By registering your firm with Google, you can reap significant benefits. The features that come with a Google Business Page and Google Places can allow you to raise your company’s visibility online, especially in local searches. Learn how to manage your business’ Google reviews, to ensure you can utilise the search engine’s services to enhance your venture’s reputation online.
Listing on Google
When you register your business on Google, the search engine will list your company’s vital details in an information box, which is featured on the right-hand side of searches for your firm’s name. This is why it is advisable to utilise Google’s services; it will provide your business with a sense of legitimacy and cohesion. Therefore, when users Google your company, you will appear prominently in the search.
This is especially valuable if there are any businesses online with the same or a similar name, as you will stand out from the crowd. But you should remember that the information concerning your company listed by Google will include Google reviews. Consumer opinions will have an immediate effect on your company’s reputation, influencing how potential consumers perceive your brand identity online.
The importance of online reviews
Do not underestimate the importance of online reviews concerning your business. Increasingly, UK consumers are using online reviews to inform their purchasing decisions and determine whether they should utilise a company’s services. Consumers value first-hand experience, so they will see the reviews previous customers write online as a trustworthy source of information on your firm.
A 2014 study from Bright Local, an online marketing expert, suggests that almost nine in ten (88%) consumers believe online reviews to be as trustworthy as personal recommendations. The same number of respondents have read online reviews to determine the quality of a business. Whether the reviews consumers write concerning your company online are fair or not, there’s a high chance this content will directly impact the way your firm is perceived online.
Safeguarding your reputation online
You cannot stop people from writing negative reviews online concerning your company. In fact, generally consumers will often be more willing to take the time to highlight the negative, rather than the positive aspects of your business in a review. Furthermore, even if you provide first-rate service and have a stellar reputation online, it is likely you will receive a negative review every once in a while.
Do not see this as a problem; take it as an opportunity. If reviewers bring up negative issues, you can resolve them internally, allowing you to illustrate to the general public that you are dedicated to handling customer issues promptly. Keep the following five tips in mind when managing Google reviews for your business.
- Address reviews promptly: Ignoring a review will not make it go away; the customer will see that their issues have gone unaddressed, causing you to lose their business permanently. Instead, read and reply to Google reviews promptly, so you illustrate to the disgruntled customer that you care about keeping their business.
- Strike the right tone: If a customer receives a standardised, impersonal response to their review, they will feel as if they do not matter to your company. We would advise you to strike a personal and respectful tone when responding to a review. By listening to their grievance, along with accepting fault for your mistakes, you will be able to address said consumers concerns about your business effectively.
- Maintain professionalism: It is advisable to adopt a personal tone when responding to a consumer review, but keep in mind that you are representing your business. Therefore, you should maintain a level of professionalism when answering consumer reviews, so you can retain your business’ reputation for credibility and excellence.
- Forget fake reviews: To protect the validity of online reviews to consumers, the UK government is tackling fake reviews. Whitehall is also rewarding companies which adhere to best practise review management guidelines. Do not include fake reviews in your company’s review management strategy; this will damage, rather than benefit, your image online.
- Take it offline: The longer you talk with a disgruntled reviewer online, the more harm you could do to your image, as your communications will be seen by a large share of your target consumer base. Start by responding to reviews online, so you can illustrate that you are willing to address issues concerning your firm, but then take communications offline. Provide consumers with regular updates with progress regarding their issue and where appropriate, post back online once the problem has been addressed to “close the loop.”
Adopt a pro-active approach
We would suggest that you adopt a consistent approach when managing negative Google reviews concerning your business. Monitor what people are saying about your company online regularly, so you can respond appropriately to any consumer concerns. This will give you the ability to limit any damage that negative reviews could inflict on your company.
With online reviews increasingly serving as a valuable source of information to consumers, there really is no avoiding them. Be pro-active when managing Google reviews for your company, so you can utilise the full benefits of registering your company on Google to cultivate a positive reputation online.