Reviews are a major contributor to your firm’s success. And believe it or not, how your reviews, both good and bad, are managed is as critical to your reputation as the reviews are themselves.
In this blog I’ll discuss tips on how to manage your Google reviews, but it’s important to note that the act of responding consistently to reviews is key to your firm’s success in local search results.
Whatever Your Approach to Google Reviews, Be Consistent.
The way you choose to manage your Google reviews may differ depending on your firm’s specific needs and operational strategy. But regardless of where your business stands and how you handle reviews, just make sure you choose an approach and adhere to it until it makes sense to change.
Examples of ways you might manage your reviews are:
- Decide when to respond based on your firm’s individual needs: Is your goal to respond to a review within 24 hours? Within 48 hours? Pick the timeframe that you can realistically respond within and be consistent with it. But keep in mind that sooner is always better.
- Constantly monitor your reviews on all major platforms, including Google Business Profile (GBP), Yelp, and Facebook: Set up alerts so that you know when something new has come through, or set aside time each day to check.
- Read and consider ALL reviews, both good and bad as they come in: Come up with a process for sharing feedback with your team so that you can learn, make any necessary adjustments to your processes, and continue to grow.
- Dispute fake reviews as soon as you see them: The process of disputing reviews can vary depending on the platform, but reporting inappropriate reviews is the only method to getting them removed aside from the reviewer deleting them themselves.
Whether you respond immediately or take an approach that is a bit more thoughtful and responsive instead of reactive, you’ll want to be sure to plan a specific type of response for positive and negative reviews.
How to Respond to Reviews, Especially Bad Ones
Anytime someone leaves feedback, whether positive or negative, they are looking for acknowledgment that they’ve been heard, even if it’s a simple “thank you” from your team for taking the time to leave a review. That’s why it’s important to respond to all reviews your firm receives. But clients with negative reviews also want to know that their issue is being addressed.
How to Respond to Bad Reviews
When reading a bad review, it’s tough to not take it personally. You work hard and have good intentions to help injured people in your community. But it’s important to put your emotions aside and look at your response as an opportunity to show the online public that you care about all your clients, not just the ones willing to leave you “five stars” off the bat.
Here are a few steps to take in your approach to the bad reviews:
- Truly assess the feedback with your team.
- Have one or more templated responses that your team feel best represent your firm’s values—and use it.
- Be sure to respond publicly to the review, but make it a priority to move conversations with disgruntled clients offline.
Once you are one-on-one with a less than satisfied client, maintain a calm demeanor and LISTEN. It’s good to be honest about your mistakes and own them. Empathy goes a long way here, and your greatest “defense” is not to be defensive.
How to Respond to Good Reviews
Now good reviews are a lot more fun to deal with than someone who may have publicly ranted about their dissatisfaction with your firm. But even though these responses are easier on the eyes and the feelings, they are just as important to respond to as the negative. This is where your firm can show people that you are there for the ups and downs and not just showing up for damage control.
Here are a few tips on how to approach the good reviews:
- Respond as quickly as possible. This reinforcement of their satisfaction shows you are grateful and that client feedback matters to your firm.
- If you can catch these reviews quickly, your quick reply may result in a very public back-and-forth about their satisfaction and what your firm offers.
- Make the responses personal and ask the happy client to share their review.
Good reviews are good news! And your interaction online makes it easier for you to spread the word.
Engagement Improves Your Google Rating and Client Loyalty
Attentiveness to your Google Reviews is a powerful customer service tool. Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and they have shared that higher review counts and review scores increase the visibility of your Google Business Profile listing, which is crucial for any local business.
Whether cj currently helps your firm with reputation management or not, we are always here to answer any questions you have.
At the end of the day, all reviews are good reviews when you have a strategy for responding.