Yes – negative reviews hurt your search ranking and Your local business.
Bad reviews can equal less traffic and customers. Most customers check out reviews when they are choosing a business. Having low rankings can directly impact your numbers. One of the most frustrating things is that review sites tend to keep up negative reviews on the first page and higher up in the reviews order.
There’s no doubt that negative online reviews discourage potential customers from buying a company’s goods and/or services. Exactly how much missed business a negative online review results in can’t be determined. According to the same study, however, here’s what the damage from negative reviews can cost a company in terms of missing out on potential customers.
1/ negative result about your company or product: your company risks losing 22% of potential customers
3/ negative results about your company or product: your company risks losing 59.2% of potential customers.
4/ negative results about your company or product: risk losing 70% of potential customers.
A bad review can be the deciding factor when potential customers are not sure if they want to buy from you or from a competitor. So it can cost you a lot.
Bear in mind that Google isn’t the only place your business can get reviewed, but it’s obviously a big player in that space and is getting bigger. Yelp is getting in on the action as well, and there are dozens, if not hundreds of other Business Review sites out there. If you’re interacting with customers, it doesn’t matter what your business is about, it is now easier than ever for them to spread their opinion of you far and wide.
Not everyone is on board with that concept, however, and a lot of tradesmen and women, and other business owners, are continuing to carry on with self-destructive habits that are leaving a trail of unsatisfied, and ultimately disappointed customers in their wake. And those customers are telling people.
One of the best advertisements for your business is the experience you leave the customer, and their willingness to tell other people about it. Word of Mouth advertising is free and incredibly effective. How many times have you asked a friend if they know a good tiler/carpenter/realtor? And when they give you a tip on one, what do you do? You just use them. And when they tell you to stay the Hell away from someone…
The following are some easy habits to build into the way you run your business every day to ensure the customer experience is a positive one, and that when they tell their friends (or Google) about you, they are sending out the right message.
1. Keep Your Appointments
It’s highly unprofessional to continually re-making appointments. It doesn’t matter how polite you are on the phone if you are ringing to reschedule a meeting (again) the client is not going to be happy, and they are going to form the impression that you are unreliable. If you make an appointment, stick to it. If you don’t think you can finish one job and get to the new one quite on time (by the way “on time” means ten minutes early – it always means that) then don’t make that appointment. A prospective client will tolerate you pushing an appointment back 30 minutes when you are making it, but they won’t tolerate you being 30 minutes late after the fact.
2. Stick to the Budget
There is no quicker way to earn a terrible review than going over budget. You will put the client in a difficult position, financially, but you will also appear incompetent at best, and untrustworthy at worst. None of those labels are good for business. Remember when you are setting the budget at the beginning of the contract that you are the expert, and you are meant to know what it’s going to cost. If the client’s budget is unworkable, tell them at the beginning, and compromise then. Don’t just go over budget like you’re going to be able to say, “But this is exactly what you wanted. I just couldn’t do it for the price I quoted.” That’s not going to play.
3. Keep up the Communication
It’s possible that things are going to happen on the project that are outside your ability to control. The weather might turn bad. One of your suppliers might go out of business. It could be any number of things. When this happens, the cost of the project is going to change, and as soon as you know this is happening, you need to get in touch with the client. They are not going to thank you later for hiding the truth from them. I think most people understand that unexpected costs may come up, and that’s why God created Contingency Allowances. But if you talk to the client as soon as you become aware of a change in the costs, you have the ability to compromise and adjust the rest of the project to accommodate that change. Or you get into a conversation and the client says, “That’s ok. I can cover that increase.”
4. Stay Reasonable Around Payment Terms
Depending on the size of the project, most clients will understand the need for milestone payments or deposits at contract commencement. They will understand that they can’t expect the contractor to carry the risk of payment through the entire project. But similarly, asking for too much capital upfront is not going to be well received. This feeds off point 3. to a degree. Ultimately you need to be clear around where the payment milestones sit before you start working, and as the contractor, you will need to take a position that is reasonable, and spreads the risk between yourself and the client in a balanced fashion.
5. Pick Up After Yourself
Never, ever, leave a mess at the site when you leave. There is very little that is going to create an irate customer quicker than that. And that’s the stuff they will tell people about. Read some Google reviews of your competitors and see if this isn’t a common theme. The client is paying you as a professional, and they are going to expect you to act like one. That means leaving the worksite the way you found it. The job is not done until the site is clean.
6. Think in Their Shoes
There are a lot of things you do on a worksite because you always have. Ten years ago these things were probably fine and were almost expected by people in your trade. But if you take a moment now to think about those habits from the client’s perspective, are they still going to be acceptable? Do you park on their lawn? Do you use power-tools too early in the morning, or too late at night? Do you fail to inform the client about impending deliveries that might cause some inconvenience? Do you keep the client informed of your progress and schedule? How hard is that, really? You’re packing up to leave at the end of the day, take five minutes to knock on the door and say, “We’ve finished framing up today, but we’re expecting a delivery of timber early tomorrow, and that might block off your driveway for 30 minutes while we unload. Might be worth parking your car on the road tonight to make sure you don’t get trapped.”
Each of these little tips is not much more than common sense and courtesy, but how many of them are you really practicing in your daily routine? Set yourself a goal of incorporating these standards into the work routine and the reviews that get posted to Google about you will be positive, and people will tell their friends.
Here are some of the top statistics on how online reviews impact your business:
54% of people will visit the businesses website after reading positive reviews
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
87% of businesses need a rating of 3–5 stars before they will use them
68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good & bad scores On average 1 negative review can cost you, 30 customers!
So what should you do about bad reviews on Google?
There is hope for the many businesses that are losing customers due to bad reviews showing up on Google Maps and Search Results. Some online reputation management companies now offer reliable review management services that can help business owners get legitimate positive reviews and fix bad reviews online.
Have you found negative comments about you or your business online? If you have you will already understand that this can be very damaging to your reputation. If people search for you and they find these negative comments or business reviews it can be costly as well. Many potential customers look for online reviews before they decide to use their service or buy their Service or product. Removal Media is the only company that specializes in permanently deleting negative online Reviews. Other companies only suppress online reviews, while we completely delete. Don’t hide it, delete it, with Guaranteed Removals. We offer all our clients a no-money-up-front guarantee.
If you have negative reviews that you would like hidden contact us now for A Free Online Reputation Audit Today!!