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Managing Agency/Account & Customer Reviews

 

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There are few things as important to a business as its reputation in the marketplace. Up until today, a history of offering quality goods and services was all it took to maintain a “good name”. Customers could complain about their interactions with you, but only to those in their immediate vicinity who had a mind to listen. Now, the internet has totally changed the game. Today a single person can broadcast their viewpoint out to thousands, even millions, of people with the push of a few buttons. This represents an enormous opportunity for companies to save on advertising, but, it also opens a business up to malicious attacks from unhappy customers, ex-employees, and even their competition.

 

Whether you are a company offering goods and/or services, or an agency that represents these businesses, responding to a negative review can be challenging. No one likes to read criticisms of their efforts; even when those criticisms are fair. But, on many occasions, the negative reviews will be based on a completely one-sided view of a situation that may or may not have occurred as it is described. These “fictionalized” accounts can be frustrating, and scream out for a sternly worded response. Yet, it is imperative that you stop yourself before you make the situation even worse. Believe it or not, there are some simple, yet effective ways to turn this to your advantage.

 

First, do your best to remove your emotions from your response. Engaging in a screaming match with a negative reviewer can do more damage than the initial review. Potential clients like to see conflict-resolution handled with respect, transparency, and an even-handed demeanor. No matter how outlandish the claims against you, you will be better served by being professional than you ever will by being confrontational.

 

Next, it is important to address the specifics of the review with clear, concise responses. If the reviewer is convinced that he/she has been wronged, do your best to explain exactly how you researched their issue, planned a resolution, and when and how you communicated that possibility. This will give any readers the actual facts, and allow them to make up their own minds regarding the issue.

 

One of the most important things to remember when answering reviews is to make the effort to see things from the reviewer’s perspective. Even when they are completely off base, it is helpful to treat them as if they are making perfect sense, and their concerns are your primary focus. Empathy can have an incredibly powerful effect on those we find ourselves at odds with.

 

Lastly, always close with an apology to once more show potential customers reading your interaction that your concern is genuine. Many times the last impression a reader gets of you is the one they will carry with them, so make sure you come across as truly remorseful that a problem has arisen, dedicated to understanding how and why, and focused on the solution rather than the problem.

 

There is no correct way to answer criticism from the public or your peers in an online forum. Every way it can be done has its pros and cons, but if you follow these simple steps you will find that more of your interactions end in positive outcomes.

How do you handle reviews for your business and your clients? Have anything to add to the conversation feel free to jump in! 

img source trip tease dot com

about Spencer Wade

I'm Spencer Wade - strategist, designer, manager of people and ideas. Platinum Top Contributor for Google Search, G+ & AdWords - TC Mentor too. I’m the founder of Lift Conversions, a Google Partner agency, located in Chicago. I’ve completed Google’s tests - Search, Display, Video, Analytics, & Mobile, and enjoy being a part of the forums. My agency is also an Official City Partner in the Get Your Business Online effort with Instant Verifier access to help immediately verify business listings.

Comments
Advantage S
September 2016

If Google reviews for business has no accountability, it is of no account. Users who have never visited a business or even know where it is can use reviews as a forum to make personal attacks or be paid by others to add false information and damage a business. It is like the wild west.

Websites N More
January 2017

Hi,

 

We received a GENUINE review from a customer this afternoon and that was removed. This was posted on my business profile which is linked to this email. Could you explain why this has been removed? Beign a small business every review counts and i dont'  quite appreciate this!

Spencer_Wade Top Contributor
January 2017
Advantage S, It does seem out of hand at times but using the feedback option helps flag posts that are spam or promotional, doing it often helps as well. When you come across issues like this flag it everyday until you get resolution on the review.
Spencer_Wade Top Contributor
January 2017
Hello Websites N More, Not sure what happened, have you asked the reviewer to check their system to ensure it was posted? I have seen issues where reviews are stuck in Que on the reviewers system. Maybe check and see if they would reshare the review to see f it sticks.
Websites N More
January 2017

Hi @Spencer_Wade,

 

Thanks for coming back. The review actually got posted and was up there for a few hours. I even got an email from Google My Business (screenshot attached) about a review being posted under our account and i clicked through to check the review. This is very disappointing!! An explanation to this will be good given that we work hard to win a customers trust and get such reviews.

 

The customer used his own machine and internet connection to post this out. So i am not sure what ticked of Google and made them remove this review!!

 

Thanks!review removed name not shown.JPG

Spencer_Wade Top Contributor
January 2017
Hell Websites n More, I would try and ask the reviewer to republish, seems like maybe a glitch, is it possible to have them re-post?
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