One negative review on Google will not make you go bankrupt. But when they start to pile up… it’s time to take action! There’s no secret to maintaining your company’s online reputation and credibility.
Here are our 5 steps to aim for 5 stars on Google and elsewhere. Are you ready to prevent bad reviews and negative comments?
1. Prompt Customers for Feedback
There are two ways for companies to get customer reviews on Google:
- Spontaneous reviews: Internet users post comments freely on a Google My Business page or social media.
- Prompted post-purchase reviews: Internet users are prompted via satisfaction surveys to share their customer experience. Our customer review platform, Verified Reviews, makes it easy to collect, manage and share reviews online (on a company website, product page, Verified Reviews certified page, or a Google My Business and Google Maps profile via our partnership with the search engine).
We recommend the second solution if you want to steer clear of negative customer reviews and get more positive ones. Prompting consumers for post-purchase reviews is an effective strategy when aiming for 5 stars. It results in reliable, comprehensive, useful, SEO-friendly and mostly positive feedback!
0.45 points separate a prompted and spontaneous satisfaction score. This might not seem much, but it makes a huge difference to Internet users: when a customer is prompted to leave a review (especially via a trusted third party such as Verified Reviews), they give an average score of 4.34/5. However, when a customer shares a spontaneous review on Google, they give an average score of 3.89/5 (Source: ReviewTrackers, 2021).
If you have negative reviews on Google, the best way to generate positive ones is to prompt your customers for post-purchase feedback. This will improve your satisfaction score and the positive comments will drown out the negative ones.
So, to prevent negative reviews on Google, request regular post-purchase customer reviews via a trusted third party like Verified Reviews!
2. Build customer loyalty
A loyal consumer likes your products and services. Which means they are less likely to express dissatisfaction on the Internet. In fact, there is a strong link between customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Improving customer satisfaction by one degree strongly increases customer loyalty and positive reviews. 96% of customers with a satisfaction score between 9 and 10/10 say that they intend to buy from the company again, compared to only 65% with a score between 8 and 9/10 (Source: UKCSI).
You need to build customer loyalty to prevent bad reviews on Google. This is a particularly profitable strategy: increasing your customer retention rate by 5% boosts your profitability by 25% to 95% (Source: INVESP).
Here are our tips to build customer loyalty while preventing negative reviews:
- Define a customer-centric culture and deploy it internally at every level.
- Make someone responsible for customer satisfaction.
- Regularly prompt customers and identify loyal consumers who share positive reviews (and drown out the negative ones on Google).
- Explore your loyal customers’ needs, expectations, sticking points and source of delight.
3. Talk privately with Dissatisfied Customers
Sometimes, you can’t avoid or prevent negative reviews. So, how should you react when Internet users share them on Google?
At Verified Reviews by Skeepers, we recommend contacting your dissatisfied customers privately. A one-to-one conversation by phone or email enables the customer to explain their issue(s), so that you can suggest a personalized solution.
Be warned: businesses are not allowed to remove negative reviews. You can notify Google of any false or defamatory content, but only Google can delete a review and only the author can decide to change it. A private and personalized conversation is the best way to transform negative reviews into positive ones!
4. Analyze Negative Reviews and Improve the Customer Experience
What if negative reviews were excellent opportunities to improve your customer experience?
Dissatisfied reviews can help you grow and improve your business. You do not necessarily have to remove negative comments to prevent them… Analyze them instead! Monitoring customer reviews can help you strengthen your customer knowledge and improve your experience.
- If the analysis of your customer reviews highlights complaints about a lack of products on your shelves, you can improve your in-store stock management.
- If your delivery times are often criticized in comments on Google, you can implement new logistics.
- If you get lots of negative reviews about the quality of your products, you can optimize your product strategy.
This strategy helps to anticipate and prevent future negative reviews… While improving your current customer experience.
Meanwhile, remember to send out post-purchase satisfaction surveys. Prompting customers regularly for feedback will increase your chances of getting positive reviews… And drown out the negative reviews in a sea of compliments!
5. Respond to Negative Google Reviews
Responding to customer reviews is not an option… it is a must! It’s the only way to maintain your online reputation, credibility, and a solid customer relationship. Consumers pay particular attention to companies’ replies to both positive and negative reviews on Google.
Today, 93% of Internet users say that they read establishments’ responses to negative reviews (source: Partoo study, 2022). A polite, professional, empathetic, personalized, and solution-centric reply goes a long way! 68% of Internet users say that they are prepared to change their minds about a place, based on its response.
Communication is key to encouraging customers and future customers to be indulgent. You can suggest a private meeting with customer services, but remember to also respond publicly to the negative review. This will create a virtuous circle:
- Your detractors will become your promoters. Negative reviews can be turned into positive reviews.
- Future buyers will become more indulgent and willing to give you a chance if you respond.
- If these new customers have a satisfactory experience, they will share a positive review. Which will also increase your average rating on Google!
Prevent Negative Reviews on Google: Follow these Steps!
Now you know how to prevent negative reviews on Google (and elsewhere), here is a little recap:
1- Prompt customers for reviews
2- Build customer loyalty
3- Talk privately with dissatisfied customers
4- Analyze negative reviews and improve customer experience
5- Respond to negative Google reviews