How To Fix Bad Reviews
Author: Rich Stivala
3 Actionable Items to Save your Business from Disaster
If you have viewed an online review for a product or service you were interested in purchasing, you were not alone. It’s no secret that consumers use the Internet as a platform to rate and review businesses and products. Yet, many business owners lack the basic understanding of how these reviews impact their bottom line.
Why Reviews Matter
How Google Calculates Your Review Summary
When someone searches for your business in Google, Google displays what is a termed a “review summary”. A “review summary” is Google’s star system for summarizing consumer opinion about your company (5 Stars – Loved It to 1 Star – Hated It). However, most businesses don’t realize Google also uses a variety of other signals in calculating “review summary” to ensure that the overall score best reflects the quality of the establishment.
For example, if your business has an inadequate amount of reviews, Google will use an algorithm to calculate your business’ full review summary. This overall rating is based on both the scores you’ve received from reviewers and Google’s calculation of the scores you would likely receive if you had more reviews.
The Danger Your Business Faces
While Google uses this algorithm to best make projections, the model can sometimes harm small businesses. This is because Google assumes that your business will receive a range of reviews in the future. When your business receives fewer comparative reviews, it is more impacted by Google’s projected deviations.
How it Works
Say, for example, your business has only received 6 reviews. Even if they have all been 5 stars, Google’s algorithm assumes that you will eventually receive lower scores. As a result, your overall rating could appear to be a 4.8. As previously mentioned, this assumption has a more severe impact on businesses with fewer established scores.
How 1 Bad Review Ruins Your Reputation
Now, take the example above and add 1 bad review (1 star – hated it). Using the above algorithm now with 7 reviews (6 – 5 stars and 1 – one star), Google will now predict that more bad reviews are in your future and your score will actually drop from 4.8 of 2.8, essential killing your reputation and business.
How to Save Your Business…
1. Talk to Google
Google does have a mechanism for removing bad reviews. However, the review must violate its terms of service. Unfortunately, most bad reviews do not. Read Google’s Review Removal Policy
2. Address Customer’s Concerns
If you receive a bad review, the best thing to do is reach out to the reviewer. By doing so, you will better understand the issue and be able to address it more effectively. You can even offer the reviewer an incentive to give your business another try. In the long-run, this could lead to them leaving a positive follow-up review.
3. The Solution: Be Proactive
The only way to truly avoid disaster striking is to increase the number of positive reviews before a bad review is posted.
Getting Positive Reviews
For small businesses that thrive off of local or in-town business, getting reviews can be a challenge. By providing top-notch products and services, you are already giving people a reason to rave about your company. If that’s not proving to be enough, encouraging customers to get online and post a review is critical.
It’s Your Business’s Reputation At Stake
Reputation management is the key to ensuring your business is getting positive hype. It consists of all efforts made to impact your business’s public image. With so many consumers relying on online reviews, it’s imperative that you take steps to manage what’s being said.
3 More Benefits of Good Reviews…
- Positive reviews create a buzz and get people talking about your business
- Authentic reviews have a much higher ROI than paid advertising, plus consumers love customer generated content
- Trust – consumers trust other consumers (if a potential customers see others giving your business positive reviews, they’ll be more likely to try your service)
Invest Where The Customers Are
With the amount of time people spend on the Internet, it’s crucial that your business is not only getting positive reviews, but that it’s getting a lot of them. It’s time to invest time by talking to your customers and encouraging them to spread the word.