Attaining positive reviews on a Google My Business listing is important because what other people have to say about a business carries more weight than what the owner has to say about it, even if they are complete strangers. Monitoring and managing reviews on the My Business listing are therefore a valuable part of a local marketing strategy.
In fact, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Furthermore, 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more than they would otherwise.
Some ways to ask customers for reviews include:
- In person
- Over the phone (or via text)
- Through your website (ideally, a reviews page)
- Via email (email blast, personal email, company email, email signatures)
- Via social media (direct message or post)
- Via thank you pages
- On receipts/invoices
Once a review of any kind has been received, it’s very important to reply to it, as according to Edison Research, 53% of customers expect a reply on review sites. What’s more is that businesses experience a 16% boost in customer advocacy from answered complaints on reviews sites. Meanwhile, businesses that ignore complaints on review sites experience a 37% decline in customer advocacy.
This study shows the incredible upside to responding to a review, especially within 24 hours, but also emphasises the potential negative effects of not responding at all.
Google recently released a new tool within My Business to allow business owners to see recent reviews on their listings in a single place and check the status of reviews they reported to Google. Previously, there was no real way to see the status of reviews that had been submitted for a takedown in an organised fashion.
Step one is to select the business, then select if you want to check the status of a reported review or if you want to report a new review for a takedown. After ‘report a new review for takedown’ is selected, Google gives you a list of your recent reviews that you can click to view on Google Maps or submit a takedown request. If the option to check the status of a review you previously reported is selected, it will show those reviews, including the current status.
That review can then be selected to see more of a summary and even submit an appeal if the takedown request was not accepted.
There is a limit to the number of reviews Google will show you here though, as it only works for Google My Business accounts that have a small number of listings in them. Therefore agency managed accounts may have too many listings to qualify to use it.
It’s good that Google now provides a way to see the status of reviews submitted for a takedown, as this can at least go a little way to alleviating the impatience of a business owner who wants a negative review removed.
If you want to know more about how Google My Business and reviews can help your business, please get in touch.