Why does Google remove some reviews?

Why Google removes some online reviews

Google reviews can help a small business expand their reach to more prospects. But at the end of the day, Google controls the content that lands on their social network, Google Plus. This has left many of us wondering, ‘Why did Google remove that review?” According to their review policy, there are nine types of review content that they consider ‘prohibited and restricted.’ But what they could explain more is why they classify some reviews as ‘spam or fake.’ The answer is: the IP address.

Customers sharing the same IP address

Your internet service provider assigns the computer you connect to the internet with an IP address. If your customer brings a family member in, and they go home and both decide to leave a review for business on their shared computer, Google considers this a duplicate. In the world wide web, duplicate is another word for spam. So there goes their nice gesture and your chance to keep these two new reviews.

Customers reviewing with your WiFi

It’s no surprise that you have logged into your business’ Google Plus from your business WiFi. However, if you offer this same WiFi to customers and a happy customer decides to leave you a review while they wait, you’ve run into the IP address issue again. Another problematic scenario is if they simply log in to their Google Plus from your WiFi and leave the review later at home. The fact that they were on your IP has already left a trail.

Happy employees leaving reviews at work

Whether you asked your employees to give your business a Google Plus review, or they took it upon themselves, this is actually against Google’s guidelines. This is also another case where the search engine giant can sniff this out through the IP address. The employee is either leaving the review at work with the company WiFi, or they’ve signed into Google Plus under the WiFi and then left the review in another location like at home. Since this removal can be prevented, it’s probably best to ask your employees not to leave reviews.

Another option outside of the IP address is customers deleting the review themselves. This happens often with incentives. If you extend your offers or giveaways to a wide range of customers in exchange for a review, you may see reviews removed once they redeem their prize. Consider cherry-picking the customers you offer the incentive to in order to avoid this.

As we saw in the review policy, there are many other reasons why Google may remove a review from your listing. Because it’s almost like the luck of the draw, just remember the big picture which is to have an overall positive online reputation. As long as you have enough 4+ star reviews to keep you competitive against others in your industry, you’re in good standing.

https://whitespark.ca/blog/google-remove-reviews/

Don’t be afraid of customer surveys

Don't be afraid of customer surveys

Customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of your business because without loyal customers your bottom line will suffer. The strategy behind keeping your customers coming back is ensuring that each touch-point in their journey is positive. Your business can track their satisfaction with customer surveys, a method that may make you nervous. But don’t be afraid of customer surveys. They can expose issues you may be unaware of like long hold times for phone calls.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of customer surveys.

Your online reputation will be protected

As customers are checking out at the end of their visit, have your front desk hand them a customer survey. Keep it short with 5 questions or less to ensure they complete it before they leave. This will give them the opportunity to critique any part of their visit that didn’t go well, and most likely prevent them from complaining about it on social media since they already got it off their chest.

For customers whose satisfaction surveys are positive, your front office can utilize that to boost your business’s online reputation. The strategy is simple: send a daily or weekly email to happy customers asking them to leave you a review on Yelp, Google or any review site that is important to your business. Link directly to that site within the body of the email to make it as easy for the customer to complete as possible. This can be done more efficiently with an automation software.

The feedback can help your business

Surveys can expose process or team issues, as well as highlight an employee’s exceptional performance. Review your customer surveys once every quarter and meet with your team to go over good and bad experiences that stood out. It could serve as a training session in ‘what to do’ in situations that have arised, or may arise in the future.

At the end of the year you can also recognize an employee who handled a difficult situation well, or helped pave the way for a more efficient process that needed adjusting.

Customer surveys are a way to empower you and your staff with information on what your customers are truly expecting. Spend time perfecting the questions you will ask, and consider leaving the last question as a free form field so that the customer can be specific in what worked or what didn’t.

Implementing Your Online Reputation Strategy

Implementing your online reputation strategy

In the first part of this series, Getting Started: Taking Control of your Online Reputation, we kick off where to begin when building and monitoring your online presence. Now that you have your reputation marketing plan mapped out, here are some tools to help you implement your strategy.

1. Claim your business listings and social pages

Customers are searching you online for two reasons: to get your contact information, and to see what other people are saying.

There are some top sites for business listings depending on your industry. Review the ones that show up on the first page of your search and make sure your contact information is correct. If there are other important sites you know as a professional that your business should be listed on – add it! No stone should go unturned.

When it comes to what people are saying about their experience with you, managing your reputation is huge. First, claim your business on Yelp and Google.

If your business doesn’t show up – create your profile! Add your logo and put up some pictures of the inside and outside of your business. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of the team either. Customers like to see what they are walking into – it gives them a sense of familiarity.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying

After you’ve claimed your online presence, read any existing customer reviews. Were the reviews accurate to your product or customer service? Are they pointing out areas that you need to improve? It may be hard to read opinions or experiences that aren’t sugar coated, but use it as helpful feedback. It could be really beneficial to your business, and could start bringing in more 4 or 5 star reviews instead of 3 or less.

If there are a couple of unhappy customers that you feel you can help, respond to the reviews and offer them a solution. Thank the customer for their feedback, explain your process and why that may have happened, and possibly offer a solution. But it’s important to know that once you start review management you have to commit to it. Customers will begin to expect a response from you – even the happy ones!

Do online reviews still make you a little nervous? Here is the secret to online reviews.

3. Create targeted messaging for happy customers

Happy customers can be gold for your online reputation. There are a lot of different ways to encourage customers to leave you reviews. Your front desk employees can encourage it verbally at the end of a service, or you can have them send automated texts or emails if you use a marketing software. These messages are normally triggered after an appointment, and if you use a reputation management software, the reviews will be sent straight to Google. And all your staff had to do was click a button!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started: Take Control of your Online Reputation

Getting started with online reputation strategy

What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?

Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.

Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.

1.  Run a search on Google and Bing

The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’

Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!

2.  Is the look of your brand consistent?

Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.

3.  Set reputation goals you want to accomplish

A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.

Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.

Introducing Demandforce Choice Plus!

The introduction of Demandforce Choice Plus enables you to take more complete control of your online reputation.

We made the shift to a tiered product offering with the introduction of Demandforce Choice and Demandforce Choice Plus. This evolution coincides with the introduction of new tools designed to help our customers manage and enhance their online reputations.

Demandforce Choice: Proven Value That Drives Business

The existing Demandforce product suite is now known as Demandforce Choice, and includes the core features upon which Demandforce built its reputation: online scheduling, appointment reminders, online review management, and email marketing tools to help your company save time, reduce no-shows and acquire more customers.

Demandforce Choice Plus: Mastering Online Reputation Management

Demandforce Choice Plus bundles the traditional benefits of Demandforce Choice with new solutions for online reputation management, including:

Intelligent Reviews: Automated review requests via email and text enable merchants to get more reviews published directly to Google.

Multi-listing Management: A consolidated view of a merchant’s business listings and reviews in one place, including listings on Google+, Yelp, Facebook, and Demandforce Local.

Competitor Dashboard: An instant, real-time snapshot of how a merchant’s ratings, reviews, and promotions compare to those of top competitors.

Demandforce Choice Plus is available immediately. If you would like to learn more information can be found at http://go.demandforce.com/ChoicePlus.

Customer service advice for small businesses

If you’re a small business such as a dentist, medical specialist, auto shop, hairstylist, or veterinarian, you know how important each customer is to your bottom line. You can’t afford to lose a customer or patient due to a bad experience, and many of your customers might come to you specifically because they want the “white glove” customer support you can give them.

Every small business should strive to provide best-in-class customer support to its clients. The business that can make its customers feel special is the one who will foster loyalty and return visits. Additionally, your reputation – both online and via word-of-mouth marketing – will improve.

A Starter Guide: Customer Service Advice for Small Businesses 

Treat every client like they’re you’re only client… to a point

For any business, quality customer service and support are vital in keeping customers happy and willing to recommend you to their family, colleagues, and friends. If you strive to treat every client like they’re your only client, it’s a win-win. Just make sure you’re not neglecting other clients. Some advice:

  • If you can, assign a Customer Success Representative to each client, and try to have this be the point of contact for that client. Establishing a consistent representative for your business can help make your customer feel more comfortable and understood.
  • Avoid canned responses, and when possible, tailor your communications directly to your client, making sure to keep their preferred communication method and channel in mind.

Set boundaries and expectations… make sure you’re on the same page

If you’re going to grow your business, you need to recognize that some customers are better for your business than others. What this means is that as long as you show respect for your customers and treat them well, they will (and should) respect you and how you run your business. This is the customer that will help you grow, and the kind you want to keep coming back. If you don’t set boundaries with your customers, they can end up creating unneeded stress and consuming valuable time. Some advice:

  • You don’t need to be a 24/7 business if that doesn’t fit within your business model. It’s important that you run your business on your own terms and establish a clear day-to-day schedule with your customers. If you continue making exceptions, your customers might understandably not even know when you are truly open, and continue to expect “after hours” service.
  • Keep your business listings online up-to-date and send out text and/or email communications to your customers when you have modified or changing hours.

Handle things promptly… remember who your audience is

When you’re dealing with anything on social media, it’s critical to always respond quickly and in a professional manner. According to some studies, over 67 percent of Internet users are on social networks, and this means that you need to develop strong relationships with your customers on and offline. Think of it like a relationship: if one side thinks the other isn’t communicating, listening, or engaging, then a breakup might be on the horizon. Remember…

  • On social media, silence leads to losing customers – no response, or a slow response, can be read as apathy or coldness by customers
  • You don’t need to respond seconds after a post, but you should respond. Some incentive? A Harris study showed that 18 percent of people who posted negative reviews and received a reply went on to become loyal customers. And 70 percent reversed the content, either by deleting the negative comment or posting a follow-up positive one. 

It never hurts to ask… for referrals and testimonials 

If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you probably know that referrals are one the most effective ways to grow your business and attract new, loyal customers. However, you also may HATE asking for referrals, or just not know how. Don’t assume that your customers will just talk about your business, and your great customer service. Remember: the more you ask for referrals, the more you’ll get. Here are some tips:

  • Make asking for a referral part of your routine. With some systems, like Demandforce, you can automatically send a referral follow-up to customers who have just visited your business. These are great ways to not only collect feedback on how you’re doing, but also allow your customers to review you and post those reviews online. Remember that most people like to help out others, especially if it’s not a complicated process.
  • Combine asking for referrals with requesting testimonials – consider creating testimonial cards that you can pass out at your front desk, so that someone can write one and then either drop it in the mail, or email you back. You can also send a targeted email requesting a testimonial or feedback from customers who have rated you highly in a review.

Looking for more advice on how to provide best-in-class customer service? It’s always a good idea to improve your communications, and Demandforce can help. Contact us today to see a demo. We believe in stellar customer service as well! Every Demandforce customer is paired with a Customer Success Manager, who will help you set up and optimize any and all Demandforce features to best suit your business and business goals. Call us at (888) 272-7821, or visit demandforce.com.

 

The benefits of Demandforce Local for your business

Demandforce Local is a public, searchable directory of 28,000 small businesses located in your neighborhood and across the U.S.

For Demandforce customers, a Demandforce Local business listing provides multiple benefits, and in today’s article, we’ll examine a few.

DF Local increases your business’ online visibility

Demandforce Local was designed to increase your online visibility, so you can extend your reach to new customers and boost local sales. Your DF Local business listing can be quickly and conveniently updated directly from within your DF portal, so you know your data is always up-to-date.

DF Local offers strong SEO support to boost your business name in a Google search

For a small business, having a strong presence online is a crucial part of how you attract new customers and continue to grow. The more sites you can get listed on, the better—especially if those sites are recognized as trustworthy and helpful to Google’s ever-updating algorithm that ranks sites. Where your business shows up in a list of Google search results basically boils down to the strength of your online reputation – and Demandforce Local can help. With the help of automatic review requests from Demandforce’s online marketing platform, your business can collect and highlight certified customer reviews all on one site. This strengthens your online reputation and helps widen your reach to new customers.

DF Local allows you to post targeted special offers for your customers

One feature of Demandforce Local is its ability to post targeted special offers to your customers. This allows you to foster customer loyalty and entice new customers to try your services over a competitor’s. You can view a list of the online specials you offer within your Demandforce portal, along with a summary of the activity generated from them, allowing you to test and learn which offers work best for your customer and prospect base.

DF Local provides useful metrics and customer insights for your business

In order to grow, you need to understand your customer, and one of the best ways to develop keen customer insights is by tracking metrics such as the performance of certain marketing campaigns, or numbers of appointments booked on specific channels (e.g., via Facebook, your website, or an email link). You can view these metrics on your Demandforce Local homepage, including how many appointments were booked via your page, and how many times your profile has been viewed.

DF Local gives you the opportunity to network with other local, non-competing businesses

Cross-sell opportunities are often an important aspect of building and maintaining a small business. The relationships you foster with other local businesses can help introduce your business to new customers, and you can boost your local reputation. One of the benefits of Demandforce Local is that your business is promoted to a network of non-competing businesses, and you can track activity in your network, in case you want to connect with other local business owners for promotions or events.

These are only a few of the ways Demandforce Local can benefit your business. To learn more about Demandforce Local, you can set up a complimentary consultation with a Demandforce expert. Call us at (888) 272-7821.

3 quick tricks to strengthen your online reputation

Looking for 3 quick tricks to help you strengthen your online reputation? While nothing beats taking the time to nurture your brand identity and personality online with steady, consistent engagement, the following are 3 quick tricks to help jumpstart your online presence.

1. Leverage Social Media

You took the time to set up your Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter, and LinkedIn – so now’s the time to utilize them! Collect and post customer reviews on social media, and connect with your customers through engaging, relevant social posts. Showcasing your business on social media increases your value and exposure exponentially!

2. Use Negative Reviews Wisely

Always acknowledge and respond to negative reviews, creating a conversation to reach a resolution. Never leave a negative comment unanswered on a Facebook post or your Yelp page. Even if you need to take the conversation offline, respond publicly so that other customers and prospects see that you responded in a timely matter, and care about working with the customer to come to some sort of resolution. Remember, some negative feedback can add more legitimacy to your positive reviews.

3. Measure, Measure, Measure

Never stop tweaking and learning from your posts and your customers. Establish a plan to track and monitor your online reputation, including these important indicators:

  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Sentiment
  • Recency
  • Keywords

If you want to strengthen your business’ online reputation, check out the online reputation management tools from Demandforce. You can send automatic review requests, post directly to popular search sites, and manage your online reputation all from our easy-to-use online platform.

Call us at (888) 272-7821 to see a demo, or visit demandforce.com for more info.

[Infographic] 5 best ways to increase survey response rates

When was the last time your business sent out a survey to your current database of patients, clients, or customers? Surveys are important for your business for the following reasons:

  • You keep up-to-date on what your patients/clients actually want from your services
  • You increase patient/client satisfaction by showing that you value feedback
  • You get a more accurate view of your current brand / business reputation and perception
  • You can use the results to identify and improve services, products, or strategy

However, before you shoot off a long survey to your email database, you might want to consider a few things that will drive up response and make sure you’re not being a nuisance. Check out the infographic below for 5 Ways to Increase Survey Response Rates, and then when you’re ready to send your first (or next!) survey, send it through Demandforce! Demandforce offers customers the ability to send patient/client surveys directly from our easy-to-use online platform. To see a demo of Demandforce, call us at (888) 272-7821 or visit demandforce.com.

5-Ways-to-Increase-Survey-Response-Rates