More threads by CodyBaird

Jan 4, 2013
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Tim Sweeney asked the following question in the Local Search Pros Community

Is there a recommended frequency concerning Google reviews? From what I've read (and understand) there are several variables to consider such as:

* How many reviews does the business receiving the reviews already have
* The industry the business is in

Assume that there isn't anything nefarious taking place concerning obtaining the reviews. In this case the business has a good size database of customers who are savvy and willing enough to leave a good Google review. Some of these are long time customers that have a solid relationship with the business.

My thought was maybe ask for a review once every ten days to two weeks. Perhaps this is too often? We certainly don't want to trigger something in the Google review filter process.

Any insights are appreciated.


You can read my response below. What else am I missing pros?

Here are some steps we follow with new clients when implementing review policy & procedure:

  • Tip: Employees involved in collecting reviews should have already reviewed businesses on Google and/or Yelp. If they haven't - we meet again next week once they have reviewed some of their favorite local businesses.

Why Reviews Matter (Discussion/teach - have open dialog)
  • People trust reviews
  • Reviews affect search rankings
  • Improved click through rates
  • Improved conversion rates
  • Reviews aren't going away

Create a Review Strategy
  1. Review inventory on top sites (Google, Yelp, Bing, YP etc)
  2. Create review policy & procedure to collect, monitor, and respond to reviews

Collecting reviews
  • When it comes to collecting reviews you will find that "Slow & Steady Wins the Race". Collecting reviews is the first policy that needs implementation. Don't assume that customers are going to leave a review. Even SMB's that are excellent in their area or niche will have to ask for reviews in the same way you have to ask for a sale.
  • point of sale - 3X5 cards, email etc
  • newsletter
  • customer surveys/feedback

Monitor Reviews
  • Monitoring reviews is the second policy that you need to implement. This is easier than it sounds. There is no need to scour the web. Focus on the top 5 review sites that your customers visit with an extra focus on your Google & Yelp reviews.
  • Pick a staff member and a time for the audit. Once a week is amazing. Once a month may be sufficient.

Respond to Reviews
  • Responding to reviews is the third policy that needs implementation. Don't wait until you have a bad review. Don't respond to only negative reviews. If someone took the time to write about you, find the time to write back.
  • Pick a staff member you trust with your reputation if you don't choose to respond yourself. You should respond when you are doing the review audit. Again, once a week is amazing, once a month may be sufficient. You will find that weekly responses will really pay off when that negative review happens, allowing you to act quickly.

Tips for Dealing with Positive Reviews
  • Showing appreciation publicly can go a long way. A potential customer will see how you value your clients.
  • The reviewer will be more likely to refer a friend or family member to your business and leave more reviews in the future.

Tips for Dealing with Negative Reviews

  • Take Responsibility - Own the issue.
  • Offer to fix the issue or make it right.
  • Describe how future customers will not have this issue.
  • Do this even with someone that you believe is disgruntled. If they do not respond then you
  • can add another response later stating that you believe it was fraudulent.
  • Take your time. A negative review most likely made you angry. Resist the temptation to reply quickly because, unless you have superhuman emotional control, the reply is likely to sound angry.
  • Don’t be defensive. One suggestion we often give to our clients is to send a draft of your
  • response to someone that doesn’t work at your company. Ask them to delete anything that sounds defensive. At least have another staff member review the response.
  • Keep it brief.
  • Take a deep breath. RELAX. I know it hurts and doesn't feel good. But hey, even the best
  • business will have an unhappy customer. And sooner or later they will leave a bad review.

Make the Review Process Simple & Transparent
Whatever system you implement for the customer, it should be so dead simple that they just don’t have to struggle. The least number of clicks, the straightest path, the least amount of details to remember should all be ideals of whatever system you put in place.

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re: Frequency of Google Reviews & Complete Review Strategy in a Nutshell

Wow, Wow and Wow Cody. EXCELLENT advice.

Thanks so much for sharing here. I really hoped you would since it was such a great reply you gave Tim. Hated to see it just hide in the Pro community. Here it will help many additional people!

I really like the way you start team off by making sure they've done the review process themselves.

And all your other advice is just spot on too! I'm going to make this a sticky for awhile, cuz it's just that good!

Thanks again!

What does everyone else think? Anything to add???
I think people tend to put too much effort into getting reviews over a short initial period of time, then don't get any for months after. For my business's I like to get 1-2 reviews each month. In my market and industries, there are only a handful of companies with reviews on google and then they only have less than 10. It looks suspicious if your business has 5 times as many reviews compared to your closest competition.
Yes valesence, good point. And one of the reasons reviews can get filtered.

Slow and natural wins the race!
The review frequency question is a bit wonkish but hey, I'm into that ;)

But first, Cody--wow, great outline. I have a feeling that this thread is going to get plastered around our office. Whoops, it just did. Thanks!

Anyway, there's a simple way to enforce a "natural" review frequency/volume: Make the review acquisition process transactional. (I did say I was a reviews wonk, didn't I?)

That is, asking for a review should be a discrete part of the customer's lifecycle rather than something you do all the time or even once a week/month, etc. An effective "ask" is personal and comes at a point (or two or three points) in the individual customer's relationship with the business--not as a "spray and pray" blast you send to your customer database from time to time. And thus it naturally keeps pace with actual business volume.

This approach also just works better. That's the only point I would add to your list, Cody. Personally, I'd nix the newsletter option and instill in the business owner the idea that he/she has to think about "the ask" as something specific to the individual customer and the transaction or experience that is fresh in mind. That may mean training staff to deliver the ask at an appropriate time (e.g. when handing the customer a receipt or following up on a deal with a hand-written note--an extreme tactic that we've seen work amazingly well in some cases).

Of course, a highly personal, transactional "ask" can be automated, too--I know some good tools for that ;)
Thanks Jon,

Great minds... I was also going to point out that if you ask customers for reviews right after they get the service or buy the product, then: A) It's fresh in their mind. B) The flow is natural and reviews trickle in, just the way Google likes it.

And FYI all, I've been hearing great things about Jon's service, so if you want a system that makes the whole process smoother and easier, you should definitely check it out!

What a great share. I am def going to implement some of your awesome tips in my current marketing with my clients.

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