Be Careful How You Respond To Consumer Reviews On Google!

We all know how important it is to develop 5-Star reviews for your business on your Google Business Page. It is beyond critical, to help with your census building efforts at your healthcare facility.

It is one of the reasons why our Digital Kiosk is so powerful and popular.

However, what happens if you get torched with a nasty Google review by a disgruntled customer? We know it happens and if you think you’re immune, don’t delude yourself. It’s not a question of IF you’re gonna get flamed, but WHEN.

When you do receive a nasty review on Google, chances are, it will NEVER come off. Google is just about the toughest online platform to contest negative reviews via their automated algorithmic software. Google makes contesting nasty Yelp reviews, look like a picnic by comparison.

Unless the consumer used 4 letter curse words or posted pornography, chances are, their Google review on your Google business page will stay there like a bad scab forever and ever.

So what do you do?

The answer is twofold:

  1. Build more and more positive Google reviews in order to suppress and bury the negativity.
  2. Respond to each consumer review on your Google page (whether it is a positive or negative review that you are responding to) with a measured and cogent response, so that future customers will see that you care and that somebody is “watching the house.”

Problem with Posting Responses After May, 2018

In the olden days, when you (or your marketing agency acting on your behalf) published a response as an owner, the original poster wasn’t made aware that you had responded to their review. It was therefore a bit “safer” to leverage a proper response when the original poster wasn’t alerted to it and you didn’t have to worry about opening up a “Pandora’s Box.”

All of that changed back in May 2018, when Google announced that it was rolling out a feature in which customers are notified whenever a business responds to their online review on Google.

Google now sends email notifications that inform customers when a business responds to their reviews, with plans to release mobile notifications at a later date. In fact, even if you now respond to a very old review posted before this program was initiated, Google will still notify the original poster. The notification contains a link to a page with the business owner’s response to the Google review.

The business’ response is published immediately and the email notification is sent to the customer 5 minutes later. The 5-minute delay allows the business to edit or make any corrections to their response after initial submission.

Here’s a screenshot of the email notification that is sent to customers:

 

Scary Stuff

So why is this a scary development for business owners and/or their online marketing agencies?

The answer is obviously very simple.

Today, you must be EXCEEDINGLY CAREFUL about HOW you respond online to a positive and certainly a negative Google review, with the understanding that the original poster will be notified of your response.

If you stand to do yourself more harm than good by responding too forcefully (or responding at all), you’d be better served leaving it alone.

Food for thought.

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