Have you done a search for your business only to find bad reviews? How often do potential clients google your name before doing business with you? Have you already lost business due to bad reviews? Obviously you should listen to your customers, but are all your customers speaking?
These questions constantly plague business owners. The fact is, it’s much easier to motivate negative reviews than to motivate positive. But just because it can be hard doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the effort! You can encourage your happy clients to be more vocal and leave reviews.
Who Leaves Reviews?
Customers who receive the “Wow” experience are somewhat likely to submit a positive review. On the other hand, if you provide an even slightly unpleasant experience in the eyes of a customer, they are likely to want to drag your name through the mud. You can see how the scales are unfairly weighted.
Asking For Reviews
Opinions vary widely on the issue of asking for reviews. The truth is, requesting reviews or testimonials has been going on much longer than the Internet has been around. It can be very difficult to get customers to take the time, but use your relationships and timing well.
The real ethics issues come into play when you pay or bribe someone to leave a good review, or fake a review internally. Make sure to avoid these practices because a little bit of investigation is all it takes for someone to connect the dots, and really start a smear campaign you won’t be able to control. To keep yourself in the clear, if you plan to offer a reward in exchange for leaving a review, make it clear that you’re looking for an unbiased review. Never fake a review from a customer internally as these are easy to spot, and a whistleblower can easily ruin your party.
Since Google maps is an aggregator of reviews, it will pull from many different reviews sites. Some of them are:
If you are embarrassed of your current Google maps profile, refer your clients to one of the above listed directories. As you get reviews on these secondary directories, sooner or later Google maps will pick them up, and you will essentially get double credit for them. If you are embarrassed of your citysearch profile, refer customers to Superpages, etc.
As an employee of your company, you’re going to want to ignore bad reviews. You see the poo-pooing and complaining as sour grapes from an off-base customer. Usually, one bad review is indicative of 10 or more dissatisfied customers who decided not to waste their time writing a review. Use these as a cue that there may be an aspect of your business or customer service that you can work on. Make an awesome product, and there will be more customers receiving the “Wow” experience. More wows = more positive reviews!
If you are totally transparent about your practices, you won’t have the major PR problems as many have had in the past. If problems or challenges do arise, you will have proof from email trails that they were real clients. More reviews on your google maps profile will also help its ranking for your desired maps keywords, so don’t hesitate in running your campaign!