Google reviews are one of the main things business owners should be focussing on today. And quite honestly, it’s not your overall star rating people are looking too. Factors such as how many reviews you have, and when your most recent review was, play a big role in whether or not a consumer will call your business.
In this guide, we’re going to go over everything a business owner should know about Google reviews in order to be successful. Then, we’re going to discuss the best practices for any business to get reviews from your customers.
How Important Are Google Reviews, Really?
Google accounts for about 5.6 billion searches a day, and of all the searches on Google, just under half are searches for Local Businesses. Crazy right?
Knowing this, it’s safe to say that Google is the go-to spot for today’s consumers who need local services. So when they turn to it, is your business anywhere to be found? Or better yet, if it is found, are you giving them a good reason to choose you over everyone else?
Google Local Pack Reviews
What people turn to mostly today is the Google Local Pack. See below.
The local pack is where more and more people are searching for the best business to choose based on their reviews. In fact, they say 88% of people read reviews before choosing a business. So if you have poor, or simply no reviews, you’re likely only getting new business from that leftover 12%.
Reviews are considered “consumer-generated content”. People prefer to hear the opinions of previous customers over what the company has to say about themselves to determine whether or not they are going to do business with them.
Online reviews are the most authentic representation of a business today and therefore are the backbone of the sales you generate online.
Other Benefits of Local Google Reviews
On the topic of search, Google reviews will help rank your business higher. This will ultimately lead to more opportunities for attracting customers to call you.
Aside from that, reviews will help convert referrals as well. If someone tells their friend about a dentist they love, and that person looks them up online and finds awful reviews, there’s a good chance that it will scare the customer away.
The same applies to any print or digital advertising you may be doing. If the customer finds your business but decides to read your reviews before calling, all your efforts and ad budget are wasted.
If your reviews are scaring referrals away, you have a serious problem. Let’s talk to get your business on the right track.
Google Guaranteed Reviews
In other news, Google recently rolled out this new piece of real estate on its search engine page. It’s called Google Guaranteed.
You definitely want to be in this spot, but it’s not free like a Google My Business page. Getting in is free, but then you have to pay $25 per qualified call – which isn’t terrible in a world of lead generation but can definitely add up.
You’ll also need a business background check and will have to submit some paperwork to ensure you are a real business. This is something any real business should be able to do and will aid in keeping fake listings off the Google streets.
Once you’re in, the only thing left to do is get consistent reviews. This not only helps you in your Google Guaranteed rankings but also is the only real differentiator when it comes down to you and your competition. In here it is especially the case since there is nowhere to click through to your website from your Google Guaranteed page.
Asking For Google Reviews
So by now, you should have a good understanding of why you need Google reviews, so let’s get into how you can get more.
How you ask the customer to leave a review will go a long way, and sticking to a script will make it more and more natural for you.
Our advice, just be honest with them. When you’re asking for the review, let them know how much you’d appreciate it and how it would really help the business.
They should understand this indefinitely considering most of them probably read your business’s reviews before doing business with you. We have clients all the time who say their customers often respond to their review request saying “Of course that makes sense! I chose you guys specifically because of your reviews!”.
Timing is everything when asking for a review. You don’t want to jump the gun and ask before the customer is 100% satisfied with your work.
A good practice is to open up your review request by announcing that you’re finished and asking if there is anything left you can do. If they say no and thank you, ask for a review. If they’re still uncertain about something, address their problem before asking for a review.
When their out of concerns and completely satisfied is the best time you can possibly ask.
Here’s a simple script that almost any industry can use to get more Google reviews:
Employee: “Alright we’re all done here, is there anything else I can do for you?”
Customer: “No that is all, thank you so much”
Employee: “Great! Hey, if you wouldn’t mind taking a minute to leave me a review on Google I’d really appreciate it. It’ll help the business out a lot and if you mention my name it will look great for me to my boss.”
The common response to this from a happy customer is something on the lines of: “Absolutely! How and where should I do it?”
Getting a customer to say yes to leaving you a review is the easy part. Getting them to actually leave a review is the tricky part.
You can use a direct Google review link to send to people so that all they have to do is click it and they are right where they need to be to leave a review. This takes out the work for customers having to remember to search for your business and review you in their free time.
Easiest Ways To Get Google Reviews
With 2 Step Reviews, we have an easy way that similarly bridges the gap between customers and your review pages.
All an employee has to do is open their app, enter the customer’s name and cell phone number, and hit send.
A text goes to the customer, where they just click the link, click “Google”, and then type the review.
Each employee gets credit for the reviews they receive so that you the employer can congratulate them however you seem fits.
This process has helped several businesses get hundreds of 5-star reviews. In fact, one business even got 160 reviews in 1 month!
For more information on how to ask for reviews, see our in-depth guide.
Other Ways That Get Customers To Your Google Review Page
The big secret in review generation is bridging the gap between your customers and your review page.
Texting is a clear winner in terms of getting the most reviews from customers, but if for some reason you don’t want to text there are a few other options.
If you have your customers email, you can send out an email request after you have serviced them. Some companies like to blast out all there review requests at once at the end of the day.
We’ve seen that this isn’t the best way to do things, mostly because emails sometimes go unnoticed. Another reason is that it’s not entirely personal nor at the best time. The best time to get the person to leave a review is right after the service is completed. If you email the request, they may not see it until the next day.
Our company originated from using postcards before switching to texting.
What we did, was have a big postcard that said something on the lines of “We’d Love If You Left Us A Review”, and had a link for them to go to (i.e. mycompanyreviews.com).
When the customer goes to the website, they were faced with the same type of landing page where they can select to go to your Google Page or Facebook Page to leave their review.
If you have a technical employee, they can also have this custom URL redirect to your Google page if you strictly want Google reviews.
Postcards work great because it does the same thing text requests do, which is putting the path to your review page in the customer’s hand. Although not as great as texting, we did see great success rates with this strategy.
GUIDE THEM THROUGH YOURSELF
This isn’t the best way, but it’s something that some of you may want to try. If the customer agrees to leave you a review, you can ask to search and find your company’s review page from their phone. Then they can go ahead and type their review.
The reason I advise against this is that it can definitely get a little awkward. Whether it’s you typing or them, no one likes to have someone watching over their shoulder as they search for something.
My best advice, if you’re going to do this, is to take the phone yourself, find your companies Google page and give the phone back to them. Don’t hover around waiting for them to leave a review, you don’t want to come across too pushy.
Although texting this info straight to them is far easier, this is likely to help you get more Google reviews as you yourself are manually taking out the friction for the customer to find your Google Business Page.
Responding to Google Reviews
Responding to reviews is also in any business owners best interest. It not only helps with customer retention and defending your business’s reputation against poor reviews, but it also sends good signs to Google which influences your rankings.
For a full guide on how to respond to Google reviews, click here.
Responding to Positive Google Reviews
Responding to all your reviews should be a regular thing. If you’re asking a customer to do you a favor and leave you a review, the least you can do is say thank and say it was a pleasure working for them.
In just 30 seconds of your time, you can send positivity back to your customer, making sure they do business with you next time they’re in need.
Responding to Negative Google Reviews
Responding to negative Google reviews should also be at the top of your to-do list.
A negative Google review can be so bad you may want to delete it, but there are better ways to make it right.
Since negative reviews are known to scare people away from your business, your response can be the saving factor. By owning up to your faults and trying to make it right, it’s a good sign to potential customers that you value your customers and will do what it takes to assure their satisfaction.
We wrote a whole guide on responding to negative reviews that can help you more with writing your response.
Want To Get More Google Reviews?
2 Step Reviews help you not only get more Google reviews but also with management. Try us out for free and see what you can accomplish in 30 days for your business.