So, you want 5-star Google reviews.
You’re not alone. “5 Star Google” has been identified as a top internet search related to reviews and brand reputation. Most people think an overall 5-star Google review score will build trust, indicate excellence, and bring in new customers.
But what if a 5-star Google review rating isn’t the ideal end goal? Let’s explore why that may be the case, while also presenting practical strategies for elevating your company’s review presence—on Google and beyond.
How Negative Reviews Can Be Positive
There are a few main reasons why a 5-star Google review rating is not worth chasing. Besides customers questioning the credibility of a perfect Google score, your company doesn’t have the chance to respond to complaints. No operation is perfect, so you want concerns to come to the surface so you can address them accordingly.
1. Negative Reviews Show Credibility
Did you know that a small percentage of neutral or negative reviews can add credibility to your company? This is because a healthy mix of negative and positive can show that reviews are genuine, and that enough customers have weighed in.
If all customers are giving the same glowing reviews, it appears suspicious to those trying to take an accurate temperature of your reputation. So customers are less likely to trust unanimous reviews and less likely to patronize your business.
2. Customers Watch How You Respond
No business gets their customer experience right 100% of the time. If your customers aren’t sending any constructive criticism your way, it’s bound to bubble up somewhere—namely, by a customer taking their business elsewhere or suggesting others do the same.
However, review responses allow a public dialogue with the customer, reassuring the customer and other readers that you take any negative experiences seriously and that you will do all in your power to make it right.
If you’re new to review management, you’ll want to check out our earlier post about The Importance of Responding to Reviews and How to Respond Effectively for tips on how you can get started today.
3. Negative Reviews Can Show Growth
A unanimously 5-star rated business leaves little room for growth and change. How can your company grow if you exist in an echo chamber of only the customers with perfect reviews? With a solid mix of honest reviews, your company can strategically retool based on constructive customer feedback.
In order to implement real change and continue striving for excellence year after year, you will need to accurately identify opportunities for growth. The occasional 4-star review will help you do just that. And, customers will see your growth in real time as online reviews improve.
4. Negative Reviews May Be Inevitable
When you ask customers to leave reviews, you will increase the number of reviews you receive and, hopefully, you will respond to each review accordingly. Seeing reviewers share their thoughts publicly gives other customers encouragement to share their own experience—and in this way, reviews increase exponentially over time. Being known as a company that responds to your reviews can also encourage more reviewers to jump into the conversation online.
This process of getting more and more reviews can help your search results and increase credibility, but it’s inevitable that some negative reviews will show up along the way. Still, your average review score will likely remain strong, and your positive reviews are bound to make a lasting impact.
The “Angry” Customer: Why Negative Reviewers May Return
After considering that negative reviews increase the credibility of your overall review score, give you a chance to respond, and offer an opportunity to retool your business practices, it should be clear that review management is not optional, but essential.
Still, there are those who wonder if they should really bother reaching out to a disgruntled customer. If the customer was upset enough to put their negative feedback on the internet, could they really be converted into a returning customer?
The short answer is yes. A recent Fivestars blog post, “Why Negative Reviews Shouldn’t Scare You,” reminds us that complaining customers are engaged customers. And, surprisingly, they’re likely to be repeat customers.
“Research suggests that complaining customers are more likely to revisit your business, as opposed to silently unhappy customers who take their business elsewhere without ever telling you why.”Fivestars Blog
Customers want to be heard, and they may not be as angry as you think—but simply seeking a resolution. Taking the time to share feedback shows that the customer is invested in their experience, and it is a good indicator that they may return, if you address their concerns in a satisfactory way.
An Easy Way to Manage Google Reviews
To build your reputation through Google Review management and cross-platform engagement, consider a team to monitor and converse with customers on your behalf. The experienced team at Let Us Respond is poised to become your brand ambassadors in the review sphere, taking the everyday work off your team and delivering results among your customers.