It is going to happen at some point or another. Maybe something happened on your end — poor customer service, a product mixup — maybe the consumer missed their morning cup of joe, maybe the stars are out of alignment. Almost all businesses have to contend with a bad Google review at some point or another.
Will this bad review mar the reputation of your company and haunt your business for the foreseeable future? Not if you handle it correctly! Understanding how to respond to Google reviews will serve your business very well.
How Bad Google Reviews Can Be Good
The number wiggles a bit, but year after year, studies have shown that around 80% of online customers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. That number feels scary when you think about a bad review. But take a breath, because we’re about to counter your concerns with another stat: Research from Hubspot found solving a customer complaint tends to retain that customer 95% of the time.
In addition to getting to keep the irate client, you also show the rest of your audience that your customer service is solid, your intentions are pure, and that you follow-through to ensure everyone has a top-notch experience with your brand. It’s all about reputation monitoring, which done correctly can:
- Increase brand awareness and credibility
- Bolster your search engine rankings and boost lead generation
- Foster better client retention and reduce customer churn
How to Respond to Google Reviews Like a Champ
Bad reviews need to be responded to quickly. However, never go into the fray guns blazing! The knee jerk reaction is to discard a bad review or to respond angrily. This is not the face of your brand and not the way you want other potentials to see you dealing with customers.
First, figure out who you’re dealing with. Is this a first time customer or a long time loyal? What did they purchase, when did they purchase it, and what was the problem with the service or product? Knowing this will help you nail down the exact source of the problem so that you can provide an optimal solution.
Take a little time to build out a game plan before making your response — just don’t wait longer than 24 hours. A proper response should:
- Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention
- Validate their frustrations
- Include an apology
- Offer a satisfactory and fair solution to the problem
Flagging Fraudulent Google Reviews
Sometimes internet trolls or consumers with a vendetta can berate a business and cause tons of trouble, posting fake review after review to tank your business. Happily, you do have recourse when this happens. If your review is fraudulent, contains profanity or hate speech, is a form of spam or advertising, or is off-topic then you can have the content flagged and likely removed.
Just keep this important point in mind. Be absolutely certain that the review is false before flagging. Do not flag a review if it’s a real review from a customer that has a real problem! If you’re looking to tank your reputation and throw your business right under the bus, this is the way to do it.
Brand Marketing and Public Relations with P3 Agency
How to respond to Google reviews is just one small part of reputation management and healthy business branding. But it’s an important one, and one that your clients past, present, and future, will greatly appreciate.
Want to learn more about brand management and brand marketing, or looking to delve deeper into website design and digital marketing? Connect with P3 Agency, your superior source for Website design in Clearwater and the surrounding communities. Reach us online today for a free marketing assessment!