google My Business customer reviews?
Responding to Google customer reviews (and other platforms), allows you tomaintain a relationship with your customers and create a more personal contact. It also shows that they are important to you, that their opinion counts and that you take them into account.
Google customer reviews, both positive and negative, can help you evolve and feed your after-sales service, which can easily gather essential information about your customers. This information guides you in the strategic actions to take to further improve your services or your product.
The basic rule for Google customer reviews is to respond, without exception, to all reviews left by your customers. If it is positive and especially if it is negative, this allows you to taking care of your communication and your image.
Here are some rules for responding to negative Google reviews:
- Adopt the right tone of voice: Be polite, pleasant, listen to the customer.
- Thank the customer: the information received by the consumer, even if it may be complicated to hear, makes you evolve and allows you to put the appropriate measures in place.
- Take care of the content: explain the situation so that users understand the context that led to the negative review. If the context justifies it: apologise, explain that it will not happen again and that you will improve your product or service.
Responding in the right way to a negative review will not negatively influence the person reading it. On the contrary, responding to it allows you to show how you operate, how you follow your customers.
To give yourself a second chance with an unhappy customer, you can propose certain actions like a discount on their next purchase. Anything that shows that you care about your customers, even the unhappy ones, reassures and attracts new customers!
4. Our other tips for managing Google reviews
How to spot and remove fake reviews?
Beware of fake Google customer reviews that can damage your online reputation.
Remember that your Google My Business listing is often the first point of entry and contact with consumers searching on Google and that you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. If you have fake reviews, report it directly on your Google My Business administrator account. However, do not do themistake of reporting real negative reviews !
Here are some criteria that may help you identify fake reviews:
- The same person posts the same reviews on different Google My Business accounts. To check this, click on their name and look at their history
- Negative opinions published in a regular interval
- Duplicate comments with the same spelling but from different people
- The level of language used and/or spelling mistakes
- Poorly detailed, overly general opinions
Buying Google customer reviews: a bad idea!
Buying fake reviews on Google is not not a practice to be adopted and if you do, we suggest you stop it right away. It's too much risk for too little return.
Indeed, using platforms and buying fake Google reviews is punishable by law. You will also incur heavy penalties from Google such as the total suspension of your business listing. It is no coincidence that the publication of deliberately false reviews is at the top of the list of content formally prohibited by the Google policy.
Review management software to help you manage your reviews
Review management software exists to do this. save time in your customer review management. These allow you to centralise all the actions linked to the management of reviews, such as the creation of surveys, distribution, analysis and management of responses.
There are a multitude of platforms adapted to each of your needs that Capterra groups together on its website.
Don't be afraid of a negative Google review!
A negative review drowned in 20 positive comments does not have the same effect as an isolated criticism. A dissatisfied customer whose negative review has been dealt with effectively can become an ambassador.
After responding, contact the customer again to confirm that the situation has been resolved. You will once again demonstrate your commitment to providing the best possible service. Who knows, maybe this behaviour will lead to a positive review!